I have over 12 years experience working in a variety of mental health settings. I received my bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Utah State University and went onto complete my Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. As a clinician in an evolving world, I value lifelong training and education. I am currently enrolled in the National Training Program at the National Institute of Psychotherapies (www.nipinst.org) in New York City, where I am endeavoring to complete a certificate in Contemporary Psychoanalysis. In 2014, I also completed my certificate in Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (www.spsi.org).
Prior to entering full-time private practice I spent 5 years at Asian Counseling and Referral Service (www.acrs.org) where I worked predominantly with the Filipino population of King County. Although I am not ethnically Filipino, I am fluent in the Tagalog (Filipino) language and have experience treating patients in my second language. After my work at ACRS I spent several years at Wellspring Family Services as a mental health therapist before transitioning into my current private practice.
I balance the academic year as a part-time lecturer in the University of Washington's Master of Social Work program. I find teaching to be a great marriage to my clinical work as it encourages constant study and reflection on my clinical identity. I value social work's unique examination of social justice and its importance in healing relationships.
I am licensed in Washington state as an (LICSW) Independent Clinical Social Worker (#LW 60233674).
I enjoy the study of family cultural dynamics, with an emphasis on individuals who identify as multi-racial and/or multi-ethnic. Many people who identify accordingly have an experience that is remarkably unique from their peers. Many of these clients share oppressive and isolating encounters that occur even within their own families. In our work together, the feelings that arise from these experiences will be respected and important. My priority will be to learn from you, and work together on strategies that are specific to your multi-racial identity and are culturally appropriate for you as an individual.
Within Lesbian, Gay, Trans*, Bisexual and Questioning communities I am well versed in conflicts of faith, bullying, trauma, self-esteem, family of origin issues and adolescence. Clients can expect that I will respect and affirm those identities, pronouns and descriptors that best match their self-described experience. I particularly enjoy working with the family members of LGBTQ persons--who often face their own unique journey.
Sex is an important topic of exploration in many psychotherapy treatments. I believe that folks who are either exploring or identify with various kink, poly, fetish, BDSM experiences are best served by a therapist who can prioritize de-shaming and understanding their uniqueness.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Questioning individuals; Other Kink/Relationship/Sexual Identities and Communities
areas of focus
I spent several years living in the Philippines and became fluent in Tagalog, and have some familiarity with Filipino culture and tradition. Although I am not ethnically Filipino, I have over 5 years experience treating clients in my second language.
I offer a voluntary space for those in places of privilege who seek to examine and dismantle their relationship to oppression. This conversation for many can feel a bit like staring into the sun. Rage, guilt, shame, and defensiveness can arise in these conversations and compel us to look away. In my experience, it's much easier to do this work when we are joined by a supportive person who can encourage patience and understanding.