About Me

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I’m a licensed psychologist currently practicing in the city of Pasadena in California. I specialize in the treatment of severe mental disorders, mood disorders, anxiety related disorders, substance abuse, addiction, and personality disorders. I also work at a state psychiatric facility serving patients who are severely mentally ill and criminally/civilly committed. As a staff psychologist there, I have been treating and evaluating patients with forensic issues of legal incompetency, insanity, mentally disordered offender, grave disability, conservatorship, violence, and sexual violence. Additionally, I have been offering training, seminars, and clinical supervision to practicum and internship trainees in the areas of landmark cases, multiculturalism, psychological assessment and treatment.

I obtained a master’s degree in forensic psychology and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the University of Denver in Colorado. I completed a pre-doctoral internship and postdoctoral training concentrating on forensic psychology at Patton State Hospital. My clinical experiences throughout my career encompass a  variety of populations and mental health issues. In addition to an inpatient facility, I have worked at various mental health settings, including community mental centers, corrections, and private sectors. As I’m originally from South Korea and personally I have been living with acculturation issues, cultural sensitivity and multiculturalism are of importance in my practice.

While I tend to think psycho-dynamically in my work, I am flexible and well-versed in the utilization of other clinical tools and frameworks, including: cognitive behavioral (CBT), dialectical behavioral (DBT), acceptance and commitment (ACT), mindfulness, and motivational interviewing (MI).

Philosophically, my view of human condition stems from a Zen concept of “suffering” and “transience of life.” I concur with its contention that suffering is an inescapable human condition, which is not a subject to overcome or quash rather to live with and is yet a basis for growth. Yet, without good enough inner strength and resiliency, we may feel defeated by life challenges and may ever erroneously think that suffering will never end or there seems no way out. In such moments, therapy can help broaden your perspective, get mobilized, and deepen understanding of yourself. In this journey, I see my role in therapy as a guide and a reflection of your affective experiences in the process of healing and furtherance of insight into your psychological difficulties and of self-understanding.