“Because grace is a core value of my faith, I do not harp on your weaknesses and failures; I cultivate grace by encouraging re-dos and second chances.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
When I was 18, I went through the darkest, hopeless valley of my life but the patience of a few important people, their support for me, and my faith helped me get through what I thought was impossible. That sowed the desire in me to also be a comfort for those who are afflicted. After getting my license in counseling, there were families after families seeking my help with their adopted children from China. They didn’t know what help to ask for and I didn’t know what help to offer either until 2016. I finally became a practitioner in trust-based relational intervention (TBRI), which gave me the tools to help adoptive families, individuals, and couples understand themselves better and how they have been shaped by childhood. That neuroscientifically-based program has transformed many of my sessions, helping me dig further into one’s history before treating the symptoms.
What should someone know about working with you?
Everybody is different. Some people are looking for “band-aid sessions” where we have solution-focused, quick coping skill coaching sessions. Others may be looking for some deep-cut surgeries where healing comes after the pain of diving deep or peeling “an onion” with layers and layers of wounds. You decide where the destination is and I navigate through the journey with you. Oftentimes, counseling works outside of the counseling room throughout the week. Once a week (or more sometimes), you come in to be refueled, recharged, refreshed, renewed, or relaxed. Then, you take the courage, the coping skills, and some extra hope back to your battlefield, whether that’s your workplace, your home, your marriage, your ministry, or your mind. When you come back with discouraging or disheartening stories, I sit with you with compassion. When you come back with victorious stories, I celebrate your faithful work with you!
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
Because grace is a core value of my faith, I do not harp on your weaknesses and failures; I cultivate grace by encouraging re-dos and second chances. Because I have received grace and forgiveness myself, I try my best to communicate compassion and empathy through listening and understanding. I cultivate love and hope in my sessions by empowering individuals, couples, and families to explore underutilized resources, foster forgiveness and reconciliation, and connect with their inner compass. Having lived abroad for over a decade, being involved with international ministry for over five years, and traveling to over 10 countries, I have developed a special interest in helping parents who adopted children cross-culturally, military families in transitions, immigrants or children of immigrants navigating cultural differences, and individuals who are in life transitions in general.
Do I need to be a Christian to receive counseling from you?
Sometimes, people seek me specifically due to my spiritual background in seminary. You can rest assured that you do NOT need to have a faith background to work with me and, if you do, I will not replace your treatment with what your pastors or priests can offer. Only when YOU request spiritually-oriented therapy or talk about a spiritually-based experience will I bring up faith-related conversations.
What about counseling excites you the most?
Life transformation fuels my passion for the helping industry. When I get tired or discouraged after a long day of work, I recall the moments when a couple regains hope and reconciles after sessions of mutual effort, when a parent reports noticeable changes in their teen, when a new client hears about me because they saw the changes in someone else’s life after their therapy journey, or when a client reaches out to me years later and tells me what a different life they live now. I would not trade anything with the honor of bringing hope to the hopeless and walking the journey with those precious lives when they feel most alone.
“Because I have received grace and forgiveness myself, I try my best to communicate compassion and empathy through listening and understanding.”