Ms. Chai is an American psychotherapist licensed as an MFT in California.
Her therapeutic orientation is psychodynamic and client-centered and integrates expressive arts therapy, drama therapy, somatic psychology, and transpersonal psychology approaches.
She has addressed issues including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, aging, chronic illness, pain and stress management, cognitive disorders, and trauma. Her additional therapeutic interests include relationship issues, parenting, holistic health and wellness, identity issues, cultural adjustment, mindfulness, and spirituality.
She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at Harvard University and her master’s degree in counseling psychology with a concentration in drama therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She has worked for over ten years as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and learning about different cultures.
Key Concepts: psychodynamic, client-centered, expressive arts therapy, drama therapy, somatic psychology, transpersonal psychology, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, aging, chronic illness, pain and stress management, cognitive disorders, trauma, relationship issues, parenting, holistic health and wellness, identity issues, cultural adjustment, mindfulness, spirituality, psychotherapist, clinical supervisor
o Expressive Arts Therapy: similar to art therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy is a form of therapy that allows a client to express themselves in ways that are difficult to do verbally through art. Contrary to art therapy, however, Expressive Arts Therapy typically uses various different artistic and creative mediums rather than focusing on one.
o Drama Therapy: a type of therapy that uses drama to express thoughts and feelings in both physical and verbal embodiments. Drama therapy may allow the individual to detach from the emotions they feel and experience them in a way that may be difficult in traditional talk therapy.
o Somatic Psychology: an approach that combines traditional psychotherapy practices with physical therapy practices, placing a focus on the mind-body connection. Clients are encouraged to notice physical feelings and changes that arise during traditional talk therapy. Other forms of physical activation such as breathing techniques, meditation, and various different exercises may also be used.
o Transpersonal Psychology: a type of therapy that incorporates spirituality and encourages healing through spiritual awareness. The goal of transpersonal psychology is to increase self-awareness and explore different realms of consciousness that we can reach in order to comprehensively review our health (not just limited to mental health).
o Mindfulness: a set of practices based in meditation that centers on bringing attention to the present moment, independent of both the past and the future. The goal is to become aware of thoughts as they arise but not attach judgement to them—noticing thoughts in this way may help reduce anxiety and stress surrounding them.
o Spirituality: a belief of something existing that is greater than the individual themselves. For some, spirituality exists in the form of religion and a higher power, but for others, spirituality can be anything that allows an individual to find meaning, purpose, and peace in life. Spirituality may be addressed in therapy in order to allow the individual to feel connected with themselves and find calm.
Illustrations by Kento Iida