Hello and welcome to the thoughtful counselor, a podcast dedicated to bringing you innovative and evidence based counseling and mental health content designed to enhance your life. Whether you're a clinician, supervisor, educator, or a person wanting to learn more about the counseling process, we are here to demystify mental health through conversations with a wide range of counseling professional powerhouses. In each episode, you'll learn about current issues in the field, new science, and real life lessons learned from the therapy room. Thank you for joining us on our journey through the wide world of counseling. There's a lot to explore here. So sit back, take a deep breath. And let's get started.
All right. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the thoughtful counselor Podcast. I'm super excited to have Dr. Andy che here today. And we're just gonna get into a bunch of different stuff. I first met Andy at an APA conference. And I feel like we've been friends ever since then. So it's like, at least been eight years. So like a while. Yeah. So when we were like baby children, and we were like, had big hopes and dreams of maybe getting PhDs one day. And now we're both doctors, and we're supposed to have it figured out. But I don't think that's true. So we're going to talk about what that looks like. Today in this episode. So let's just kick off with Who are you tell us a little bit about yourself, and some of the things that you've been up to lately?
Yeah, well, they said, um, thank you so much for having me on your podcast, I was really glad to reconnect with you recently over now, x and Twitter, whatever that whole space is right now. And but yeah, so I am a practicing licensed psychologist, I am an assistant faculty at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, I work at the counseling center there. So basically, like you can understand me as a kind of clinical faculty sort of individual. There, I do direct services for university students, psychological services, you know, therapy, group therapy, you know, career counseling, and assessment, crisis interventions, etc. outreach as well. The other two roles that I have is I do continue to do some research, you know, mostly collaboration, interested in, you know, Asian American psychology broadly, but just you know, racialized folks in general in the mental health in those communities. And, and third, I am the coordinator of practicum training there. And so I run the psychotherapy practicum, which is basically like an external practice or psychology of folks who are familiar with the training model that we have. So generally, second, third year graduate students who are learning to conduct psychotherapy of all kinds. And of course, we emphasize, you know, you'd emerging adults at University College Counseling setting. So it is a pretty, various role, I guess. And then, outside of that, I have a private practice that I operate. So yeah, that's a bit of my current activities.
Yes. Which is a lot of things just like bringing that to teaching. So let's just jump in first with why college counseling.
Yeah, I think I don't have like a straight answer to that, you know, but the thing that occurs to me is, you know, the answer that occurs to me, I'm just gonna just go into because my brain just goes in, like different directions, and I don't know where it's gonna go. But, you know, the thing that occurs to me is, I feel like, especially as counseling psychology trainees, you know, we're exposed to a lot of different training models and opportunities, right. And so, like, a lot of us, you know, we have been, I'll use myself as an example. You know, we've done University College Counseling, we've done inpatient, outpatient psychiatry, we've done community mental health, you know, career counseling, just all sorts of stuff. Right. And, and I think what stands out is I had meaningful training experiences across all those settings, but I think the UCC is really stand out in terms of like, kind of exceptionally positive experiences. So when I was at UC Santa Barbara, I had a great time at the University Counseling practicum that I had, which was actually the last sort of thing that I did when I was in school. You know, I was like a super senior, whatever kind of graduate student you know, I was there for an extra year, although extra versus like, Can eventually time, and that's like a whole nother debate, right. But, you know, I had a really good time at the University Counseling Center had a very meaningful set of training cases, I had good supervision. And then that continued during my internship, which is also at a University Counseling Center. So I actually matched at my current site, which is University of Hawaii. And, and I think both in terms of the, the clinical, like professional aspects of actually doing the work, and then the instill and kind of positive impression of working in that setting, I think drove me or kind of motivated me to continue in that direction. And so looking back, it taught me that it's not only the specific tasks and things that you're doing in a particular subspecialty of psychology, right, but it's also like, do you like the people that you're working with, you know, do you feel valued and the labor that you're, you know, contributing to you just, you know, it doesn't feel congruent with your sense of, of that identification or values as a professional. So I think for me, like UCCS, initially, kind of, you know, drew me in all those regards, you know, and so, so it was much more it was also, in addition to the clinical aspect, it was also vocational, I suppose, right.
Yeah, I really liked that you talked about, like how impressionable our practicum experiences are. And I often tell my master's students, this who are kind of like in this generalized, like, overview of counseling or like psychology of, like, your degree is, like, my whole goal is to train you as a generalist. And like you actually have to decide what population you want to work with. And too often I find, especially psychology students going like into a pic process processes is they're just like, Oh, I just want to get out of the way. But I'm just like, This is your opportunity to figure out if like, this is actually the population you want to work with this is the community you want to work with long term and not having that experience or like be intentional in that placement process, can actually make you feel more loss coming out of it, or feel like you're not, like, quote, unquote, accomplished or like, you didn't do what you needed to do? And so it sounds like you've maybe had that experience, it's like, Okay, I've had positive experiences here. But this is also a population I want to work with.
Yes, yeah, there's a couple of kind of additional aspects of that, because I did imagine a little working in higher ed, you know, sort of down the road. And so in terms of getting more clinical familiarity, or just general kind of psychosocial familiarity with that population, and also just working in that setting, you know, as a, you know, as an employee, you know, was, you know, definitely a motivation. I do absolutely agree. I think, I mean, I, we were, I was told this, and I knew this conceptually, but looking back, I am made so much more aware about how pivotal internship and postdoc if you do one can be in terms of shaping kind of your entree into, like, you know, like early career psychologists live, you know, because the kinds of people that you're engaging with the work that you're doing the skills that you develop, and hone in on and kind of, I guess, sort of sharpen or sort of, and the niche that you begin to develop them, it is largely shaped by where you are at, you know, and, and it's, and I'm, you know, in terms of graduation on, you know, several years out at this point, but, you know, I do appreciate that now, just like the intentionality that we do need to take into account, you know, because, you know, it could just be you could consider it just to be like a capstone sort of project, or just something you're getting out of the way, or you just want a match because you want to graduate and, and that's not uncommon, you know, I think, but I do notice that now, like how so much of like, my thinking as a professional is shaped by and that kind of, like, in a way, like a PhD, like critical adolescence period of like, fully kind of emerging as like a grown adult, you know, at the age of like, wherever, whatever age that we end up being, you know, like in biological terms, and so, so, yeah.
