The most exciting thing about the counseling field is the opportunity it presents for personal growth-not only for our clients, but for ourselves as well. My hope, personally and professionally, is to treat all individuals with respect and compassion, and to value the complexities we all have because of our unique characteristics, family lives, and cultural contexts. I also have a personal and professional interest in social justice issues.
Born a U.S. citizen but raised outside the United States, I grew up with a sense of being both an insider and an outsider. As a child and teenager, I became fascinated with the civil rights and workers’ movements in the U.S. and the women's movement worldwide. These interests didn't fully take shape until I began college in my mid-twenties. I attended a women's college and became further invested in feminist theory and the issues affecting women across cultures. I received a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, supplemented by a certificate in gender studies, at the University of Southern California. I worked as a staff psychologist for a number of years prior to joining the faculty at CSUF in 2005.
I commute from Los Angeles and live with my husband, David, and our wonderful golden retriever, Woodrow. Walking and hiking are favorite pastimes, as well as travel, food, cooking, and being with friends.
Teaching in the counseling field is incredibly stimulating and has always been a growth process for me. I have equal interests in clinical work and research and so tend to teach both clinical classes (pre-practicum, beginning and advanced practicum, group, and the diagnosis and assessment class) and both of our research classes. My approach to teaching is rooted in humanism, social constructionism, and multiculturalism. I work to model humility, strength, humor, and good boundaries, and to provide an environment that is both challenging and supportive, one that encourages both compassion and critical thinking.
Due to my interest in women's issues, cultural issues, and feminist theory, as well as my clinical experience, much of my research has focused on eating disorders. I also have a passion for qualitative research. My most recent research has been about Asian American women who experience body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. A broader focus for me, however, is the manner in which gender and culture issues intersect. This includes exploring how ideas about "masculinity" and "femininity" affect the well-being of both men and women across cultures and sexual orientations. I am a co-founder (along with fellow faculty Matt Englar-Carlson and David Shepard) of the Center for Boys and Men: Research and Outreach here at CSUF. I also hold a three-year position at the Association for Women in Psychology, an organization that welcomes students, academics, and clinicians from all the mental health fields who are interested in feminism, multiculturalism, and gender issues.
I am a licensed psychologist and have worked in a variety of settings, predominantly with adults. Most recently I worked in the counseling center of a large university, doing individual and group therapy, community outreach and consultation, and supervision of practicum and intern trainees. My specialty is women's issues and eating disorders.