I was trained in the Humanistic Psychology tradition, which involves providing all clients with unconditional positive regard and treating them with dignity and respect. For some people, psychotherapy may be focused on finding short-term solutions to specific issues while for others it could be a lifelong commitment to personal growth and increased self-awareness. My role is to work collaboratively with clients in discovering inner truths and potentialities that may have been buried under a residue of unhealthy thinking styles and destructive habits. I often utilize cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, primarily aimed at assisting clients in identifying irrational thought patterns and replacing these with more rational, reality-grounded ways of thinking.
Drawing from an eclectic approach, I also use strategies and ideas from various other theoretical orientations; my approach is client-centered, so each client is a unique case with an individualized plan of treatment created together in our sessions. I am qualified to provide clients with education and coping skills related to stress management, crisis management, LGBTQ identity, boundary setting, expat adjustment, anxiety and depression, sleep issues/insomnia, addictions (including gambling, food, and internet overuse), substance abuse, relationship issues, work/life balance, anger management, self-esteem, time management, identification of triggers and self-destructive behaviours, and other such aspects of self-care that are essential to maintaining mental well-being.
I offer counselling and therapy to both individuals and couples and focus primarily on clients ranging from teenagers to adults.
Each month, I contribute an article to the Hong Kong Tatler. My article this month explores the psychological benefits of a chore many of us prefer to avoid or delay - cleaning and organizing: The Emotional Benefits of Spring Cleaning. If interested, you can read my other posts here.
Practicum and Training
Please note: The practice with which I am associated does not have internship opportunities currently or in the near future.
Areas of Focus
Teenagers in Hong Kong face many challenges and should be encouraged to seek out help if they are suffering from depression, anxiety, and/or stress. Many problems are related to their studies and school life. I maintain a relationship with several of the international schools in Hong Kong and have been invited as a speaker on various occasions. I work with ages ranging from around ten up through late adulthood. When appropriate, couples and/or family therapy may be incorporated into the treatment.
For younger children, I am happy to recommend trained psychologists who specialize in play therapy and child development.
LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer) affirmative therapy is a method of counseling that focuses on stressors specifically connected with those in the LGBTQ community.
While homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, significant clinical issues continue to exist and drive LGBTQ clients to therapists who often mean well but lack clear insight and empathy with the client. An LGBTQ therapist is not merely “gay-friendly” but is also knowledgeable about numerous clinical issues, such as:
Heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia
Sexual identity/gender confusion
Societal and personal stigma
Anxiety can range from mild everyday stress to a chronic state of unease and restlessness. This constant state of being “on edge” is also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. While a certain amount of anxiety is unavoidable in life, if the amount of stress outweighs one’s ability to cope with it, then this becomes an unmanageable condition causing undue distress in life. There are many treatments for anxiety, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), stress reduction, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness training.
Many people experience feelings of sadness and unhappiness as part of life’s normal routine. However, getting “stuck” in these emotions for months or even years can be a sign of clinical depression. Symptoms of depression include, but are not limited to:
Changes in appetite (eating more or less than usual)
Changes in sleep patterns
Persistent feelings of sadness
Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
General feeling of being discontent with life
Unable to experience joy or pleasure in activities
My approach to psychotherapy aims not merely at symptom management, but also at exploring the underlying issues and conflicts that contribute to depression. This approach focuses on the root causes of depression to help ensure lasting change and improvement in your quality of life.
My personal philosophy is that substance abuse and addiction are sometimes symptoms of underlying psychological distress. Chemical dependency can be linked to feelings such as inadequacy, low self-esteem, despair, and lack of fulfillment in life. Psychotherapy can assist clients in identifying what emotional needs are being met through the addiction so they can begin to find healthier ways of meeting those needs.
It is important to note that not all addictions are drug related. Addiction can also manifest itself through behaviors such as gambling, shopping, internet overuse, and sexual compulsions/impulsivity, to name just a few examples. Treatments can be tailored to treat the specific struggles of the individual.
Sometimes, clients will also need to be under psychiatric care if medication is required to decrease cravings and/or restore chemical balance in the brain.
Use the form below to contact me regarding your enquiry. You may also email or call me to make an appointment. If you are new to therapy, I am happy to offer more details about the process and our first meeting.