Tiana Rapp, Psy.D.
Supervised by Inbal Kleinerman, Ph.D.
Practice Philosophy/Theoretical Orientation
“Your hurt is welcome here. It can put down its bags and stay awhile. It won’t be jostled. It won’t be rushed. It won’t be asked to hurt less, or to hurt differently, or to distract itself. It won’t even be asked to word itself. It can just be. And we can just be together — you, me, the hurt.”
I believe as human beings we are all shaped by the relationships we develop and the experiences we have. We are motivated by a need for connection with others and, in turn, are shaped by the connections we make. From birth, we take in the world around us, learning, growing, and changing as a result of both the positive and negative experiences. As a clinician, I am passionate about accompanying clients on the journey of exploring and increasing insight into these experiences that have shaped them into who they are as human beings and that, at times, contribute to experiences of suffering and struggle. I view therapy as a place to honestly and genuinely explore past and present experiences in the here-and-now, with the goal of growth toward a more fulfilling future. In therapy I take a warm, strengths-based approach and value the importance of providing a safe, supportive, collaborative space in combination with a consistent, empathic presence to facilitate self-discovery and healing.
My therapeutic approach is flexible, individualized and culturally-sensitive, recognizing each client as the expert of his or her own lived experiences. I view the therapeutic relationship itself as paramount in providing a space for exploration, change, and healing while helping to provide clients with an opportunity to experience safety, compassion, and support. I primarily think about clients and therapy through a trauma-informed relational lens and frequently integrate strengths-based, psychodynamic, family systems, attachment, client-centered, and emotion-focused concepts into the therapeutic space. I am humbled by the opportunity to share this sacred space with you as you explore your own story and look forward to the opportunity to accompany you along your journey.
Areas of Interest
Children, Youth, Adolescents, and Families
I have experience working with individuals across the lifespan and particularly enjoy working with children, youth and adolescents. I love the energy and emotion children and teens bring into the therapeutic space and value the opportunity to work toward healing at various stages in the developmental process. I am particularly interested in assisting clients managing family stressors, emotional difficulties (anxiety, depression, mood changes), behavioral issues, relational/peer difficulties, and questions of identity and sense of self. I recognize children are part of a larger family system that helps to shape and mold their behaviors and experiences. I enjoy integrating families into treatment to provide caregivers with the insight, information, and tools to assist their child and facilitate deep, sustainable change for the entire family system. I am trained in psychological assessment with children and adolescents and integrate this into clinical work as needed.
Trauma, Adversity, and Resilience
I am particularly passionate about working with clients who have experienced trauma, at various stages of their healing journey. I recognize trauma can come in many forms and present in many ways. It can disrupt the way we see our reality, shake our thoughts and beliefs, and change the way we interact with others. The way trauma presents itself is unique to the individual and can be complicated, confusing, and overwhelming. I gravitate away from labels and diagnoses and to move toward exploration, processing, and understanding of internal experience and externalized behaviors. I am particularly passionate about working with children and adolescents presenting with complex/developmental trauma, externalized behaviors, conduct issues, and relational difficulties including difficulties trusting others or forming healthy, validating relationships as a result of traumatic experiences. I also enjoy working with adults who have experienced, and may struggle with, unresolved traumatic experiences from early childhood or who may have experienced or witnessed other difficult events throughout their lifespan. I deeply enjoy exploring identity, resilience and post-traumatic growth when working with trauma victims and survivors.
Crisis intervention has been a primary component of my training and I value the opportunity to be there for clients in their darkest, most trying moments. Life changes can take us by surprise and can sometimes lead us to withdrawing from our day-to-day activities, thinking about hurting ourselves or others, or even beginning down the path of addiction. When clients find themselves at this crossroads, I believe they are doing the best they can and strive to provide a space where individuals feel they can express themselves fully without judgement, fear, withdrawal, or “fixing.” Particular areas of interest for me include adjustment disorders, substance use, addictions, and legal involvement.
I grew up on Long Island, New York, and completed my undergraduate education at St. Joseph’s College. Initially working toward a degree in Criminal Justice, I quickly recognized the overwhelming need for reform and mental health treatment in our overburdened justice systems and earned a bachelors degree in both Psychology and Criminal Justice with the goal of working as a psychologist to enact change. I then earned a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. My interest in mental health issues in underserved populations has been a driving force behind my educational pursuits and training experiences. In my clinical work, I have provided individual, group, and family therapy as well as crisis intervention and psychological assessment services in forensic, inpatient hospital, and correctional/juvenile justice settings working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. My doctoral research focused on exploring secondary traumatic stress in mental health professionals providing care to juvenile-justice-involved youth. I am passionate about social justice and the need for more trauma-informed systems of care and continue to strive toward contributing to social change and reform as a clinician. In all of my work, I strive to provide a safe, supportive, therapeutic space for all including those struggling or feeling marginalized and oppressed by society and the larger systems they find themselves intertwined with. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, including my energetic and loving dog and cat. I love traveling and exploring new places, going to the movies, live music, crime tv, arcade games, and Sunday football.