“My path to becoming a therapist began when my mentor at Columbia University told me that my background combined with an education could allow me to support those who could not find help from someone who shared their identity or life experience.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
As a bi-ethnic immigrant and a person of color, I know that having a good and trusting support system is key to a fulfilling life. My path to becoming a therapist began when my mentor at Columbia University told me that my background combined with an education could allow me to support those who could not find help from someone who shared their identity or life experience. With that encouragement, I decided to become a therapist. Since then, I’ve provided support to people from different backgrounds and become a wellness director at an Ivy League school.
Therapy, in the conventional sense, is a worthwhile method for individuals who are open to the idea of reaching out for help. But, for some, therapy is an intimidating concept. I believe that it is important to recognize that the therapeutic definition and methods of healing are different for everyone. As a therapist, I strive to cultivate individual support and provide the best match for each client to facilitate their pursuit of continued growth.
What should someone know about working with you?
I take a collaborative approach in my sessions to facilitate a psychotherapeutic change. Clients will fill out a short intake form and a questionnaire prior to the session. Then, I will spend a couple of sessions asking a series of questions to get to know my client and set some goals. I will focus on having an empathic conversation with my client to create a supportive environment and will assign homework and/or a to-do list if it is beneficial to them.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I proactively attend trainings and conferences to brush up on my skills and expand my knowledge of the mental health field. I also have regular conversations with other practitioners so that I am well versed in helping my clients cultivate overall health and wellbeing. Additionally, it is very important to me to continue working on my multicultural competencies. Therefore, I actively engage in conversation about diversity so that I stay accountable.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
Growing up in a family of educators and parents who are from a different culture, I believe in helping others and respecting other cultures. These core values give me the drive to provide culturally-competent therapy. I strongly believe in using evidence-based techniques so that clients are getting the proper care. At the same time, I stay flexible in my approach based on the client's needs.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I am particularly excited about the growth of telehealth because I believe that being able to access a therapist from the comfort of your home will continue to lower the barriers to care. Telehealth also challenges me to learn new skills and diversify my portfolio. Since the pandemic, I have been collaborating with public health professionals and health education professionals to help the individuals impacted by the challenges around the world. It gives me great hope that these collaborations will help build a future for the field of mental health.
“As a therapist, I strive to cultivate individual support and provide the best match for each client to facilitate their pursuit of continued growth.”