About Dr. Leslie Hemedes
I’m brought back to myself as a 10-year-old girL…
sitting in the backseat of my mother’s car, watching cars and trees pass by. A feeling of calm comes over me that allowed my thoughts to drift. During these moments, my curiosity led me to wonder why things were the way that they were. I found myself asking why my brother and I were so different. We had the same parents and were given the same opportunities, yet we seemed to feel & engage with life in very different ways. I used to think about how my life would have been different if my parents never immigrated to this country, if I didn’t grow up in two separate households, and if I didn’t have the same life experiences that I have had.
My eagerness to want to know the answers to these questions was my way of trying to make sense out of my reality. It was a way of creating a sense of who I am, and a way of figuring out what/where my place is within this world. Throughout my life, I have challenged myself to step outside of my world, and to imagine sitting in someone else’s shoes, and to understand the lens with which they look through. Being able to step in and out of my perspective has allowed me to understand myself and others in a deeper way.
Throughout my life, I have been a part of different communities and have gained many life experiences. As I reflect on what drew me to this field, I think of the moments in my life that I have felt joy and grounding. My relationship with myself and others have allowed me to feel connected. I firmly believe that we are all social beings, and what provides balance is a sense of connectedness. This connectedness is not necessarily exclusive to social relationships, but can also be identified with having a relationship with yourself..
Since I have been in the field, I have often been deeply moved while sitting across from the individuals that I work with. There is nothing that separates me from the person sitting across from me. I see another human being who wants to be understood, feel connected, and who is worthy of it all. I’m drawn to the part of this work that brings two people together to share in moments of creativity, which makes both feel more alive and authentic. Some of the patients that I have treated have struggled to see the value in themselves due to the harsh realities of their lives. The most fulfilling aspects of this work is the honor of being a part of a process that empowers individuals and helps them discover the strengths and points of resiliency that sometimes is difficult to uncover.
B.A. Psychology | University of California, San Diego
M.A. Clinical Psychology | Long Island University - Brooklyn
PsyD Clinical Psychology | The George Washington University