Yeah, this weekend, I was talking to a friend of my Melanie Barney and she said something similar, like, as a Master's student of like, learning about mental health from a different lens more as a practitioner really did. Almost like, send us back to these days of like being teenagers and just like figure out our lives, realizing that as a person you have so much to offer and you bring so much to the table in that's why you're in this profession. But at the same time, just like all was like being blindsided but all the like social issues you just didn't think about, or just like the intersectionality of who you are, like what your life is. And it made me think about something you said earlier of this, like, imaginary timeframe of graduation of, like, Oh, I was a year behind, or like I graduated a year early, or whatever that looks like. And I'm finding more and more. And this is very true for myself, I took an extra two years to graduate is that folks I know who had the privilege, and I will call it a privilege to spend some extra time in their programs came out just a little different, like not not fully more mature, but a little bit more clear on their future pathway, because they kind of teased out some of those unknown questions in that extra time spent in their grad program.
Yeah, well, and just even during the pandemic, and just all the vocational and career related conversations we've been having as a country, and also in psychology, too. Yeah, I have become like an ardent believer that there really is like, time truly is a construct me and like, and I've actually been reading, you know, here and there, now that we have, like, aliens that are missed, or whatever, you know, just, that's, you know, but, and I was reading this article that was written by an astrophysicist. And they were talking about, like, the new developments with like, the Hubble telescope, and like, being able to detect like, more, we're able to see more into, like, outer space, right. And they were talking about how, like, time, as you know, it is truly like a construct of convenience, you know, and there's really no, like, like, empirically, I don't know what the right terminology might be, but like, no, true uniform, like, standard of time, you know, but we have constructed one because we need it. Right. And, and I have come to really support that view, especially during the pandemic, because I think we, we are always seeking out rules and regulations, you know, and those rules and regulations also, like, kind of double as conditions of work, you know, like, you know, I had to apply to the fellowship multiple times before I got it, or I spent on quote, unquote, extra year to graduate, you know, or I took a year off, you know, and we don't pause to ask ourselves like, well, what are we doing during that time? You know, and is it truly a, like a break off? Or is it truly time off? Is it truly like, extra years? Or maybe that's just like your, your package of graduate school, that's like, your timeline, or that's your sort of journey? And, and I think, especially for me, like being socialized, and like, I mean, for me, at the risk of stereotyping myself, like, you know, kind of Asian immigrant background, you know, where there was very much like, kind of, I think, a fear base kind of assimilation is pressure, you know, like, we don't know what we're doing here. We don't speak English, you don't have that much, many resources. Why don't we look at like, what all the people at the top are doing and emulate that as much as possible, because we're scared, you know, we don't want to be deported. We don't want to be, you know, ostracized, we don't want to be punished, you know, we don't want to be, you know, left hanging and drying. And so, you know, do all the things to the tee, you know, according to these conventions, you know, and I think that was one of the major lessons that I learned in grad school was to be able to embrace my own timeline. And as much more empowering, I have to say, you know, because I think part of the reason why a lot of graduate students experience a kind of stuck in adolescence is because there's something inherently infantilizing about graduate school where, on one hand, you are kind of well underway in your emerging adulthood where most folks developmentally speaking, are exercising more competence, autonomy, you know, the, your, you know, engage and pursuits personally or professionally, that are more aligned with your interests, and like also cultivating kind of a tangible sort of, what do you call it? Like, you know, means of living, right. But when when you're in school, then you're kind of back to almost like the structure of like, k 12. You know, we're like, there's rules to follow, there's a curriculum, it's quite standardized, and those are you know, not bad things per se, you know, but I do think there is sort of like almost like an instilled regression, you know, where we're kind of back and it's like when you like, grow up, but then you go away for a while and then you come back home and there's like that transitional kind of space where you're like, Am I like an adult or am I just a child and this family you know, and and I think there is that kind of vibe and I depending on how Oh, dear graduate school context kind of works with that I think it can be positive or not so positive, actually, you know, in terms of really cultivating that autonomy, right. And so I feel like I'm going on a tangent, but I that's one thing that occurs to me is just the importance of having your own timeline. And I think really cultivating your own condition of approval. You know, and I think and this also relates to some social justice issues, also for want of a better term, you know, because I'm, I'm always wary of anything that feels like hegemony, you know, just like it has that kind of like, hegemonic vibe of like, Oh, if I don't do that, I'm less than, like, I'm always sort of, like, kind of watching out for those vibes, you know, and when the vibe is off, right, it's like this is not giving. And I think timeline ends up being I don't know why we're in a rush, you know, like, we have aliens coming through, like, what on earth is boiling? Like, I'm like, What are we what are you rushing to? You know, and so, I mean, I get that people want to get going, you know, but, yeah, yeah,
I definitely don't think this is a tension at all, because for me, it just feels so connected. And especially when I think about working like on a college campus, or even as an academic, right, it's like, it's such a hotbed of social change, and social disruption, which can be fantastic, but can also leave a lot of folks like, not in the right vibe, or just like kind of going off or finding themselves in circles that maybe they don't fully agree with, like what's happening, like all of these different things. And as you're talking, I was really thinking about, like you said, like this idea of, like, apply multiple times to a fellowship, like that totally was me, like I had to apply multiple times to beat become an MFP. And then kind of like, a few weeks ago, realizing that one of my favorite mentors and Black Psychologists who folks know worldwide and is always cited, and there's like, consider this powerhouse never wasn't MFP, like, didn't get an MFP fellowship. And I was just like, What a weird, like, just inaccurate measurements that like, being a fellow equal success, like most fellows absolutely are completely outstanding. But there's lots of folks we know who the assumption is that they are fellows are, the assumptions is that they did this like, quote, unquote, traditional timeline towards becoming who they are today, to really find out, like, if you have a little closer or like, really asked, like, a vulnerable question, it would really disrupt everything we think about them from the outside. Because of this, like political narrative about what success looks like, like, you had to do it back to back year to year, like you only do to the timeline that is like culturally acceptable. But really realizing like, all of those things are actually really built on structures and ideas that actually have never supported the majority minority globally to begin with. So it's like, we're taking a very dominant white perspective, to a cultural lens, and you said it perfectly of like, like, how do we become the people are at, like, at the top by like, being as close to them as possible, and like, trying to be like them, but then realizing over and over, like, that actually doesn't support the work we want to do, or the communities that we are the people we actually are. And
