What is trauma-informed therapy?
People think of natural disasters, wars, or accidents when we talk about trauma. However, many people come into my practice for the less well-known, but more pervasive type of trauma -- it is called Developmental, Childhood, or Complex Trauma.
People with complex trauma may be experiencing multiple medical problems, chronic sadness, anxiety, or difficulty developing close relationships. They may also be feeling removed from the world or from themselves.
In some way, these symptoms are our psyches and bodies protecting us from early dangers. They are adaptive strategies that once served us, for example when we were small and vulnerable.
Maybe these strategies (patterns) have become problematic in the context of our life today, now that we are adults and no longer in the same danger.
With curiosity, time, and self-compassion, we can get to know and adjust these unhelpful patterns, and pick up new and healthier ones.
Through our counseling, we will identify your symptoms, how they formed, when they get triggered, and the new alternatives you can adopt to experience greater freedom in your life.
What are the therapeutic modalities offered?
EMDR and IFS are very helpful for self-inquiry and trauma healing. They have somatic emphasis and can help us reintegrate fragmented parts of ourselves.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
helps a person identify and reframe disturbing memories in more adaptive ways. Once digested in this way, memories are reintegrated without the same emotional charges and they lose the type of hold they once have. It is especially helpful with single-incident traumas such as a car accident, but can also be used to process childhood and
IFS (Internal Family System)
honors the unique parts or sub-personalities inside of all of us. Some parts hold painful memories while other are forced into extreme roles to keep us from feeling hurts and remembering traumas. Untouched by time and events is the core of the person (Self) that can heal all of one's parts when accessed. IFS is also a helpful framework to do shadow and spiritual work. Intuitive drawing can be used.
Half-day Intensives are offered via secure video meetings.
Format will be a customized combination of IFS and/or EMDR.
These deep dive sessions work well to help you resolve a single key issue
that you are feeling at an impasse with.
Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation to see if this is a good fit for you.
Only Intensives are available at this time for new clients.
There are no openings currently for hourly individual counseling sessions for new clients
(updated Jan 18, 2022).
Thank you for your interest!
I was born in Hong Kong, immigrated to NYC at the age of 7, earned my Masters in Social Work at Hunter College NYC (1999), and a resident of San Francisco since 2000.
I'm certified in IFS (Internal Family System) therapy and have completed level 2 trainings for IFS and EMDR.
My clients would describe my approach as gentle, empathetic, and practical. There will be interaction, dialogue, and laughter. I will provide reflections and feedback when helpful.
One of my desires is to help people increase their self-awareness. It is in our awareness that we begin to have choices instead of acting out unconscious learned behavior that might no longer be helpful.
I would like to help clients take an holistic approach -- mind, body, spirit -- Can we examine how your thoughts affect you? What are your body sensations when we are talking about a specific experience? What does your intuition say?
"Working with Kim allowed me to move past some old blockages I had struggled to get past through techniques such as meditation and journaling. I feel more calm and centered within myself, and previous triggers don't affect me the same way. Most importantly, I feel more love for myself and enjoy closer relationships. I'm eternally grateful for Kim's support during my healing journey!" -AC (former client) “I never knew that a therapist like Kim existed until I found her. Each time I arrive to a session, she weaves together the magic of a variety of different healing modalities in such an intuitive, validating, and compassionate way, all the while supporting me wherever I’m at. I always leave a session feeling seen, heard, and completely held. Working with her has transformed the way I think about myself, my journey, and about our capacity to heal as human beings. Thank you, Kim!" -AP “I’ve been working with Kim since 2016. At the time, I was transitioning into a new phase in my career, working through the multiple challenges experienced when living as a “perfectionist in recovery,” and managing difficult relationships with my given family. My work with Kim has been most healing. She has helped me develop tools to not only accept my whole Self, but inspired me to appreciate and live into the totality of who I am. As a result, I live more authentically and grounded by a deeper sense of self-empowerment. I also practice more self-awareness, compassion, and understanding in my daily life. I feel very safe and trusting in Kim’s space because she is so thoughtful, heart/mindful, and empathetic. I especially appreciate her holistic approach and focus on IFS. Kim’s style is infused with compassion, patience, and depth. During our sessions, we also find time for humor, laughter, and joy. I’m always happy to refer Kim to those interested in deep inner work and healing for a benefit to themselves and others.” -JV (former client)