“In my sessions, I prioritize creating an open environment where I can hold the space for you to share and explore.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
As a Korean-American adoptee and first-generation college student, I've always been interested in helping others navigate uncertain paths, specifically when they're experiencing a lack of social capital to guide them. During my time in higher education (mostly in career services), I saw firsthand how important it is to provide the opportunities and support that help individuals succeed and tap into their full potential. I'm a firm believer in planned happenstance, the idea that by being prepared you can take advantage of spontaneous opportunities when they arise. My career path has been a series of intentional leaps, each one leading me closer to my final fit: Working as a mental health counselor. Along the way, I've worked as a teacher, a career counselor, and a communications professional. Across each position, I recognized that — regardless of environment — people want to be seen, heard, and valued.
What should someone know about working with you?
I think a solid relationship between a client and a counselor is a core part of working together. In my sessions, I prioritize creating an open environment where I can hold the space for you to share and explore. Some of my most rewarding work has been with clients who are committed to the process, understand that progress is not a straight line, interested in learning more about themselves, and motivated to build habits toward sustainable wellness. My intake process is designed to provide context that can inform our work together on whatever is bringing you to therapy. Our sessions will be evolving conversations that promote greater self-awareness and insight into your thoughts and behaviors. Together, we will collaborate on a tailored course of action that can range from weekly talk therapy sessions to more structured activities to assignments that you will complete during your time away.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
As a firm believer in lifelong learning and an avid bookworm, I'm consistently seeking opportunities to engage in additional training, learn more methods, and gain tools that I can pass on to my clients.
How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?
I’m someone who has had to learn how to ask for help. As a high-achieving perfectionist, I struggled with burnout before figuring out that I needed to find a better way to get through my weeks. Even though it was difficult at first, a combination of reaching out to people and setting better boundaries enabled me to get to a healthier and happier place. Over time, I’ve discovered that there are things that can only be understood within the context of our interactions with other people. When working with my clients, I help them identify trends, patterns, and habits that either block them or increase access to wellness. My sessions are governed by the understanding that my clients are the experts on their own lives and experiences and I see my role as a support and guide as they revisit and explore how and why they’ve created their personal narratives.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
I think access is one of the most important challenges to tackle in any field. The growing ubiquity of telehealth provides so many opportunities for mental health counselors to connect with clients in need who may not have been able to access care otherwise. By transcending the need to meet in an office, counselors are able to offer private, convenient, and accessible care that literally can meet a client wherever they're at. Additionally, I think the more we can work toward destigmatizing mental health, the fewer barriers people will need to overcome in order to pursue care. This means changing the public narrative around wellness, incorporating mental health into our studies and careers, and integrating discussions about mental health into our media.
“Some of my most rewarding work has been with clients who are committed to the process, understand that progress is not a straight line, interested in learning more about themselves, and motivated to build habits toward sustainable wellness.”