I am a licensed clinical social worker with 10 years of experience providing psychotherapy to adults, teens, and youth. My passion is supporting people to do important intergenerational healing work, integrating modalities of Internal Family Systems Therapy ("IFS," or "parts work"), somatic awareness and regulation, and trauma-informed, social justice-oriented care. I am a Filipinx person descended from immigrants who settled on the traditional lands of the Kānaka Maoli people (i.e., the islands known as the U.S. State of Hawai`i), an Asian American/AAPI, and mother. Many of those I work with share one or more of my identities.
Before (re)starting my solo practice, I worked for a year at a local group practice focused on providing perinatal and maternal mental health and IFS therapy. And during what feels like a lifetime ago, I was a clinician and clinical manager at a community-based mental health program in Oakland serving AAPIs 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 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.