Throughout my life, I have had an interest in working with people as they address life’s challenges. While in high school, I volunteered at a local community helpline by providing supportive phone counseling. In my first career out of college as a design engineer, I used my ability to connect and collaborate with others to enable the success of our projects. My passion and interest in assisting others led me to start volunteering as a hotline counselor, hospital advocate, trainer and group facilitator at the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW), a local rape crisis and domestic violence center. This experience solidified my decision to leave my career as an engineer to pursue my Master in Social Welfare, which I received from UCLA in 1993. I then acquired my professional license in 1997.
My philosophy and approach in therapy stems from my early experience in using the empowerment model working with survivors of trauma. Much of my experience has been working in and with community agencies. I worked as an intern, volunteer, and staff at the LA Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center (now LA LGBT Center) in both the mental health and HIV programs, and then worked at AIDS Healthcare Foundation. I came full circle back to LACAAW to develop and head up the counseling program. I decided to start my private practice in 2001 to focus on working directly with individuals and couples.
Over the years, I have continued to stay connected to community-based organizations as a consultant and volunteer by providing training and clinical supervision for the Center for Pacific Asian Families, the LA Gay & Lesbian Center (now LA LGBT Center), Peace Over Violence (formerly LACAAW), and the Asian American Drug Abuse Program. Additionally, I served as an expert by providing a statewide training on the empowerment model for the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. I have also had the opportunity to serve as adjunct faculty in the Social Work Department of California State University, Northridge, teaching both field and academic classes to MSW students.