oftentimes it doesn't work, you know, because you're just not in a position to be able to, like what those, I guess, kind of idealized models of living are supported by like access to resources and privileges, that we're not able to, you know, we're not able to apprehend a lot of the time, you know, and, and that was my experience in graduate school to where, you know, the majority of my, you know, friends and colleagues who are coming from, you know, similar backgrounds as yours and mine, you know, they were first gen or there are, you know, racialized folks, you know, women of color queer folks, a combination of, you know, some or all of the above, you know, and I just noticed that, like most of us had just more demands on our time and energy, we're supporting families with there's other obligations in our communities that we have. We're obviously trying to handle the excess burden of racial, you know, racism related, and, you know, minority stress, you know, that it kind of manifests in just various forms, you know. And the other thing I was talking to a friend of mine about Stephanie Mendes, you know, who's a psychologist, and woman of color, she's in the LA area. One of the things that we were talking about is, how are we supposed to respond to a circumstance or maybe, in some ways, like, we're ahead of the curve when it comes to, let's say, competencies, you know, in, you know, as a PE defines it, you know, when it comes to maybe like areas of strengths and talents that we've been able to cultivate, just by sheer virtue of surviving oppression, you know, and also just the talents and maybe gifts that people bring that, in many ways, were recruited for those exact reasons, you know, but then, you know, then those have to, but then we feel as though, you know, like, our merits, you know, are only kind of valued and deemed worthy, you know, if we permit ourselves to be subordinated to whatever other interests of like, let's say, the system or folks or war in power, and kind of so other kind of other, like us motivations, then kind of cultivating ourselves as scholars or, you know, clinicians, right. And so, all those are very stressful. I mean, it's really, there's a lot of wear and tear, you know, and, like, allostatic load, and like, racial battle fatigue, they're not metaphors is what I've learned, you know, it's like, they're not like, these, like nice terms that psychologists, you know, we kind of developed to like, concretely and concisely to, and it's like, you know, and, and I, I mean, speaking of kind of, like, other kind of conditions of approval, too, you know, I, I think this is also during the pandemic. And I see I'm seeing it also more now, during this like tech kind of layoff that we're seeing. And so I have a number of colleagues and, you know, folks in my network who are like Asian creatives, you know, like creatives and like, techies, and whatever, right. And a lot of them are getting laid off, you know, and, and the story that I've been hearing is, goes something like as follows, you know, where, you know, they sort of took on that kind of, they really sort of drank from the well the Kool Aid of model minority, you know, we're gonna just, we're going to be the good kids on the playground and follow all the rules and be a teacher's pet, you know, to all the authority figures of like the white supremacist, hetero patriarchal society that we live in, right. And I'm gonna get like this nice kind of well paying tech job, you know, it's respectable in my community, you know, there's, you know, presumably, especially for a lot of us, millennials were like, you know, we grew up with the tech boom, right, especially, you know, with, like, social media. And with the layoffs, you know, I'm hearing a lot of like, those, like, pre midlife crises that we were just talking about where they're, like, I am made aware, in ways that I can't articulate how much of myself I was sacrificing, and I have no idea how to deal with those feelings. Because like, the rug is being pulled completely underneath my feet, you know, and it's like, the social contract of like, oh, like, as an Asian immigrant, I'm doing all this I'm, and there's a distinction that I have to make between sacrificing time and resources and sacrificing yourself. Right? I have sacrificed a lot on myself, you know, and my personal values and interests, you know, my autonomy, my values, you know, my sense of integrity or kind of identity in exchange, you know, for x y&z and that's been taken away. And so then I don't know what I'm doing with myself. Right. And, and it really reminded me of, I can't think of the exact quote, but you know, Audrey Lorde talks about how it's so important for us to have, you know, Masters tools, you know, like, we like, we're not going to, like, we're not going to solve the problem by going into the lab going in and participating in the problem. You know, and, and I talked to folks about how it's so important to have your own independence, kind of, kind of internal sort of condition of approval, and how risky it is so hard that, I guess, outsource to like a system outside of you. And we're seduced all the time, you know, like, by, you know, it could be academia, it could be, you know, corporations, it could be, you know, whatever, but there's something that feels so crucial about having your own, like, internal sense of worthiness that is not reliant on kind of the sort of gold stars that you get, you know, by any sort of, like other kind of, you know, system outside of you. And that's the one thing that really kind of strikes home for me right now, you know, is, you know, whether you're a graduate student or in academia or industry, like, it's, I guess, it's a kind of double consciousness also nothing a metaphor, right? Like, you have to have your own like, personal consciousness of like, where you draw your sense of worth and esteem that, of course, hopefully can be consonant with like the work that you do, because I do think it's important for us to feel valued and be valued in our workplaces and all that stuff, right. But at the same time, like, do we have like a pretty robust sort of like internal sort of reinforcement mechanism that is relatively ended? pendant or a separate from, you know, whatever work that we're doing for you know, in or for a particular purpose or particular system?
Yes, as you're talking as thekey, especially with the audit log, like I couldn't stop thinking about, like the Supreme Court decision and affirmative action of just like, the fact that, like, here's something that supports, like, all global my minority majority cut like communities, but it's like the folks that went after the hardest were Asian American identity, like, right, like, Oh, let me back up Asian Canadian, like, right, because you need to make sure that people understand the nuances in that. And one of my favorite, like, Twitter slash x people, whatever, like, whatever it's called, by the time this episode comes out, Kayla Lacey, she talked about, like, what Audrey Lorde was talking about, but also like Octavia Butler, and these other like, forward leaning black women of like, don't let like, Don't get distracted. Yeah, and like, don't, don't then say like, don't let them like them set you up for them to be, like black Americans versus Asian Americans, or like indigenous Americans, like, don't let the disruption in the conversation then be like, within the majority minority community, like instead, like, really, this is an opportunity for us to come together and like talk to folks like, like, I don't know what it's like to not be in a tech space. But I know what it's like to not ever fulfill this like, like model minority framework. And like, we could talk about that all day, like, I know what it's like to always be the brand face in the room, or folks or lay, trying like putting me against other people. I'm just like, we're not going to do that, right. And so also just the power of knowledge, but also making sure that you're actively processing enough to not let people like plant a seed of doubt in you that you then look across at someone who looks exactly like you and you're like, let's go, like, you're like you're finding the wrong person. You're finding the right community. Yeah.
