“My role is not to change you or force growth, but instead to help you gain tools to meet the everyday demands of life, explore who you are, and get what you want out of life.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
As a child, I loved telling stories. I even thought I would make a living as a professional storyteller. What I discovered in adulthood was that my true passion was for individual narratives, as human beings are endlessly fascinating. When I discovered clinical social work, I realized my life’s purpose. It’s a privilege and an honor to get insight into individuals’ stories and life experiences. Also, coming from an immigrant family I saw firsthand how counselors helped my parents assimilate into American culture. Finding support and the right coping tools can change lives for the better. For me, there is no higher calling or more meaningful work.
What should someone know about working with you?
My approach to therapy is both dynamic and client-centered. This means our work together is grounded in your current challenges, life circumstances, and your goals for therapy—it’s a true partnership. My role is not to change you or force growth, but instead to help you gain tools to meet the everyday demands of life, explore who you are, and get what you want out of life. Experiencing hardships is part of the human condition—and the core of this partnership is to offer consistent support in a nonjudgmental environment.
What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?
For anyone who is hesitant to access therapy, I thank you for your bravery in even considering it. It’s expected and normal that you might question seeking therapy. Getting help is hard and therapy requires commitment, effort, and self-reflection. I ask you to consider what it would mean to have a dedicated time and space to discuss your current challenges with an objective, compassionate professional. The beauty of seeking support is that we don’t have to suffer in isolation and misery. We can choose to allow others to help us; that’s how we can thrive and survive. Everyone has a story, and I encourage you to share yours.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
While there clearly is still stigma surrounding mental health, I see a cultural shift wherein there is more public focus on mental health struggles. Counseling and therapy have become more mainstream. The real emotional burdens we experience in life have been the topic of media stories and national attention. I am excited and hopeful that this attention, if harnessed right, will lead to better access to health coverage and mental health services. We all understand that physical health is important, but so is mental health—and there will be times when life transitions may challenge our ability to adapt. We as a society have become more public with and understanding of these struggles. I think we’re heading in the right direction.
What is SoulCollage and how do you implement it into your practice?
SoulCollage is a method of self-discovery through the creation and analysis of collaged cards, developed by Seena B. Frost. It is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and I find this to be true. The process of using various images to create a collage can offer us an opportunity to explore emotions and thoughts we find hard to verbalize. I had the benefit of attending an in-depth training in California and became certified in 2018. Since my certification, I have been able to offer SoulCollage to grieving families in various workshops. It’s been an honor to both witness and facilitate the healing that this art-based therapy can offer.
“Everyone has a story, and I encourage you to share yours.”