Sheila holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling, and provides emotional support/non-medical coaching for psychiatric medication tapering and withdrawal.
Sheila has lived experience, having been prescribed twenty years of psychiatric medications herself. When attempting to come off, she experienced an acute withdrawal, akathisia and nearly lost her life. This revelation of harm, combined with Sheila’s firsthand experience in the traditional mental health system, left her disillusioned. As a result, she naturally transitioned her therapy practice to focus more on withdrawal-related work. Today, Sheila’s unique approach reflects the fusion of practical, trauma-informed tools she gained from working with adults and family systems, along with the wisdom acquired from her own medication withdrawal journey.
Sheila’s life-altering withdrawal experience and ongoing healing process fuels her passion for informed consent and supporting others on their own paths. She has appeared in articles and has been both a host and guest for interviews on withdrawal-related topics. Her community advocacy includes moderating online withdrawal support groups as well as serving on the Inner Compass Initiative Team, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people make more informed choices about taking and withdrawing from psychiatric medications. She sees clients and their families from all over the world both virtually and in-person, for withdrawal coaching and related support.
Sheila currently lives in NYC with her husband and senior husky and is a believer in the healing power of community, food, nature and humor.
Sheila’s professional background includes teaching special education, one-on-one, couples and group therapy, school counseling, parent coaching, and family therapy for neurodiverse individuals ranging from 5-years-old to adulthood. Sheila worked as a mental health counselor with military families and veterans through NYU School of Medicine and the New York VA. In 2018, she resigned due to the onset of severe acute withdrawal symptoms, resulting from misinformed medical advice to rapidly taper her SSRI.
“I understand firsthand what it’s like to have iatrogenic injury disrupt your entire life and family system. I do this work for many reasons—partially, in hopes that people might avoid going through what so many of us learned the hard way, and to provide the one-on-one hope and support I did not have during my own acute suffering. I won’t use toxic positivity, or say things like “You chose your suffering”, “you will heal when you decide to”, or “When you are ready.” If these statements resonate with you, we can discuss them, but I’ve had countless people in acute withdrawal come to me defeated and hopeless after hearing such comments. Finding meaning in withdrawal suffering is personal and dependent on your goals. Lastly, I am deeply passionate about empowering individuals to rewrite their stories. This involves redefining and challenging the faulty narratives imposed upon them, particularly regarding their human suffering, identity, and capabilities.
I offer coaching clients compassionate, practical support and hope and provide a safe space to feel and process any and everything that might come up during the taper process. I have had the privilege to witness many people heal and you are not the exception. It would be my honor to support you on your unique journey.”