I love what I do as I find beauty in our ability to examine and transform our suffering. I particularly enjoy working with people have had to overcome marginalization and exclusion. For example, people with a disability or who are physically frail, immigrants, LGBTQ, people of color, and others who may be privileged and included in the larger society in many ways but feel a sense of exclusion within their family or other interpersonal relationships. I believe what we get from therapy depends on how well we use the process and put into practice what we learn. I work best with people who have the curiosity to try new things and the willingness to tolerate the discomfort that therapy is bound to stir up. My approach focuses on facilitating the understanding and awareness of the interconnection between the larger societal forces, the mind and body, and interpersonal relationships. Many of the people I have worked with have improved their relationships, decreased their physical and emotional tension, and increased their motivation and ability to follow through on goals that they set for themselves.
I practice yoga and Buddhist meditation, and I believe that these mindfulness practices enable me to be a more attuned clinician. Mindfulness in psychology refers to the ability to bring one’s complete attention and awareness to the present moment without judgment. It is a practice that I find invaluable in both my personal life and in my clinical work. I was born in Hong Kong, and am fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. My bicultural background and sensitivities have helped me appreciate diversity and have given me a greater understanding of how the nuances of different belief systems can impact oneself and one’s relationships. I believe that learning is a lifelong process and am constantly deepening my clinical skills through ongoing training.
I am a licensed clinical social worker in New York (License #078771), and California (License #80198). I hold a B.A. degree in Economics from U.C. Berkeley (1998), and an M.S. degree in Social Work from Columbia University (2006). I completed a four-year postgraduate training program in family therapy at the Ackerman Institute in 2012. The Ackerman approach is unlike “traditional” Freudian/psychoanalytic therapy approach. Instead of the focus being the individual’s psyche and psychopathology, it places emphasis on the individual or family’s strengths and resources, and the influences of the larger societal context.
Aside from therapy practice, I also teach family therapy at the Ackerman Institute, and as an adjunct lecturer NYU Silver School of Social Work. Prior to starting my private practice in 2011, I worked in a number of social service and medical settings, including oncology and outpatient mental health clinics. My CV is available here.