I am a licensed clinical social worker with over 7 years of experience providing psychotherapy to adults, teens, and youth. Before starting my private practice, I worked as a clinician and clinical manager at a community-based mental health program in Oakland serving APIs (Asian Pacific Islanders) and immigrants and refugees from various parts of the world. In this setting, not only was I able to develop a high standard of clinical rigor in my work, but I found and grew a passion for mental health advocacy, outreach, and preventive education. I worked on several projects aimed at reducing mental health stigma among high-risk populations including Asian seniors, adults with severe mental illnesses, and my personal favorite, high school and college students.
I became interested in ethnic studies and the social work/mental health professions as a Sociology undergraduate student at the University of San Francisco, particularly after doing my senior field work placement at a residential substance abuse recovery program serving the API community. I went on to attain masters degrees in Asian American Studies and Social Welfare at UCLA. These two disciplines are grounded deeply in the pursuit of equality and social justice, and they continue to inform how I see the world and try to empower others to change and grow. While at UCLA, I researched the experiences of Filipinx Americans and wrote my master’s thesis on racial microaggressions experienced by Filipinx American youth in Hawaii, where I grew up. Simultaneously, I studied social work and did field placements at a program serving the homeless community in Los Angeles (my first year) and in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s School Mental Health Program (my second year). Additionally, I attained the Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC) which allows me to practice social work in California’s K-12 public schools.