“The journey of self-discovery, self-exploration, and healing is by no means easy or quick but it’s one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I’ve always been fascinated by our mental and emotional world; the human psyche is so complex. Although mental health was not spoken about within the different communities I belonged to growing up, I had a gnawing sense that labeling someone as ‘“lazy”, “selfish”, or “attention-seeking” was simply not enough. I wanted to understand others and how they came to be. When I became a therapist, this passion solidified; I witnessed the changes and possibilities clients experience as they grow to understand themselves on a deeper level. There is so much more to everyone, you included, if you are willing to do the work and look within. The journey of self-discovery, self-exploration, and healing is by no means easy or quick but it’s one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.
What should someone know about working with you?
Therapy is a long-term investment in yourself and your self-care. Even though there are no quick fixes or easy answers when it comes to healing, people can experience growth and development as they work through past traumas. Successful professionals struggling with high-functioning anxiety and depression can finally move toward clarity and fulfillment in their inner world. If you’re curious about yourself, want to grow, and want to deepen your self-awareness, let’s talk. With training in contemporary psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapy, I am here to gently guide you at your pace toward overcoming what ails you. We will work together to deepen your understanding of the recurring ways in which you feel stuck as well as how past painful experiences may still live on in the present. Through this process, you can begin to find relief, discover new perspectives, and come up with ways to create a more fulfilling and authentic life.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I believe in providing quality therapy to you and pursuing postgraduate training is a critical part of that. Currently, I am involved in a four-year contemporary psychoanalytic training program. This is an extensive level of training that allows me to address the full complexity of your human experience. I focus on deepening your self-understanding of emotional issues and conflicts that impact significant events and relationships in your life. In addition, I value diversity and am involved in continuing education about integrating multicultural perspectives. As an Asian American therapist, I am sensitive to the ways our genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, personal and family immigration histories, religions, and body sizes can shape our inner thoughts and emotional life. Sometimes, our psychological issues have some history in inherited pain or intergenerational trauma. Together, we can work through these experiences to help you develop a more cohesive sense of self.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I value freedom and believe that boxes can be confining. This includes the box of a medical model diagnosis. Don’t get me wrong — a diagnosis is a helpful way to conceptualize different issues. It allows us to relate to others who might have similar challenges and it’s of course needed for insurance. At the same time, it can also be reductive and doesn’t account for the full complexity and individuality of each person. How does this shape my approach to therapy? I will want to explore the nuances of your struggles and the specific patterns you get stuck in. You can expect that our journey won’t be linear and that there is no set formula. I also value clarity and self-awareness. Clarity is developed through the process of looking deep within and gaining insight into who you are, who you want to be, and the factors that shape your life and decisions. With clarity comes new possibilities, directions, and the freedom to move through life in the ways that you truly desire.
What would you say to someone who wonders, "Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems. I’ve gone through so much but also achieved so much without it."
Sometimes, this question comes up when we have a complicated relationship with depending on others. Maybe you’ve been let down and had no choice but to rely on yourself. Maybe when you did rely on others, you felt like a burden or indebted to them. Whatever it may be, let’s think through it together. Hesitance about therapy is a natural part of the process. Your achievements are a sign of your strengths and resilience, but your considering therapy may also be a part of your intuition sensing that despite all the external success, there is something that needs to be addressed internally. Whatever you are experiencing is there for a reason and ignoring it may feel better in the moment but isn’t necessarily helpful in the long-term. You may not be sure what that is but that’s okay; we can figure it out together! Through the process of therapy, you can begin to understand the meaning of your difficulties so that you can take responsibility for moving forward in the present.
“We will work together to deepen your understanding of the recurring ways in which you feel stuck as well as how past painful experiences may still live on in the present.”