Get to know Young Ju

male therapist san diego male counselorWhen did you decide to go into Marriage and Family Therapy?

When I was an adolescent, a mentor of mine suggested that I consider becoming a therapist like she was.  She tells me that she hadn’t met a male teenager who was so interested in how others were doing until she met me. I decided several years later in college to pursue MFT after more encouragement from her.

Do you have advice for someone who is considering counseling?

I’m a firm believer that getting a second opinion is helpful.  So, I’m a very firm believer that getting a second opinion, in a neutral and safe environment, with a trained professional is beneficial for anyone.

What would you say to someone who is nervous about setting up their first counseling session with you?

I recognize the courage it takes to take the step of seeking counseling – It’s very intimidating!  Having a fear of the unknown is a natural response for many.  In fact, not being nervous could indicate an avoidance or denial of feelings! Tune into what your feelings are indicating.  If you’re considering counseling, continue to pursue the courageous feelings your heart is leading you toward.  There’s a reason why you’re being led there.

Do you have a special area you focus on within the therapy field?

I work with children, adolescents, families, and individuals. Through the use of a culturally and trauma-informed approach, I help identify and interrupt patterns of behavior and thought that can be harmful to individuals and their relationships. I provide therapy for individuals impacted by depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, anger management issues, family conflict, and relationship difficulties. I am also conversational in Korean.

I utilize several evidence-based practices, including Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Motivational Interviewing, and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy in therapy.  I have also completed Level 1 training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, which I utilize in addition to EFT with couples.  With children, I use art and play therapy to engage them in their world, allowing expression and communication in their language.  Through my work in psychiatric emergency response with the community, I am empathetic to those experiencing severe psychiatric crises.  My hope is to see children, families, and individuals move quickly toward their goals.

How do you pass your time when you are not working with clients?

When I’m not with Clients, you can find me training Brazilian jiu jitsu, snowboarding, spending time with friends and family, or singing at church.

If you were not a therapist, what would you be doing?

I would probably be a pastor or snowboard instructor.