My life’s work is helping individuals and couples get better. I help couples restore their sense of togetherness by rediscovering their strengths as individuals, and their collective strength as a duo. And I help my individual clients to negotiate the sources of depression and anxiety, while moving them gently toward feeling a deeper sense of connection with their world.
My approach is strengths-based and solution-focused. My office is a safe space where my clients can openly share what is happening in their lives. It is a place where they—you—can look at problems without fear, and work toward resolving them meaningfully…and permanently.
It is my job to be your guide in this healing process. The questions I ask will help you to reframe your perspective on the obstacles in your life. I know that there is rarely a single perfect solution to these complicated issues, so my goal is to move you gently towards a healthy solution that will allow you to grow and evolve. To continue, and pick up where you left off.
How I Got Into This Field
My mother was a single mom and an amazing listener. She was a bartender and used that “platform” to help many of her customers. When she later became the manager, I continued to see her during her breaks and slow periods sitting down with a customer, listening to their stories. Neither one of us realized it at the time, but she was providing me with the foundation I’d need to become an extremely effective counselor: the delight in sharing in the lives of other people.
In high school, as many teenagers do, I struggled with the myriad of issues that we face in this society. As a teenager I was facing all of the pressures as well as temptations that a teen could face.
And I knew there were things that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing in my family. I was so fortunate that there were some informal counselors/mentors who took the time to listen, and help guide me through those difficult years. I could have ended up making some really huge mistakes with big implications. I told myself that I wanted to be that person to others.
I began to volunteer in the peer counseling club. I loved the work. When a teacher took me aside and told me I had a knack for counseling, and that I should consider it as a career choice, I was thrilled. I knew I had found my calling.
Twenty-five years later, this calling continues to define my purpose in life. As I have grown as a professional and an individual, I have leaned that asking for guidance in this complex and contradictory life is the wise thing to do. And helping others by sharing in these complexities and contradictions continues to bring me profound joy.
During my undergraduate years at UCLA, I was a teaching assistant for an interpersonal communications class, and an assistant for Asian American Psychology Research projects. I then moved on to San Francisco State University, where I completed two master’s degrees in two specializations of therapy while teaching at the University and at a local community outreach organization. Post-SFSU, I interned at three different schools, counseling youth and families from all backgrounds and socioeconomic levels.
In my private practice, I counsel couples and adult individuals from an extremely diverse range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. I am also an adjunct graduate professor at Western Seminary, helping to teach therapists in training. And I am frequently hired for speaking engagements.
My previous positions include:
BA, Psychology, Minor in Asian American Studies, UCLA, 1997
MS, Marriage and Family Therapy, SF State University, 2001
MS, School Counseling, SF State University, 2001
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (IMF 48711)
Clinical member: California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (CAMFT)
Lia is currently accepting new clients.
Contact me today for your free 20 minute consultation!