Hi there, I’m Erin Chan.
I am grateful to perhaps join in as a collaborator along your journey. I sincerely believe in the inner wisdom and resilience of all of my clients, young and old, new or familiar with therapy. I simply view it as my job to guide and provide tools and support at times when life gets overwhelming, sticky, and difficult to navigate. I’ll be here to lean on and root you in a warm space where you can slow down with your emotions, recalibrate, and mindfully reframe and create change in areas you want help.
I received my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from SDSU with an additional completion of the counseling program’s Spanglish family therapy certification. I worked with English and Spanish-speaking individuals and couples at the Center for Community Counseling and Engagement; I completed my traineeship and continued part-time counseling work at UPAC Multicultural Community Counseling, where I have the privilege of working with AAPI and Latinx youth and families, many of which are first-generation like myself. Having spent my undergraduate studies and internships working in nonprofits ranging from domestic violence to refugee advocacy, to youth outreach settings, I have diverse work and education experience directed by a true empathetic and humanistic spirit.
Prior to counseling, I spent eight years working as an educator, teaching music and yoga to youth and adults as a trained classical pianist and 200 RYT trauma-sensitive yoga teacher. Leading students through these creative forms of language and expression laid the groundwork for realizing my passion and skill for working intimately with others and becoming attuned to their unique needs, personalities, and stories.
I have a deep passion for learning how we can form more satisfying and full relationships in our lives (with ourselves and others), exploring the ways we love and seek to be loved, and defining what we hold as precious and valuable in our lives. I am enthused to join the Estes team to continue expanding practice within attachment-based therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy as an effective way to provide restoration and reconnection in our relationships.
Get to know Therapist Erin Chan:
When did you decide to go into Marriage and Family Therapy?
In 2019, one year after meeting my first therapist who was an MFT. This experience with therapy taught me so much about myself and first and foremost allowed me to figure out how to end an abusive relationship and re-find myself. I never knew about MFTs before then and realized the profession was a true calling.
Do you have advice for someone who is considering counseling?
I’d reassure them that counseling can help them access relief and hope that may have felt impossible to find on their own. I’d say there are always good days and bad days, but I’d always advise you to breathe, be patient, open-minded, and kind to yourself as you start practicing vulnerability, sharing, and expressing yourself, your truths, and lived experiences out loud. Nothing has to be figured out just now, simply getting in the room is the bravest and biggest step.
What would you say to someone who is nervous about setting up their first counseling session with you?
I’d say I know what it’s like to be an apprehensive and uncomfortable client in a therapist’s office because I once was one! I’ll do everything I can to make sure that you feel as safe, relaxed, and peaceful as possible while we get to know each other and start focusing on your story and why you’re here. I am your collaborator in the therapy space and we’re going to make your therapy be whatever you need it to be.
Do you have a special area you focus on within the therapy field?
My current work is consistently guided by lenses of cultural humility, decoloniality, and trauma-informed approaches. The client-centered therapy I practice is primarily informed by Narrative Therapy, EFT, and somatic practices. In addition to talk therapy, I am passionate about collaboratively finding and integrating alternative forms of expression for the mind and body with clients through play, physical movement, music, and more if clients are open to engaging in these ways. I bring in different languages from my experience as a music and trauma-sensitive yoga teacher, so often integrate play therapy and music and expressive arts as therapeutic interventions. I have enjoyed working with children/teens/families, couples (monogamous and non-monogamous, interracial, LGBTQ+, kink-friendly), multicultural/BIPOC clients, highly sensitive/empaths, and more.
How do you pass your time when you are not working with clients?
When I’m not working with clients, I am surfing, rock climbing, practicing yoga, playing music, cuddling with my cat, spending quality time with friends, and eating!
If you were not a therapist, what would you be doing?
I would probably be trying to devote time to songwriting and performing professionally.