And that's the other thing I have learned through graduate school, but also, like, in my early career life, like how important like my community has been, you know, in reminding because I think, I mean, seeking a forward thinking black woman, I think about, you know, Bell Hooks who said that none of us are all we all have a price point, you know, of selling out, you know, and I really appreciated her mentioning that, you know, where she's like, let's be honest, you know, like, all of us can be bought, you know, it doesn't matter what and when, and how much, right. And I when I think about like my engagement with like, my friends, and folks who are in the academy who are in higher ed, we're outside higher ed, there's something about like, we can't do it, isolation, you know, and when I'm, you know, interacting with my, you know, community in those regards, you know, it kind of brings me back to okay, like, This feels good. You know, and these are relationships, where I'm valued more in my, like, human qualities and factors, you know, like, am I treating people accordingly? You know, am I demonstrating kindness and reciprocity? You know, do I celebrate, and, like, appreciate people's talents and strengths and like, and really, really kind of are there to cheer them on, as they, you know, when and also take ELLs and that kind of stuff, right? And because I think that the affirmative action stuff, one of really aggravating parts for me is like, it really, it's really surprising to me, and maybe I'm putting it mildly, that, like, it was shown that a lot of these, like, so called prestigious institutions are racist ly discriminating against Asian people and Asian applicants. But every everyone forgot about that, including the folks who are involved in the lawsuits against affirmative action. And, and there's like this false kind of conflation between anti Asian racism, which was shown to be the case and affirmative action. You know, and that's been really frustrating to me, because actually, a lot of Asian Americans had benefited from affirmative action, right? Most in California, for example, like most Asian Americans are actually like, there's a lot of Asian folks are going to community colleges and like state schools, you know, and like how states and and so that's been like a really kind of aggravating aspect of that is there's like, there's something really kind of bizarre happening where, like, somehow the acknowledgement of the racialization of Asian Americans In the anti Asian racism that's found to be there somehow that's subsumed into, like, supporting white supremacy like that, that it just happened so quickly. And I, I'm still trying to like, sort of percolate, you know, and, and there's, there's a, there's a critical race and form a kind of legal article that was written a while back by Kent, Mari Matsuda, who is a law professor, and she is she the law professor at our law school here, and the title is called, we will not be used, and I was reminded of that kind of message, you know, because, you know, I think for a lot of Asian us, Asian Americans, we've been fighting for visibility, and kind of anti erasure of all kinds for, like, the 200 years that we've been here, right. And as soon as we have, like, definitive legal sort of determination that, you know, like, people are using the model minority myth to discriminate against Asian Americans and make our lives miserable, you know, because, I mean, if you think about, like, even like the Bay Area, like suicide clusters, we had a number of years back, and just like, the mental health impact of what structurally implemented model minority myth looks like, you know, it's like, people just completely forgotten, you know, and it's like, all anti affirmative action, you know, and, and so I think, you know, I feel like, again, like, if you don't, if you're not supportive, and cultivating your own voice, and your own kind of clear vision for where you stand, I think you're really susceptible to just being picked up and used, you know, like, in various ways, you know, and, and there is that kind of, like, everything I have has to be mediated through an authority figure that is above me. And for a lot of folks in this country in including Asian Americans, the perception is that a black a white sis had male, kind of idealized figure, you know, and I think in some ways, we're seeing that in the affirmative action sort of debacle, you know, and so, so, yeah, that's like a whole nother kind of can of worms, but I guess it really comes down to like, do you know, yourself? You know, and do you have? I don't know what the right term is, but are, do you have a structure in place that allows you to value and love yourself, you know, outside of subordination and submission, you know, and, and what comes up, when you tend to divest yourself from those things, you know, like, do you feel betrayed, you know, do you feel like you've been working toward the wrong things, you know, do you feel like you're lost in terms of identity diffusion, because you're like, I've been devoting myself to a lot of things that I now am recognizing to be directly harmful to me. You know, like, what do I do with that, you know, like, how do people react when I when I start switching gears, you know, like, do people fall off does other people come through and so that is, that's a perspective that I do try to bring to my work actually, you know, not in like, a, an agenda driven way, because I do very much believe in like client autonomy, you know, but that is a critical sort of angle that I do bring in terms of the distress that a lot of my clients who are from the Asian diaspora experience, you know, and I think this is a good time, you know, like, during this last five years, where, you know, with, we went from, like, invisible kind of in the back quiet minority to yellow peril to, like, model minority to now like perpetual foreigner, again, with like, the whole, like, sign up bogus stuff that's happening. And so, in the span of three to four years, like we're just going, we're on this merry go round that we just need to get off of me, like, we just didn't want to get off of the simulation, you know?
Yeah, it's, it's such a, for me, it's just so telling, especially because I have been just honored to have so many like Asian American friends and sit in a lot of community with them. Of the almost like, the lies we tell ourselves in proximity to anti blackness of like, you're competing with black folks for these college positions, but that's just like, not the case. Right? Like, you're all like competing within your group. And like, it just so happens that because of all this, like anti Asian sentiment, the bar in your group is outrageous, that like of the 80% that apply, only 2% actually get in and so it's really this like, frustrating because it feels so invisible. But I often tell folks, right like, affirmative action benefits white women more than anyone else and so, like the failure of the policy, like seeing that policy removed, then actually sends us back to like this Ronald Reagan, like male white sis idea like heterosexual as well. Like what's up You're clear about what it's like. And then puts up barriers where there were expecting universities to have an intentionality that the they can't actually have or possess because they're run by folks. Right? Who don't have that intentionality either. It'll be very interesting to see how things change, but especially think about something that my my friend, Romero have said to me this weekend of like, the changing environment of College Counseling, like, yes, how it used to be this, like super cushy job where like, you didn't have to see a bunch of clients. And like only students who were like, really having a hard time came in. Yeah. And now and something he said that just sticks with me is he said, now that we've had a reduction in mental health stigma, our numbers have skyrocketed. And at the same time, universities aren't supporting the staff, enough, or there aren't enough staff. And so the expectation to carry that mental health, like agenda at the college level has become so overburden, that burnout is happening in the students coming, but then also in the folks supporting those students.
