“I take a strengths-based and person-centered approach to working with my clients, and I believe in meeting you where you are in your journey.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
As an immigrant who grew up in China and moved to the US as a teen, I have been through many challenges related to understanding and finding my own identity. In this process, I became passionate about helping others do the same in order to live more fulfilling lives. I earned my bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology, earned my master’s degree in social work, and completed additional supervised training to provide clinical services. Thus far, I have provided comprehensive support and mental health services to adolescents and adults in psychiatric emergency rooms and outpatient settings throughout my career. I have refined my skills of guiding others to find their own identity and find their way in the world. Most recently, I have been working with a college-aged population and have learned that I am passionate about helping young adults explore possibilities, navigate uncertainties, and overcome challenges.
What should someone know about working with you?
First, I want to acknowledge that it takes tremendous courage and bravery to take the first step toward living a more authentic and fulfilling life. I take a strengths-based and person-centered approach to working with my clients, and I believe in meeting you where you are in your journey. The intake process consists of completing a standard intake questionnaire and discussing your current stressors and past events that have led you to me. We will have the opportunity to get to know each other to see if we are a good fit. After the intake session, we will discuss your immediate needs to develop a treatment plan by identifying obtainable goals. In working together, we will be exploring historical patterns and identifying unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that keep you stuck as well as strengthening your skills to handle and change outside stressors.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
As a bicultural immigrant woman, I am in tune with the way society, culture, and tradition shape and guide our understanding of the world. I have also seen firsthand how mental health is stigmatized within different cultures and realized I could help destigmatize mental health regardless of race, identity, values, and traditions. In my practice, I aim to learn more about your lived experience and challenges so that we can together decide what needs to change within yourself and what needs to change in the environment around you so that you may thrive. I believe that you already hold the answers within you and that my job is merely to help you uncover them and enact them, acting as a guide to your inner wisdom.
Have you done any research-based work that you found particularly exciting? How does it inform your practice today?
After graduating from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s in psychology, I was offered the opportunity to delve deeper into a research role at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. My curiosity and clinical interest in psychotic disorders (especially schizophrenia) led me to work in various treatment settings while doing clinical assessments and cognitive testing. My past clinical experiences allowed me to interact with people with severe psychiatric disorders, and I was struck by the low self-esteem, self-stigma, and self-defeating thoughts that impacted these individuals, which prevented them from performing up to their potential. These experiences gave me a realistic view of what continuing in mental health entails and made me confident that I would be a compassionate psychotherapist.
“In working together, we will be exploring historical patterns and identifying unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that keep you stuck as well as strengthening your skills to handle and change outside stressors.”