As a son of immigrant parents and raised in a culture that didn't discuss nor value treating mental health issues, it was my own experience and treatment of mental illness, along with my attempts to reconcile the multiple, conflicting parts of my identity, that became the primary impetus for entering into this profession. Prior to becoming a therapist, I spent a decade working for a large Silicon Valley tech company, seemingly successful and content on the exterior, but hiding a deep reservoir of pain and mental anguish. It was during this time that I started seeking therapy, and through that experience, discovered how to live with more authenticity and courage, along with learning valuable tools to improve and sustain my mental health. Since then I have had the privilege of working as a psychotherapist for diverse organizations such as AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, and Colors LGBTQ Youth Counseling Center. I received my Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in LGBTQ Affirmative Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles, a unique institution known for its inclusive and social justice-oriented curriculum.
Areas of Specializations
Many people identify with various racial, cultural, religious, spiritual, gender, and sexual identities. More often than not, these identities come into conflict due to their ideologies, and attempts to reconcile them can cause distress.
Minority stress refers to the stress that oppressed and stigmatized groups experience due to interpersonal, systemic, and historical prejudice and discrimination, as well as low socioeconomic status, and lack of healthy social support.
Being LGBTQ means you have received an overwhelming amount of overt and covert messages about the values of heteronormativity, as well as internalizing erroneous beliefs that being LGBTQ is inherently "wrong" or "sinful."
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are usually symptoms of unprocessed and unresolved distress that can either be situational or more chronic in nature as a result of the accrual of stress over time.
Many people will experience a form of trauma in their lives, and sometimes we aren't even conscious that we may have been exposed.
Adolescents growing up in today's world face enormous stressors and pressure, especially with the advent of social media.