Yeah, that is definitely a trend that I'm also seeing and observing here and elsewhere. You know, where, you know, it's funny, because when I was training, I felt like we were on the cusp of, especially for a lot of the younger folks kind of moving beyond mental health stigma, bit by bit, you know, I still do see that, especially among students of color, you know, because there's other dynamics that keep that in place, you know, and also, a lot of our students are recent immigrants, too, you know, so they're, I mean, obviously, it goes without saying that, you know, racialized groups are not a monolith, you know, in any sense of the word. Right. And, you know, but what I found really interesting is, I feel that, or I have seen students be much more open about having previous therapy experience and having not so good therapy experiences, right. So this kind of implicates, of course, you know, the various, you know, kind of tech conglomerate corporate sort of superstructure like mental health, app driven sort of services. I am here, hearing that people are having mixed experiences with that. Some folks, they find it useful. Other folks, they have found it very kind of unhelpful in many regards, in terms of let's say, like, consistent access to services or availability of counselors, availability of counselors that they feel can work competently with their particular identity configuration or issues. I do notice, yeah, I think there being more of a demand, you know, where there are days where like a UCC, like Counseling Center office feels like a psych er, you know, and, and I think the kind of the, the concurrent support hasn't been there, either. You know, I have to say, and I hear this from, like, so many colleagues from so many different institutions where, you know, they're, I think, especially coming out of the pandemic, you know, there's, I think, a, like a spoken kind of understanding of mental health issues and how important they are, and kind of the university's wish to like holistically support some development. But when it comes to actually kind of put money where that institutional mouth is, you know, things kind of disappear, or the conversation kind of goes left somehow. And so I do hear a lot of folks struggling, and I think it's concerning in many regards. Because, like, I'm not an economist, but I have opinions about economy, let's put economists as a field of study, let me put it that way. Right. But, I mean, I have economist friends and former roommates that I get along with, and I like and respect, but I have personal beliefs and views about at least American economics as a discipline and a field of study and and as an ideology. Right, but I'm getting, that's a tangent. Like, we know that austerity doesn't work. You know, we know austerity is self defeating. You know, because you contract resources, you ask people to do more with less. And I think the other thing that a lot of folks don't understand, and I think psychologists are where I think we are doing a lot better and advocating for this kind of specific aspect of our work is that is that our work isn't like a 40 hour job. Like, you know, sort of engaging in that emotional and intellectual level to really kind of hold and carry and facilitate someone else's sort of survival, growth and development and healing. Is not this coming into a job and like clocking in hours, it just doesn't work like that. It's not like other I mean, other jobs and other kinds of work, have their own sort of brand kind of energy that's involved, right or labor that's involved, but you know, we don't operate ate like another kind of 4030 hour a week job, you know, but I think a lot of institutions and administration they want to, they're not mental health professionals so that I don't think they had that understanding, often cases are an oftentimes. And so then staff start leaving, you know, to for private practice or for group practices or for other, you know, they kind of either they quiet quit, or they resign great resignation, you know, and they move into settings where, you know, they feel like, they're able to kind of practice a kind of work life balance that first of all, allows them to do the competent work, they want to do a psychologist, right. But B also is more aligned with their values and their priorities in terms of like starting families or, you know, you know, residing in a location that is more suitable to your community. Or you just like the everyday picture of life that you want to have, you know, which I think, you know, a lot of us, you know, have had a hard time, you know, fighting for those things, you know, that, you know, we want to is like Intel, mostly, like, we need to be, well, if we're gonna be fighting for liberation, you know, if we're miserable, burnt out, unhappy, resentful, and then we want to fight for all the opposite of those things. There's something about that picture that doesn't work, you know, so. And so I don't know what's going to happen, you know, with UCCS, across this country, because I'm hearing it all over the place, you know, and the folks who are holding down the fort, you know, like, I have mad respect for those folks, you know, and I should count myself among them. Yeah. Yeah, I, I don't really, you know, I think it's, you know, it's sort of we don't know what might happen, right? And so yeah,
and I in for me, what stands out as you're talking is just like the dying of student services. And and I come from services, like I come from a higher ed administration. And so it's, there's just so much attack on, like, our student services worth it, should we have a student service fee, blah, blah. But then at the same time, they're like, Why are students dropping out? Why are Why are suicidality so high? Like, Why are students like taking nine years to finish, and then just also, all of those questions with the lack of understanding that as long as, like federal student loan debt is so out of control, that's, like, you, we are putting our students in debt, therefore making your mental health even worse, like not just in college, but after. And so I very much feel like you, like I, every day, am grateful for the privilege to just be in grad school where all of my students are masters students, and they're actively deciding to come back for a skill. But more and more I'm like, how the US does undergraduate leads to change. I don't know what that looks like yet. But I very much think about that in terms of students services, but also mental health as well. Like, it's the expectation that students can go through K through 12, without any mental health services, and we'll fix it in undergrad and then they'll like graduate to be successful just isn't
MCs already. Automatic model. Yes. Yeah, what and the other thing too, is, I think there's a failure to recognize or kind of maintain a stiff, some sort of like, understanding because, like, the more I mean, ultimately, you're right, like, the students are the ones that flounder and are affected by most and you know, in many instances, but if you think about it, like, now, administration has more work to do, because they have more students in crisis, and they have no idea what to do with them, right? Professors have more work to do, because now students are dropping out, they're not doing their assignments, you know, they have more crises and personal issues. And so then now the professors are stressed out. Right. And so I think the, there is like a ripple effect in terms of the crucial role of mental health and Student Development Services, right, because it really kind of is cultivating kind of, and I think it's also a trend away from like, the liberal arts spirit that we say a university is built on. It's not simply like, checking off a bunch of classes isn't my personal value, I should say, you know, and especially like, having been a, I guess, a loyal adherence to public education. That's where I come from, you know, it's like, for me, it was never about checking off boxes to kind of get classes on my transcript, but more like how do I develop myself as a, again, like poor thinking autonomously sort of conscious individual who can apprehend and make decisions on my own accord to the best of my ability, you know, and also in ways that benefit not only, you know, my own kind of like goals and values, but also the community that I'm part of. Right. And I think like there is this kind of like, oh, student services are not derived from that intention, but more like it's like a add on our bone. was like a luxury, you know? And so I guess we'll see, you know, I mean, we can do the best we can, you know, and, you know, I do appreciate and like respect folks who you know, decide to leave and to decide to, you know, kind of, you know, to do otherwise, you know, because I, it's sort of a rock and a hard place, right? Because on one hand, yes, we need all hands on deck, but on the other hand, you know, individuals taking on more and violating their own boundaries, you know, is not the solution, you know, and so it's just, it is what it is at the end of the day.
Yeah, so something that remember, Romero have said, asked me, this past weekend that I'm gonna ask you, since we're having this very just in depth conversation. So given all the school like the K through 12, the masters, the PhD, the postdoc, and then now that you're in this college counseling setting, doing all of this work, was it worth it? Hmm.
