I was born in China and spent the first 3.5 years of my life in an orphanage. I was adopted into an Italian-American family and came to America to grow up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I received my undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and went on to receive my graduate degree in Social Work from Dominican University. I moved to DeKalb in 2013 straight from graduation to begin my work in community mental health.
My clinical experience from the last 10 years has helped me learn about a lot of different therapy styles. I apply various theoretical orientations depending on the needs of the person I am treating. I have experience working in the juvenile justice system, community mental health, and foster care systems through DCFS.
I have had a lifelong passion to help youth and adolescents that struggle with family relationships and navigate the transition from being a child to growing into an adult. While working with adolescents and adults, I take on an attachment focus to understand how their attachment to their parents as a child impacts their ability to form relationships today.
I started my clinical career working with adults with severe and persistent mental illness to build independent living skills and help work through trauma and other stressors. My therapy style is direct and skills-based through using Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Attachment Therapy, and Solution-focused interventions. I have a diverse background in working with youth, adolescents, and adults on various issues such as depression, anxiety, family conflict, relationship conflict, suicidal ideations, self-harming, and other various behavioral concerns.
Building a trusting relationship in therapy is the foundation to making progress in treatment. I focus on compassion, validation, and acceptance throughout therapy to empower and encourage my clients to make the change in their life.