“I’ve taken this mentality into my practice and hope to provide a safe space for my clients to understand that their goals might not be ideal to those in their circle, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be accomplished.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I have been in this field for 10+ years and it has been the most rewarding journey I’ve been on. I never expected to be a therapist but am glad I walked down this path. I have worked with people from all walks of life, mainly serving the underserved communities of New York City. I have worked with families in their homes, individuals and couples in a community mental health clinic, and those with severe and persistent mental illness in a state-operated facility. The opportunity to work with different populations allowed me to grow and be mindful of cultural diversity.
What should someone know about working with you?
Therapy is rewarding but can be hard, especially in the very beginning. The intake allows me to ask the “neverending questions” so that we can create a working plan to ensure your goals are met. Will this happen right away? No. Can your goals be accomplished? With hard work, anything is possible. Sessions with me will be tailored to what you need and progress will be measured by your reporting. Homework can be assigned, but this is not school and you will not be graded.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
As a social worker, I am required to complete 36 hours of continuing education every three years before I am allowed to renew my license. I take courses based on what my clients need, what is most prevalent in today’s society, what I find interesting, and what I require more learning in. Race, ethnicity, gender identity, and trauma are at the forefront of what I’m constantly striving to learn. As a first-generation Chinese-American, I am currently working hard to give the AAPI community a voice that has felt silenced, especially during the height of the pandemic.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
Being a first-generation Chinese-American, I have been told time and again who I should be, what I should do, and how to do it, but I broke glass ceilings before I knew it was a thing. I have never been one to just listen to the adults but instead, I followed my dreams, even if no one approved and it was scary. I’ve taken this mentality into my practice and hope to provide a safe space for my clients to understand that their goals might not be ideal to those in their circle, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be accomplished. As a minority, I understand the need to “do better” than the previous generation, but it is not easy if we are not empowered to do what inspires us the most.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
Telehealth has made therapy virtually (pun intended) easy to access. I was once asked about my privilege and I was confused. I am a minority woman, so what kind of privilege could I possibly have? Then I remembered how simple it was to find a therapist because of my health insurance and how easy it was to embrace therapy because I have a strong support system to eliminate the stigma of treatment. I am hoping with the ease of therapy and virtual sessions, I can provide that privilege for those who never felt comfortable seeking help, whether it’s because they’re afraid of going into a clinic, afraid of not having someone who looks like them on the other side, afraid of limited privacy, or afraid of not knowing what a healthy support system looks like.
“As a minority, I understand the need to “do better” than the previous generation, but it is not easy if we are not empowered to do what inspires us the most.”