You know, the answer that comes up as yes, you know, because I you know, I appreciate this question, because it's also and also actually kind of consistent with the stream of our conversation today. It, it's making me think about the intangible benefits, but pleasures of having been able to acquire this level of education and training, you know, and so, when I came to this country, 23 years ago, and I think I'm coming to that anniversary, pretty soon, actually, it'll be pretty soon by the time this podcast comes out, you know, because I, I think I came through to the US, like November of 2000. And so it's been 23 years, right. And when I think back to the child I was then I could have never imagined the sense of like, consciousness, critical consciousness and a sense of, like, personal freedom and joy and beauty that I'm able, that I've been able to cultivate in my life. And I don't attribute that solely to like professional psychology, education and training, but it was a part of it, in terms of facilitating access to not only psychological literature, but kind of where I kind of do more of my work, which is a critical psych, you know, critical race, you know, that more kind of liberation psychology paradigms, you know, of course, were like, black feminist scholarship is of course, included in that camp, right? I could have never imagined as like a preteen, the the sense of kind of vitality that I would have now, you know, and so that's what comes to mind in terms of those intangible sort of, I guess, blessings that I feel like I've been able to kind of cultivate, and sort of, you know, establish and really bring into my life, you know, if the past 23 years, I do appreciate many aspects of my work, you know, I do identify with counseling psychologist identity in terms of the spy, the aspirational values of our profession, and our distant division, you know, and I love that I'm able to, you know, interact and be in community with folks like you and others who like, just are able to, like, experience the world and be present in our kind of, in our existence with just more depth and complexity, you know, I just find that so meaningful and fruitful, and it just it substantiates my lived experience in ways that is so enjoyable, you know, just being able to really like, like, think into things, you know, and like, a sink into our understanding of what's going on, and really kind of identifying the kind of personal and collective meanings that are that really saturate our lives, you know, if we're able to look for it, right and find it. I love the work that I do in terms of, you know, supporting, you know, folks who come from my communities are similar, really find their own way, you know, find their own kind of, I say, like, their own brand of freedom and beauty in their lives, you know, like, I find that so inspirational and, and, you know, I want to see people when, you know, and not unlike that kind of racial capitalist problematic way, but just in terms of like, because I don't think there's so much space for us to have more positivity and, you know, self love and community love and like meaningful productivity in our, in our world, you know, and so I do appreciate that and being able to facilitate that through like the clinical work that I do the training, you know, education, which, you know, obviously is like a, you know, core area that you've been working in, the scholarship that I do, and the If I may say, like all the fuckery of like having to that we deal with and like institutional settings, you know, for us to do that work, I think pales in comparison, if I'm able to kind of remind myself regularly of like the these kind of this side of the work, you know, kind of the truly kind of intrinsically rewarding and fulfilling and rejuvenating parts of the work, because otherwise, it can be really draining, you know, and there's barriers left and right, you know, there's lots of issues and there's higher education is very problematic. You know, it really is, you know, and professional psychology, I think we have been making a lot of strides, you know, but it remains, you know, befuddled by a lot of problems, you know, especially when it comes to social inequity and performativity, and so on and so forth. Right. And so, what I mean, it for me, it has it a boundary setting intervention for myself in terms of really being able to bring myself back to what is the greater mission for myself and the work that I'm doing that I need to focus on for me to keep moving forward? Because I think there's, it's like a strength based perspective, I guess, in a sense, you know, for one of a better term, because if I think it's important to be able to apprehend and identify and critically analyze problems, right, but there's no end, you know, there's no end to what we can critique and break down and to, you know, sort of unpack and I do think that it's harder to build and to break down, you know, and so I try to have a balanced perspective and always lean more towards building, you know, because that's what helps me to kind of keep moving forward, you know, and do the work that I do so. So yeah. I don't know if that's answering the question. But yeah,
that was perfect. Yeah. It really just highlighted how important it is to give yourself grace, as you yourself, are growing and changing and adjusting to the systems that you're in, even though, like, and I think about my own experience, like I've been in academia since, like, undergraduate, like 2003 point, yeah, very much date myself.
It's been a hot mess, right? It's been so great. Like what
that's like 20 years, I've been in academia 20 years. And so throughout each and every phase of that academic journey, I've changed so much, even if the academic system hasn't changed much at all, right? And so as you're talking, and I told Dr. Hofstede, something similar of, like, it's very much worth it to me, because I've grown into the autonomy I have today, that lets me sit in the discomfort, without that discomfort disrupting, like my core, like, it only adds to who I am as a person, it only adds to who I am as a clinician and a scholar. And so, yeah, I think I think it's, it's, for me the question of, you know, like, is it worth it? Or was it worth it is so dependent on my process of making sure that I checked the resentment in checks, yeah, fatigue and checks, just frustration, because that is always there throughout our journeys. But when those things start to define the journey, then it's time to maybe like, relook at if this is the same path you should stay on? Yes.
And I really love that reframe daystop? Because it, it really is, the question really is, was I worth it? And am I worth it? You know, and as my own liberation of freedom and education, expanded potential worth it, and I think there's maybe the message is like, almost like recentering kind of our locus of control and focus and devotion from institution and authority to, like, person and community. You know, because if, if I answered the question that way, then in some way, the answer, it's much clearer, you know, where, yes, there were lots of problems, you know, kind of in my academic trajectory, I mean, there's the whole, like, I could have whole Netflix series, you know, and it because looking back, you know, some of them are actually just very funny, you know, just like, I mean, I, I'm not going to go into it now, you know, but like, there's, you know, there's no end to just the barriers and just the absurdity that we encounter, and oftentimes, like, you sort of walk back from a building or a meeting, and you're like, Is this real life? You know, like, Am I really, you know, and but what if the question is, well, I have a vision in mind, and this can support me in getting there when there's a higher education. And I also want to say, for a lot of people, higher education is not the appropriate approach or is not the right approach, you know, the right kind of enlisted kind of experience or resource or kind of, you know, life commitment, you know, that gets them where they want to go. So, I mean, higher ed and like advanced education is one sort of modality, you know, for, you know, the goals that folks have, right. I don't think that is the only or even the best in a lot of cases. You know, but for me, you know, it definitely was it helped me to move forward and the direction that I want to go and in terms of my own sense of freedom and awareness, and, you know, skill building and the work that I want to do and the life that I want to live, right, and so I appreciate that reframe. Yeah.
Yeah. So as we're mixing it up, I'm gonna switch to three questions. We talked about this past Tuesday, which really, like shook me up. And then I obviously had to ask my friends this weekend, like, here's some questions. Let's get into it. So the first one is, what are major lessons you took away from the pandemic?
