Hi, I’m Khoa.
I provide a safe, neutral, and supportive counseling and therapy environment where you can enact the changes you desire to make in your life.
Do you feel tired? Tired of living a life you did not choose for yourself. Frustrated with the constant struggle of being misunderstood. Irritated when your emotions are being dismissed or minimized. Done with hearing about the “easy” solutions and endless advice that never seem to works.
I’ve been there, and that is why I do what I do. I don’t want the people I care for to suffer any longer. Working on yourself and exploring what needs to change and then getting the courage and internal commitment to change isn’t easy, but it can make your life better.
Seeing people have the courage to leave their pain behind so they live the life they were meant to live feeds my passion to help others change their lives.
MY APPROACH TO THERAPY
I believe that therapy can be beneficial to anyone and everyone who wants to change something in their lives or wants to learn more about themselves. I see myself as a helper.
Together, we will explore your thoughts and emotions, build insight, identify fresh perspectives, and try new behaviors to enact the change you desire. You dictate your journey, and I assist you in seeing different possibilities and paths to reach your goal.
Focusing around your needs and interests, I am open to using both evidence-based, scientifically researched approaches as well as new (or less traditional) methods to address obstacles. It’s all about what you will be most willing and able to do in real life that works the best.
You can make huge changes with your depression and anxiety with therapy, diet, exercise, and some other techniques I can teach you. If you are interested in adding supplements or other alternative care, I can share and connect you with those resources.
Some people have either tried medication in the past, or they think they are ready to try it now in combination with therapy. If that is where you are at, I will collaborate with a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner to help you explore medications that can best assist you.
HOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER IN COUPLES THERAPY
Committed romantic relationships require compromise and work. It’s not easy to jump through life’s hurdles with someone tethered to you. It can feel like your partner is holding you back, or maybe you feel like you’re holding your partner back. Sometimes it can even feel as if you’ve hit a wall in your relationship with nowhere to go.
Every couple has problems, personalities, values, and backgrounds completely unique to them. Most couples who work with me start out with very different views of their relationship. Often one person is on the brink of separation and the other, not. They feel stuck in a never ending cycle of negative or indifferent interactions.
All hope does not have to be lost from these difficult relationship obstacles. It is possible to change the negative or indifferent into neutral and even positive interactions.
Common Problems / Issues Addressed in Couples Therapy are:
- Challenging poor communication patterns. Learning to both listen and speak to your partner in a new way is, in my opinion, the quickest way to produce positive change in a relationship.
- Rekindling feelings of warmth and love. Especially with couples who have been together for a long time, it can be easy to lose the spark that was once there.
- Creating safety, security, and respect. In couples where a partner has cheated, there is a lot of instability that often goes unaddressed because it feels overwhelming. It does not have to be this way.
- Establishing each partner’s worth and responsibility. Relationships often feel imbalanced which leads to much resentment. It can help to have someone assist in addressing these imbalances with a more neutral eye.
Relationships can benefit from couples therapy at any point, whether brand new or not, and whether in turmoil or not. I believe the possibility of creating a positive, loving, and respectful relationship is always present. I’d love to help you and your partner take positive steps to a healthier and more secure relationship.
COUNSELING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: THEIR TRANSITIONAL YEARS
Being a parent is one of the most emotionally and physically taxing roles you may ever have in your life. There are endless parenting handbooks, articles, and people giving well-meaning advice, but where do you start, which approach should you try, and how do you do it?
I am here to help you figure out what will work best to address your child or adolescent’s issues.
Looking at each child’s and teen’s concerns as well as their chronological and emotional age helps me to decide how to design what type of therapy will be most helpful. The younger the child, the more time I spend with parents to help coach them in how to best intervene and support their child. When I provide therapy for teens and pre-teen counseling, parents may attend little to none of their child’s therapy session.
With younger children, most parents are want to address maladaptive or problematic behavior issues. I find that the most effective approach is to teach skills to both the child and the parents.
Parents have the most influence on their young child’s environment, and the more supportive the environment, the more effective the change for each child. Parents are also the ones who know their child best and can identify what is and isn’t working for their young child.
Pre-teens and teens are in the midst of transitioning between dependence to independence. With this in mind, I find allowing for the teen to have a supportive person and private and safe space to learn and explore more about themselves as a separate being from their parents is most beneficial.
Together, I will help your teen determine what they want, need, and how to make that happen for themselves. Most often, issues of depression and anxiety revolve around difficult and stressful relationships with friends, family, and those at school.
Teens look to therapy as a way to vent and figure out how they want to resolve their problems independently. The counseling relationship that I can develop with your teen would be one that is non-judgmental, fully accepting, safe, private, encouraging, and understanding.
INDIVIDUAL THERAPY FOR ADULTS: A HEALTHIER AND MORE CONTENT YOU
If you feel like people are always judging you or you have a lot of self-judgement and self-criticism that you want to change, I can help. Or, if maybe you feel like you are not enough or you could or should be doing something better, therapy can help.
Most adults come to therapy with low self-esteem, high stress, feelings of uncertainty, and often a combination of depression and anxiety. I create a space where adults can feel safe at opening up freely about difficult emotions, negative thoughts, and problematic behaviors.
Together, we explore what is standing in the way of you doing and living how you want to, why you are doing what you are doing, and what makes you stuck, and then we try different ways to address your problems. Sometimes, insight alone is helpful, but other times we need to change the way we think about a situation or change the way we are living our lives. Those can be difficult tasks, but I move at a pace where you will be the most comfortable and successful. We work together to determine what works for you that allows you to be your best.
MY PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY AS A THERAPIST
I’ve had supportive and instrumental people in my life help me become more self aware during a difficult time. Through their help, I learned, grew, changed, and felt so much better. Helping people to realize they, too, can get on the other side of the difficult issue they are facing is my one of my missions.
I was always attracted to the helping field, so I decided to help other people identify the change they need to make, enact the steps, and find the courage that will make it possible for them to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life.
In 2004, I started working in the mental health field. I have worked in psychiatric hospitals, emergency rooms, community agencies, schools, and a private practice. During those years, I worked with children and adults in individual therapy and provided group therapy, couples counseling and marriage therapy, as well as family therapy. My greatest passion has come from helping those who are in relationships overcome hurdles and reconnect on a deeper and more loving level.
- Client-Centered Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
- Gottman Couples Therapy
- Parent Education
- Positive Psychology
- Psychodynamic Therapy (Insight Oriented)
- Stress Reduction Techniques
- B.S. Psychology, Bradley University, Peoria, IL
- M.A. Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Illinois License #180.010755