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Asian Americans hold a unique place in society.
We are lucky that we’re able to enjoy all the benefits of living in America while still enjoying our Asian culture to the fullest. Asian Americans, in general, are really good at fitting in, assimilating, and becoming adaptable to the circumstances. And yet there is a keen awareness of differences in culture, communication styles hand outlook from our other-ethnic counterparts.
Many Asian Americans struggle with their self-image. They don’t feel that they’re fitting in a certain group. Some might feel that are not American enough, while others might feel that are not Asian enough. I get the feeling of sadness and loneliness you might feel because of all this.
Maybe you are looking for someone who can understand these differences.
Maybe it’s understanding the complex and complicated relationships we have with our parents. Maybe it’s understanding the intense pressure we have to achieve. Maybe it’s understanding the more indirect ways we communicate, and the differences in our culture.
If you’re looking for someone who can understand your unique ethnic perspective as an Asian American, while guiding you towards healing, I am the right person for you!
My counseling office is a safe space for you to process your thoughts and feelings. It is also a place where you will get guidance and learn tools to manage and overcome the depression or anxiety symptoms, to become yourself (or a better version of yourself) again.
I’ll listen to what you have to say carefully and will take a personal approach when it comes to dealing with your situation.
Many Years in the Field
When I did my program back in the 1990s, I was the only Asian person in my MFT program. I went to SF State which is very diverse, and yet there were very few of us studying counseling. This is no longer the case. However, I am proud to say that I have many years of counseling under my belt, that I started before many other Asian Americans came into the field, and that I continue to grow as a professional.
I am passionate about my work. I continue to study it, be engaged, and am excited to practice. I attend conferences and seminars and constantly research psychological papers, techniques, and methods. As a result, I feel this makes me effective. I was lucky enough to have found my passion at an early age.
Even though my family always encouraged me to take the “safe” route by studying business, I followed my dreams to study psychology, which I discovered in high school. I have never regretted this decision.
I am excited every day to see my clients and feel that my work is an adventure and a wonderful challenge. This will benefit you as a client. Who doesn’t want a therapist (or doctor, or teacher, etc.) who is genuinely passionate about what they do and excited to serve you?
I struggled with panic disorders and anxiety in the past. I also had two severe cases of postpartum anxiety and depression after giving birth to my daughters. I’ve been in your shoes! I understand the feelings that come with anxiety, the stigmas, and the isolation. I know what are you feeling which I believe is a great advantage when dealing with clients.
I can help you with your mental health calmly at your own pace.
I attended two wonderful schools for psychology (undergrad) and Marriage Family Therapy (graduate school). UCLA and SF State prepared me for the diverse populations that I would be working with through the years.
Both of those schools were fortunate to house some of the forerunners in Asian American psychology. I was lucky enough to work under some of them at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
I am worried about the stigma of psychotherapy.
Mental health treatment holds a stigma in American culture. It’s safe to say that in general, this stigma is exacerbated in Asian culture. Many of my Asian American clients have hidden the fact that they are going to counseling from their parents. Sometimes that stigma comes not from the parents but from our own views of counseling. Many feel weak or ashamed that of the fact that they cannot “deal” with their problems on their own. Some may feel like something is “wrong” with those who need counseling.
Nothing is further from the truth. Seeking treatment takes courage and maturity. Facing your problems and talking about them takes bravery. And for that, you have my eternal respect.
Changing long-held habits takes resilience and discipline. I don’t believe in “gritting one’s teeth” and keeping things inside. Research has shown time and time again, that reaching out and sharing issues in a safe space is the healthiest thing a person can do. Trying to hide your problems and pretend that they don’t exist, won’t actually make them disappear. In almost all of the cases, they might even get way worse.
I am afraid that you will judge me or make me feel ashamed.
I provide a safe space for you to process your problems. My goal for my clients is to leave feeling empowered. Every client has a story, a journey that they are going through and I am not in a place to judge. I see my role as a path-clearer to cut through the confusion you might be feeling. I also see my role as a guide to help you in the areas where you feel stuck.
Therapy is expensive and time-consuming
Like all things of value, we need to invest time and money into them. Your mental health and your relationships are no different.
Therapy won’t change my bad circumstances
One of my favorite quotes is “it’s not what happens to you but how you react that matters.” A negative situation is often an opportunity for growth. It might sound cheesy, but if you look for it you might be able to find something positive in almost any bad situation. However, oftentimes, in the midst of a crisis, we make reactive decisions and do more damage to ourselves. That is completely understandable, most of us don’t know how to cope with pain or grief.
This is why some people spiral out of control with drugs and alcohol, get into a toxic rebound relationship after a breakup, or spend hours and hours binge-watching on Netflix.
A lot of us may not have the life experience to know how to cope in healthy ways or a safe and wise person to process our feelings with.
Having a therapist can help ground you and help set a good path for how to move forward. You can turn your negative situation into something that helps grow you into a more mature, resilient and deeper person. Therapy can also help you build some healthy habits and behaviors when it comes to dealing with negative situations in the future.
You may be still debating whether or not to seek treatment. Give me a call, email, or text with any questions you have. I provide a free 20-minute consultation for you to ask any questions you’d like, or to just chat with me about what you’re going through. I’m here to help. Contact me today!
Learn about my Asian American Marriage Therapy services.
Learn about my Christian Asian American Counseling services.