Yes. Oh, hi. Yeah. I have to say, and I don't know, if we do I know, people have different opinions about trigger warnings, you know, but I don't think this maybe meets that bar. Quite. It is about that. Right. So I don't think it's fully derived from this, but I did have a number of family losses during the pandemic that was not directly related to like the actual disease, you know, but, you know, I had grandparents who are, you know, just growing in year. Right. And, and I'm thinking of two grandparents in particular, who, on my maternal side, and I have freedom fighters on both sides of my family. Right. So they were, you know, colonial subjects on their Imperial Japan, right, they were freedom fighters, you know, I have torture survivors, you know, due to civil disobedience and my family, and, you know, folks who harbor revolutionaries, you know, folks who were doing mutual aid to support, like artists and creatives to be able to continue maintaining kind of Korean cultural practices during a time of repression and genocide and all those kinds of things. Right. And so, when my grandparents passed away in succession, you know, I was sort of reflecting on that legacy in my family. Right. And, and I think about again, like to Well, I mean, I love Audrey Lorde. So I'm always like, kind of drawing from her work, you know, and I have to say, again, at a certain point, I realized that girl is not writing poem, she is describing facts, you know, is she's an empirical describer of facts. Right. And, and her litany of survival, she talks about how we were not meant to survive. And, and that message has been striking me and I've done a deeper level recently, because I can think of so many people in my family who are not meant to survive, but did and I'm here now. Right? And, and so during the pandemic, I was in luck. I'm not, it's like a combination of being really feeling kind of pretty grounded, but also like a quiet sense of urgency, not in a desperate sense, but more in like a mobilized sense, right. Where I don't know how much time I have, I don't know, when's the last time I'm going to see somebody or do something, you know, and I have some, I have a lot of personal existential responsibility to ensure that I'm waking up and going to bed every day. feeling as though I live in accordance with my personal truth, which of course embodies like, my values, the love that I have with my, you know, loved ones, and community and myself, and there's something that the pandemic I think, has helped me to really kind of hone in, and it just feels much more like laser sharp now. Like, like, my priorities, and my goal, and like, my assignment is like, very explicit. You know, and, and there is something that has made my lived experience a little bit more intense, or even more than it was before, because I think I'm kind of an intense person in some regards, or in many regards, you know, because things have more meaning just by de facto, you know, like, I think if I adopt the mentality that like, I don't know, I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know how much time I have, I don't know, you know, like, we're not guaranteed anything. It really brings me back to am I living in accordance with the values and my values true to me, you know, and it's been positive i should i will say, because it does feel a lot. It does feel more weighted at times. But at the same time, it's almost like you're, it's like we both wear glasses. You know, so it's like when you get like a new prescription or like a nicer lens, you know, it just like your vision is as much crisper and clearer. Right? And that's kind of how it feels where I'm like, okay, like, I, like, I wake up and I'm like, I know what I'm doing, you know, maybe not in terms of the tangible aspects of like my job, or like, maybe a new analytic method or like trying to figure out a new question, but in terms of like, how I'm conducting myself as a person, there's a greater sense of, like, I know, my assignment, and I do appreciate that feeling. You know, especially for a lot of us, you know, who are, I mean, in some ways, like multicultural counseling, psychology was built on the experiences of, like, so many of us in our communities who just were having a hard time finding our way, you know, due to the racism and like, the, the model minority position that a lot of us actually most of us are affected by, in various ways, you know, in terms of like, you know, like, not only Asian Americans, but I think of, you know, like other migrant folks, you know, Latin X folks or like the, the adage of like, the house versus the field slave and the African American African diaspora, you know, just like there's all so many ways that we're seduced into just submitting, you know, and like doesn't divesting and kind of, and kind of non consensually kind of volunteering our talents and strengths to be used, right. And so, so I do appreciate that kind of clarification that I've noticed on the pandemic. Yeah. That was a long answer.
I just, it's so powerful that I'm really speechless, but here I am. Um, so our next question is, what is a strength? or personal virtue? That surprised you?
Yeah, during the pandemic, I would say, Well, I will say there were parts of the pandemic, during which I was really struggling. You know, I mean, I think that goes without saying, you know, and I think I mean, I think, you know, seeing the resurgence of anti Asian racism was, at times very challenging, you know, because I was, again, waking up and going to bed in a state of extreme rage. You know, I, incidentally, I was teaching Asian American psychology, you know, during the spring semester of 2021. And it was a, it was a, it was not the Florida Asian American studies, I have to say, let me just clarify that it was not the ROB DeSantis version of that shit, you know? Yes, I know, very critically informed, right, because and I remember the week during which we were scheduled to discuss intersectionalities when the Atlanta spa shootings happen, you know, and we can't make this shit up. You know, and, and so, kind of thinking back to that time, I I didn't I did appreciate my ability to find humor. You know, there's a Korean, there's a biracial Korean American stand up comedian that I really who's worked I really enjoy her name is youngmee. Mayer. And, and she was she was putting out a series of kind of very brief, like, you know, tick tock and Instagram sort of stories, you know, where she, you know, basically flips the script on like, white people being either intentionally or ignorantly racist and an Asian restaurant, right, trying to talk to the waiter in like, an Asian language or, you know, just and, and it's very funny, it's very subtle, but her I think the power of her humor is that it's very subtle and very seemingly very innocuous, but it's very powerful in that way. Because it really goes to show how pervasive it is. Right? And, and when I think about it, you know, at the time, it made me a little emotional, because I'm like, wow, like 60 seconds worth of, you know, watching this Instagram helps me to feel okay, for a moment, you know, when all this is happening, right. And, and then I was reflecting on the ways that I think I bring that energy to the interactions that I have with people with like, being able to access humor and perspective and, and really kind of draw off from absurdity, you know, to be able to, like, bring more levity and lightness and openness to what seems like such constraint and heaviness and just like just oppression and just oppressive vibes all over, you know, like, and I was able to appreciate that I myself, you know, just being it can be like a fine line, sometimes, like you really can't be laughing about shit, you know, and, but I think that's what comes to mind is my ability to kind of find humor and absurdity even when there's so much pain and suffering just going around and that has persisted, right. I mean, it's not like, things are not the pandemic is supposed to The over it's not like things are massively better for many people in our country and across the world, right. In some ways, I think we're more aware of how affected people are right now. But with climate collapse, and you know, kind of income inequality and whatever, right, continuing police brutality against black folks and like, because apparently people have not been listening and learning, that has not happened. listening and learning has not happened. And I think we have to acknowledge that I'm sorry, I'm just gonna say, right. Institutions have not been doing that. Like, I don't I don't know what to say. Right? It's like, happening, like, can I just say that out loud, please, you know, and, but, and it can't stop at humor, but we can hold on to crisis constantly, you know, that's Toni Morrison, right? I want to give credit to words to, we can't hold on to crisis, because and I can't wait, I can't wait for things to get better. You know, I can't wait for other people to change their fucking minds. You know, I can't wait for institutions to start doing things differently. You know, I have to start now. And, and one of the ways is, like, just being able to kind of find joy and a sense of communion with people that are around me, you know, despite in for in face of all the BS, you know, and it's not easy, but I do appreciate that. And I will say, I don't give myself credit for it. I think it really is a collective endeavor. You know, because it's some days, yeah, I can laugh on myself in my room or in my apartment, you know, looking at an Instagram real and feel crazy, you know, but it really is, but I am laughing because I feel good. Somebody else. Right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
What are you looking forward to in 2024?
That's a loaded question. I, well, I have to say, and I don't know if this sounds cliche, but
when I have community and loved ones in mind, I feel like I always have something to look forward to at any given moment. And one of the kind of the, the intentions that I set out from the pandemic was just really prioritizing like it like in person face time with my loved ones and my family. Right. And, and so your question is hitting me in a different way? Because I didn't know how to answer it initially. But now I'm like, Oh, I actually have always had things to look forward to. Because I know that I'm always going to be in community. And so then, like, that always helps to helps me to feel like there's like fun things ahead. Right. But more specifically, I'm not sure you know, what is ahead of me in 2024. You know, I certainly would like to do more scholarship and intellectual work that, I have to say, I mean, clinical work is its own brand of intellectual kind of labor, right. But I do want to write more, I do want to do more conceptual and empirical work. And I am, you know, exploring ways to make that happen, right? Because, you know, I collaborate a lot currently. But if I want to really kind of delve into some of the questions that I have as a kind of independent intellectual, I think I need to kind of make some shifts in my kind of working arrangement. And so we'll see what that looks like, you know, but that's one kind of task I have in mind. I think. Yeah, I think that kind of sums it up, as far as you know, kind of professional goals. Yeah.
