I feel privileged to be in the counseling room with my clients who are investing the courage to share their own stories and deepest emotions, and taking steps to make positive changes in their lives.
I have worked with international students, immigrants and locals in the multicultural city of Vancouver, Canada. My clients were children, adolescents, their parents and other adults with a wide variety of personal issues. Along with other ethical standards, I believe understanding and respecting the unique cultural and personal backgrounds of my clients is essential in developing effective therapeutic relationships with them. My own experience of being raised in two distinct cultures has helped increase my awareness of and respect toward individuals who come from different backgrounds, and who might be facing the challenges of adapting to a completely alien culture.
In terms of my therapeutic approach, my goal is to practice integrative counseling, which goes beyond eclectic counseling. I believe the most effective counseling demands openness and the flexibility to modify different strategies on the part of the therapist, which will fit the unique needs and the situation of the individual client. Having said that, the theories that resonate most closely with my therapeutic approach are person-centered and family systems. I value individuals as unique and believe that we are constantly choosing in spite of having embedded influences from our formative years. Some of the interventions I use – depending on the individual situation of the client – include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Existential Therapy and Art Therapy.
Although many clients might perceive my role as that of a ‘healer,’ I would like to think of my clients as “fellow travelers” instead of making distinctions between clients and therapists (Irvin D. Yalom).
I am one of those people who need a certain amount of sleep in order to function well the next day. According to my friends, I become a completely different person after 11pm, and I say things that do not make sense or are difficult to understand.
Whenever I bake healthy cookies or muffins, my family and friends have one bite, and only one bite… not because they don’t taste good, but because they are too healthy!
Our family has two lovely dogs named Cheolsu and Younghee.