What I Do (Therapy)
I specialize in working with people who are depressed and/or anxious. Such mood disorders may occur as a direct response to a traumatic experience, the accumulation of many stressful events, or be a lifelong experience.
Often I work with individuals who feel empty or stuck in their personal lives, and unsure of whom they are except how other people define them. I refer to this as an “identity disorder” typically developed by formative years spent defensively calibrating their day to day reactions to significant others who had the power to hurt, bully or shame them. These individuals often feel like a “fake” whose outward success (family, career) masks their internal unhappiness.
While I integrate aspects of other therapy orientations into our work as needed, my primary orientation is psychodynamic/psychoanalytic. One reason is that I work with many people whose thoughts/feelings/behaviors get in their own way and, although they recognize them as "the problem,"no amount of logic or advice seems to produce change. I help people with both their rational, logical side and the part of our minds which are less logical and rational and of which we are often unaware.
Many patients call me with a cultural inquiry. Although my last name is Asian, I am not. However, I married into an Asian family and have been immersed in the culture for 32 years. I am knowledgeable about many Asian cultures, and have a particular interest in working with 1st generation Asian-Americans who are sometimes “caught between cultures” trying to find their own personal formula for merging their Eastern and Western sensibilities and obligations.
I am also quite comfortable and well-grounded in a few areas that are less common than depression and anxiety and worth mentioning. These include people with psychotic disorders, people with Asperger’s disorder, and people with gender identity issues. I am also conversant in and respectful of issues that make me a GLBT-friendly therapist.
What I Do Not Do (Therapy)
Work with children and younger adolescents. My practice is now limited to older adolescents and adults. I can refer you to any of several excellent colleagues who work with this age group.
Primary substance abuse issues. I occasionally work with individuals who deal with substance abuse problems that are secondary to emotional issues (such as those who treat depression with alcohol). Should you need assistance in dealing with substance abuse, I will be happy to refer you to a colleague or to a treatment program.
Eating disorders. These problems require treatment by someone who specializes in them.
Forensic work, disability evaluations, child custody evaluations, or testimony as an expert witness. I will happily refer you to a colleague who works with these situations.
What I Do (Testing & Evaluation)
My scope of expertise falls mainly within psychiatric diagnostic testing, pediatric and adult ADHD, personality testing, memory testing, functional living skills, and disorders of childhood. I give many but by no means all forms of neuropsychological tests. I also administer intelligence and achievement tests, for individuals wishing to know more about their intellectual strengths and weaknesses, and their achievement to intellectual potential ratio.
Typically patients are referred to me by other health professionals, although I do accept self-referrals. Often the questions to be answered by the testing include:
This patient has a confusing array of symptoms—what is their diagnosis(ses)?
Is there a secondary diagnosis that has been missed that is responsible for the patient not progressing in therapy or medication treatment?
Why might this patient not be responsive to treatment or to medication?
Does this adult or child have ADHD or ADD?
Is this patient experiencing memory problems? If so, what kind?
Does this adult or child have an autism spectrum disorder?
Is this person able to live independently?
Specific differential diagnoses, such as:
§ Severe ADHD vs. Pediatric Bipolar
§ Bipolar vs. Borderline Personality Disorder
§ Asperger’s vs. Non-Verbal Learning Disorder
What I Do Not Do (Testing & Evaluation)
I do not perform forensic evaluations such as competency or diminished capacity.
I do not perform disability or worker’s comp evaluations.
I do not perform some specialized educational testing such as testing for dyslexia.
I no longer perform child custody evaluations.
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