I love it. So I have one more question for you. But first, I just want to give our audience some contents because you were educating us and dropping lots of facts. So we talked about Toni Morrison, Audrey Lorde. And Bell Hooks, if you haven't read their stuff, or their books, I highly, highly recommend it. It really just gives a ton of foundation to this. Some other things we did, which is just a shameless plug plug for the thoughtful counselor, but also my work. So I interviewed Dr. Brandy stone, who's actually a director in student services. We talked a lot about that today. That's a pretty good interview on her view. frought as director of black student services. The last podcast I just did was with Asia, Asia, lions. We actually talked about racial battle fatigue. So you brought that up. So I was like, You're just like the perfect guest. So it all works together, right? You're like, yeah, putting it together, and then interviewed della Mosley in Paris, talking about academic for black lives. So that's in there. And then the last one I have for you is Alexia daily, oh, we talked about D column decolonizing your pedagogy. And I just think you covered so much of that. And we covered so many things in this podcast that were not able to kind of like dig in and dig down and really talk about those different people or topics. But if you're super excited like I am, about Dr. Annie che going back and listening to some of those podcasts will give a lot context to just the incredible work you're doing. And how much you're just shaking up your community, but also, the future of college, really. So, the last question I have that I always ask everyone, and it's super open ended. But what is one piece of advice? You would give students listening listening to this?
Yeah, no, thanks for asking. Mmm hmm. Well, as a, as a self proclaimed good psychologist, I don't give a lot of advice. But I would say I will. I will, I am hesitating, because I don't want to end on too heavy of a note, but maybe that's just what it is. Or it's not heavy, but I think it's just maybe just do it, it can strike deep. But I think just kind of based on our conversation today, DISA, like, it's so. And I hate to Sargon as a therapist, but I see it again, again, like everywhere. Like, if there's no love within us, like, it's so easy for us to be corrupted. You know, like, I see it in like relationships and people chasing after like, you know, like the stereotypical like baby daddies, and mommies, and like bad relationships, and you know, and you know, or even jobs or jumping from situation to situation, it could be work, it could be relationships, it could be family, could be whatever, right? You know, I and I feel like the through line is, if we are compromised, and our capacity to, like, no self worth, and no, like, love and be free of shame within us, like, we're so susceptible, and I have to count, like all of us in it, including myself, because I think, like, just because I study and work with this shit doesn't mean that I am now magically immune from human psychology, right? Like, I'm a human being, I'm a real person living in the real world, like anybody else. Right. And, and especially having been in practice or for, you know, independently, you know, post graduation for a number of years. Now, I do see that as a major storyline, you know, and that's why, like, I see our work is being so crucial, because it really is giving is not to make it sound militant, per se, you know, because I'm anti military industrial complex, right. But it, I think it does arm us to defend ourselves against hegemony, you know, because you can't seduce me, you can't corrupt me, you know, you can't sell me out, you know, as easily, let's put it that way. Right. Like, if I know love, and if I know if I know worth and if I know, esteem within myself and the relationships and the affirmative community that I have, you can play with me. You know, and, and I think systems are designed to break us down in that specific regard, you know, by becoming the mediary for those intrinsic kind of character strengths and virtues that, you know, we're meant to have within our community within ourselves, right. And so and it's like a tangible practice, I have to say, it could be personal therapy, it could be meditation, it could be indigenous healing practices, it could be you know, embodied love yoga, healing practices, it could be more game night, you know, with your friends, it could be whatever, right? But that's what comes to mind, you know, because it's mad out here. And, and you will be played, you know, you will be played, you know, and, and we've all been played, you know, in and it's inevitable, you know, in many regards, you know, because my belief is that, you know, systems are always going to be more powerful than we are as individuals, right? That's what comes to mind. You know, it's like the, you know, yourself, and Are you good with your Do you have a good relationship with yourself? And how can you protect that, you know, by any means, necessary, you know, because that's really, it's not just grad school. It's like the rest of our lives. Right. And so, yeah,
yeah, we didn't have time to talk about today, but I am just so grateful to be in community with you. I know. We talked about last week of just the power of how we're both doing our own work and how that has just transformed our relationships, but just really allowed us I in my opinion, to come back together like I felt like forever ago and now it's like, how am I not talking to you every day? I don't know. But we're definitely going to change that. i This was amazing. I'm just so grateful that so many people get to hear your voice and your the work you're doing. I think it really will just transform so many folks to just fight for themselves a little bit differently even if they're just fighting for themselves within themselves. So
no, thank you so much for having me. i It must be like i Someone told me that it's Venus in retrograde and understanding is that my Venus is in Aquarius, which is about like intellect ideas, you know, pro social values, like freedom. And I think and the retrograde is meant to be like, I've been like reading because I'm like a scientist, I'm like, I want to read into like what's going on? Right? Yeah. And apparently retrograde is like, you revisit kind of past kind of relationships are kind of, you know, kind of open ends. And so I think in some ways, like we have kind of, you know, rejoined and reconnected during that time. So, whether astrological or coincidental, I'm very grateful that we were able to reconnect, and it's a nice experience. Yes,
I'm 100% here for it. My retrograde is in Virgo. And it's supposed to be a really good year in terms of relationships for me. And so I'm glad we got to start retrograde with you, right, like it started last week. Right? We are so 100%. So yes, tell us, where can we find you? What are you up to next? Just how do we connect with you if we're interested in just reaching out and saying thank you.
Yes. Well, again, thank you so much for having me. I had such a good time in our conversation today, like Time just flies by very quickly. And so folks can find me? Well, I'll start with my just personal website in my practice website, which is www.aycphd.com. My handle on Twitter slash x is at a YC, PhD as well. I don't tweet that frequently. And I know some folks are migrating off of Twitter or X for perhaps obvious reasons. Yeah. But it does have my link tree embedded in my profile. So folks can find my articles, you know, my practice website, if folks are interested in working with me individually, they can see me there. If people want to look at my scholarship, it's all there. So it's sort of like the conduit to accessing other sort of digital platforms that I had. And so those two I will mentioned. Awesome.
Yes. Thank you so much for coming today. We're gonna have to have you back. It's like, you talked about coming to the US, but I had no idea about you. We didn't talk about your family or the power of your last name. So there's so much more in the future for sure. Again, thank you, everyone for listening. This is Dr. At choice, and the CHA and then yeah, we're we're gonna do this again, for sure. And make sure you touch base with his website and just check in so yeah, this is the thoughtful counselor and we'll see you in the next episode. Thank you.
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