I provide evidence-based psychological services to clients, including counselling/psychotherapy and diagnostic assessment in both English and Mandarin. I also provide professional consultation and clinical suerpvision to fellow mental health professionals.
I am located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Currently, I only provide in-person services in the financial district of Downtown Toronto. I keep providing virtual services to all Ontarians.
Psychotherapy is a process in which the therapist and the client work together to improve clients’ mental health. It primarily takes the form of talking and usually involves practicing various techniques. My therapeutic approaches are mainly based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT) and Interpersonal process. Please know, I only provide individual therapy to adults.
As a Registered Psychologist, I can legally communicate a diagnosis. Diagnostic assessment involves an interview with an assessor who will ask questions about your symptoms and history. I conduct a semi-structured diagnostic interview to assess psychological disorders based on DSM-5 Criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association). You may also be asked to fill out some forms. This type of assessment is usually for treatment planning and determining eligibility for benefits.
Consultation is defined by the College of Psychologist of Ontario (CPO) as “the provision of information, within a relationship of professionals of relatively equal status, generally based upon a limited amount of information that offers a point of view that is not binding with respect to the subsequent professional behaviour of the recipient of the information.” If you, as a fellow mental health professional, think that my expertise can be helpful for your clinical work, feel free to contact me.
Clinical supervision is defined by the CPO as “an ongoing educational, evaluative and hierarchical relationship, where the supervisee is required to comply with the direction of the supervisor, and the supervisor is responsible for the actions of the supervisee.”
I follow an Integrative Developmental Model of supervision, and I actively seek feedback from my supervisees. If you are a psychologist-in-training who is seeking to be licensed, I can provide clinical supervision for your supervised practice year. Let’s talk more about the fit.
Psychotherapy is a process in which the therapist and the client work together to improve clients’ mental health. It primarily takes the form of talking and usually involves the practice of various techniques. My therapeutic approaches are mainly based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Interpersonal Process. Please know, I only provide individual therapy with adults, and I can’t prescribe medications.
During the first session, I usually ask you many questions to have a better understanding of your concerns. Most of the time, I will come up with an intervention plan at the end of the first session. Then, we need to discuss to make sure it meets your expectations. Throughout the entire therapy process, I will keep asking for your feedback on our sessions; the purpose is to ensure that we are on the same page and my work can constantly meet your goals.
Starting from the second session, we usually commence intervention. The three pillars of my therapy are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT) and Interpersonal Process. I will introduce a bit more about them as follows:
From the perspective of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), people’s experiences can be grouped into 5 elements: environment, thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and body sensations. Environment refers to the trigger of our experiences (i.e., what happened); sometimes, we can change it, and sometimes, we cannot. The other 4 elements are the responses to the trigger. Thoughts refer to our interpretation of what happened (i.e., trigger). Emotions mean our feelings about what happened. Behaviours are what we do about what happened, and body sensations are what our body feels after what happened. Those 5 elements interact with each other; when things go well, they function well. When things are not going well, they can become a vicious cycle. The more anxious/depressed you are, the more negatively you interpret things. Behaviorally, you may either do too much or too little. Physically, you may have intense body sensations, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle tension, etc. The purpose of CBT is to change how those 5 elements interact with each other by working on each element. Please go here to read more about CBT.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is another approach I utilize frequently. Sometimes even if people know that their thoughts are not reasonable, they can’t help feeling depressed/anxious/fearful etc. As a result, they usually get caught up with those negative feelings and spend much time fighting with them. Therefore, they often forget about doing meaningful things in their life. ACT aims at helping people explore what matters in their life, identify what gets in the way, develop strategies to solve problems, accept challenging experiences or reduce their power, and live fulfilling lives. That being said, living a meaningful life is the ultimate goal of ACT. Sometimes people can make it happen despite having challenges in their life. Please go here to read more about ACT.
Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT) is an approach I have been learning and applying for a long time. Most people come to therapy because they have negative emotions (e.g., depression, anxiety, anger, grief and loss, fear and phobia, guilt, etc.), and most seek strategies to manage their negative emotions in therapy. From EFT’s perspective, the first step in coping with negative emotions is understanding them. Emotions signal our unmet needs, telling us what is missing in our life. Therefore, we must first understand what emotions are trying to say to us. Then, we need to learn strategies to regulate negative emotions, as excessive negative emotions can cause troubles in our life. Third, we need to transform negative emotions by doing something to meet the unmet needs. Please go here to see a detailed description of how EFT works.
Psychotherapy occurs in the context of a professional relationship (we call it a therapeutic relationship). I strive to create an understanding, warm, non-judgmental, and empathic environment for my clients so that they feel safe to share their private experiences. Also, entering a professional relationship is an excellent opportunity for clients to get feedback from therapists on their way of interacting with people in general. This type of feedback may not be easily obtained in clients’ daily life.
Lastly, depending on our therapy goals, I usually ask you to do practices during and in between sessions. That being said, we won’t just talk about your concerns. Talking is extremely important, but sometimes it is not enough if you want to see more positive changes. You should expect to practice techniques and review them in our therapy.
Issues I help with include:
- Social Anxiety
- Emotional Disturbance (excessive emotions or emotional flatness)
- Health Anxiety (hypochondriac)
- Meaning of Life Issues
- Bipolar experiences
- Anger Management
- Chronic Pain
- Coping Skills
- Grief and loss
- Job/career Burnout
- Asian Mental Health
- Coping with physical illness
Self-referrals are welcome and do not require a formal referral from a doctor. I also accept referrals from other health care professionals.
Every session is 50 minutes in length. Short-term therapy usually lasts 4-24 sessions, and we typically meet on a weekly basis. However, it will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
As a regulated health professional, your confidentiality and privacy are protected. There are limits of confidentiality set by law, and we will review them in our first session.
My service is not covered by OHIP but are usually covered by most private extended health insurance plans or workplace benefits. Please consult your individual healthcare insurance plan to determine the extent of coverage provided.
As a Registered Psychologist, I can legally communicate a diagnosis. Diagnostic assessment can sometimes help you better understand your experiences and reassure you of your concerns. Oftentimes, third-party organizations or individuals (e.g., insurance companies, employers, etc.) request a diagnostic assessment to determine the eligibility of benefits (e.g., disability benefits, absence of leave/sick leave, workplace accommodation, etc.).
What the assessment process looks like:
Diagnostic assessment involves an interview with an assessor who will ask questions about your symptoms and history. I conduct a semi-structured diagnostic interview to assess for psychological disorders based on DSM-5 Criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association). You may also be asked to fill out some forms.
After the assessment, the assessor will discuss the results with you and complete the required paperwork.
Please know, I don’t provide ADHD assessments. Also, I don’t provide some specialized assessment services, such as Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) for disability benefits and custody and access assessments, etc.