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Forest Trees




Before you continue, please take a moment here to honor the efforts, needs and intentions that brought you to this place.  No doubt, this is a significant step in your journey. 

First and foremost, my work with you will be collaborative at every level.  We will integrate your expertise about your life with my expertise at what I do, we will honor your values and therapy goals, we will listen to the wisdom of our different and similar life experiences, we will experience safety, care, warmth, acceptance and trust in this special therapeutic, human relationship we will develop, and we will work as a team.

How does psychotherapy work? There is an increasing consensus in this field that an individual's cognitive insight (thinking) alone is often insufficient to create transformational, lasting change.  In other words, in therapy we need to make room for a much broader range of client's experiences, including not just behaviors, thoughts and feelings but also memories, impulses, somatic tensions and sensations, missing experiences, core beliefs, etc., as well as client's relationships with family and others and the pertinent, multifaceted social, cultural and transgenerational factors.

The more chronically stressed and busy our daily life has become, the fewer opportunities there are for these layered and intricated experiences to be felt, let along processed, understood or expressed.  We are left with limited, truncated, fragmented experiences that, of course, don't "make sense" to us, don't feel satisfying, are conflicted, or aren't effective for our goals and needs.  It would also be challenging to relate to others from this place or to relate to others who are at their own version of these places.  Emotions don't get fully expressed or seen, words don't come or are misunderstood, conflicts are repetitive yet unproductive, and repairs are absent or incomplete.

Not to mention the past wounds we carry with us - whether it's our predisposed vulnerabilities and neurodiversities, family of origin traumas and multigenerational traumas, injuries from systemic issues such as race and inter-racial relationship, gender identity/orientation, immigration, socioeconomic injustice, and wars, or from accidents, illness, grief and loss, and the many different forms of just the wear and tear of living.

This is why my work with you seeks to be RELATIONAL, COMPASSIONATE, AND EXPERIENTIAL.  These qualities have shaped my therapeutic philosophy and helped me integrate and organize my in-depth trainings in multiple psychotherapy approaches and the many, many tools I have to help you.  They are also supported by and reflect the following three areas of psychotherapy research and wisdom: 

Systems Psychology explores and understands individual experiences in the relational context, from the different parts within a person to couple-hood, family system, community and larger societal and cultural contexts.  I also seek to understand these experiences in a client's developmental context and their multigenerational family history.  Some of the essential questions are: what identities/needs/roles do these different parts have? how do these different parts interact? what are some of the repetitive patterns? how have patterns maintained over time?


Luckily, unlike machines, a living organism - individuals or families or societies - has the innate drive and wisdom to re-organize toward self-healing and growth.

Attachment Theory is focused on the relationships and emotional bonds between people.  It holds that attachment needs are fundamental to our lifelong wellbeing, and no matter what your "attachment style" was/is, you have an innate capacity for and can learn to develop secure, healthy adult relationships.  In therapy, not only we will discover, identify and access a client's particular pattern of barriers to secure attachment but also make use of experiential opportunities to develop and practice secure attachment in the here and now.

Attachment theory and systems psychology collectively tell us that human beings are first and foremost relational beings and that our experiences are always relational, whether in the form of the pain of isolation, the joy of community, the numbness of cut-off parts or the confusion and conflict of fragmentation and relational discord.

Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy believes that a person can gain an understanding of themselves that is not just the conscious, intellectual knowledge, but is the awareness of the deeper self that includes beliefs, nervous system patterns, memories, images, emotions and attitudes about self and the world.  My goal as your therapist is to assist you in fulling experiencing the liveliness in all these dimensions, discovering and exploring such core material and transforming what was once adaptive and essential but is now self-limiting and maladaptive, to allow more freedom and satisfaction in life.  This work is based upon and guided by the Hakomi principles of mindfulness, organicity, non-violence, mind-body holism and relational unity.  As a Certified Hakomi Therapist (CHT), I seek opportunities to practice and embody these principles in my personal life, which is the only way for my authentic self to be present with you in our work together.  (Checkout some of my blogs on Hakomi)

Culture, Race and Ethnicity

My clients are a good representation of the cultural diversity in the SF Bay Area, where I live and work.  Cultural issues challenge more than just immigrants (new or old), minorities, or mix-racial families but ALL of us regardless of our own race or ethnicity.  My experience as an immigrant, having lived and worked in different cultures and places of the world, and my career development in and transition through multiple professional careers, all together, have cultivated my capacity for compassion, empathy and curiosity.  I genuinely seek to understand each individual, couple and family from multiple lens including family history, socioeconomic background, education, race and ethnicity, culture, gender identity and assumptions, and phase of life.  I offer sessions in Mandarin if that’s your preferred language of care and self-expression. 

"Great marriages aren’t about clear communication – they’re about small moments of attachment and intimacy."

John Gottman

"Listen to that part of you that can't think.  Perhaps it will tell you more about yourself."

- Greg Johanson and Ron Kurtz, in "Grace Unfolding: Psychotherapy in the Spirit of the Tao-te ching" (1991)

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