About Dr. Tara
I was raised to always put on a pretty face. Look neat and proper. Be polite. Not draw any attention. Say your prayers before bed. This was a tall order for a little girl born with pigeon -toed feet, with a bar brace screwed to her shoes, and who managed to knock out her two front baby teeth at age 3, leaving her toothless in photos for at least three more years. How did that happen? Swinging like a monkey on the arms of two pieces of living room furniture like parallel bars and face planting on a marble top coffee table. I still have nightmares of my teeth falling out.
Clumsy, awkward and shy.
It’s no wonder I have been a recovering perfectionist for at least a few decades or more as I had many flaws to overcome. But what my five-year-old self with banana curls really needed was permission to be a messy energetic knocked-kneed kid. I needed to feel okay in making mistakes and laughing afterward. Really I yearned to play outside until way after dark and watch the fireflies on humid summer nights.
I discovered that I could be that long lost child or at least befriend her because, gosh, she was irrepressible. When I look back now I admire her tenacity, her knowing that an education was one way to pass to freedom, and more recently, her willingness to be a compassionate mess.
I’ve discovered over the years that being a messenger for healing and caring is in those tiny steps or awkward lurches forward, just like wearing that old bar between the shoes.
Back in the day I was trained at Harvard Medical School. Became a therapist, researcher, and health tech entrepreneur. I burned out. When my kids went to college I decided to go as well. I’m a part-time staff psychologist at Harvard University’s Counseling and Mental Health Service. I wrote The Kindness Cure as a gift to my daughters in case, you know, something happened to me. My next projects are about the energies of self-compassion and befriending the inner critic. We’ve all got a few roaming around in there.
Most of my work is informed by therapies and psychological traditions that are most aligned with my philosophy to make one’s life worth living. After all we are here for a short while so might as well make your unique spark shine among the galaxies.
My therapy and coaching work is based on psychodynamic theory, mindful self-compassion, neuroscience of attachment, and informed by polyvagal theory, trauma sensitivity, and internal family systems. By necessity I am trained in CBT, but emphasize mindful attention to how our cognitions and stories impact daily life and relationships. I have training in Reiki (Level 2), Eden Energy Medicine (Level 1) and The Daring Way™ based on the research by Dr. Brené Brown.
My consulting and speaking is on a range of topics and I work closely with others to ensure I’m meeting their goals.
Find my profile on Psychology Today