Author: Yaji Category: Published: November 3, 2017
My decision to become a therapist came after a long and personal journey of searching, questioning, healing, and growth. Over the course of my process I found myself completely enthralled with the power of connection that awaits us in our relationships – how they move us, inspire us, change us. With time I decided that I wanted to make my work with people on a more intimate level a central part of my daily life, leading me to become a therapist. However, I feel what most prepared me for this profession is my own personal growth.
Like many of you I have faced struggles that I could not handle by myself. Despite my best efforts, life became very heavy, complicated, dark, confusing, scary, unnerving, and impossible to manage on my own. I went through life style, identity, relationship, and career changes one after another looking for anything that could cure what ailed me. My relationships suffered and I soon felt completely alienated from the world around me. As a result I began to feel almost estranged from my own true Self. My life is a living testament to the healing power of human relationships and psychotherapy as it has completely changed my world for the better by helping me restore clarity, balance, inner peace, and a sense of self within. I mention this because I have always felt that the best clinicians are those who have done their own therapeutic work. In other words, the best therapists are those who can talk the talk because they have walked the walk. I became a therapist because I am passionate about helping others achieve a healthier and more meaningful way of life in themselves and their relationships.
Originally from the east coast I received my BA from Syracuse University in Political Science before completing my MA in Clinical Psychology from Seattle University. I also completed training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 2015 from the Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute. I have clinical experience working with adolescents and adults in individual, couple, family, and group cases from my time as a psychotherapist at the Center for Human Services, an outpatient community mental health clinic in Shoreline, WA. Since moving to the SF Bay Area in 2013 I have gained a robust amount of skills from my work with foster care youth and their families with Stars Behavioral Health Group all throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. I have also been working in my own private practice in Berkeley since 2013 where I have had the pleasure of serving adolescents and adults in individual, couple, family, and group cases.
My primary areas of clinical focus are in three main areas: 1) adults who come from highly dysfunctional or toxic families of origin (i.e. they had highly narcissistic parents, parents with an addiction or mental illness, etc.), 2) relationship challenges (either with couples and families, or with individuals who can’t seem to get their loved ones to join them in therapy), and 3) trauma (i.e. physical, sexual, and emotional abuse). Other issues I am seasoned in treating are depression, anxiety, substance abuse, shame, grief, divorce, angst, and life transitions.
Education And Credentials:
- B.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University -2008
- M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Seattle University – 2013
- Trained in Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) from Andrew Leeds at the Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute -2015
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #98700) with the BBS in CA – 2017
- Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC #4008) with the BBS in CA -2017
- CAMFT member since 2013
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