Jeanie Lo, MA
Teen and Adult Therapist
I help individuals stop sabotaging their lives and relationships by uncovering unconscious or conscious motivations in repeating unhelpful patterns and facilitating them to tweak their present thinking, emotional reactions, and behavioral patterns. If you choose to work with me, I want to aid you in cultivating an expanded self-awareness and mental toughness to build a fulfilling life regardless of its imperfections.
Language: English and Cantonese
Sliding Scale: Available
Insurance: Cigna & can provide superbill for PPO plans
Accepting New Clients: Yes
- Anxiety & Stress Management
- Asian American and Asian Immigrant Therapy
- Burnout & Perfectionism
- Creatives & Highly Sensitive Person
- Immigration & Acculturation stress
- Teen & Adult ADHD
Hi, my name is Jeanie.
I wonder if these thoughts crossed your mind before you decided to search for a therapist: “If I continue making the same choices and go with this trend of my life, I will end up in places that I do not want to be.” Or, “This is not how I imagined my relationships to be.” Or importantly, “I am tired of being a victim.”
Here’s my question for you: In what ways are you sabotaging your life and holding yourself back from building a fulfilling life with meaningful relationships?
Quite a harsh opening, indeed. However, I’ve seen lives change, including my own, when we grow tired of our unhelpful habits, stop blaming others and ourselves, and instead, take responsibility for our lives. Self-sabotage is when, for conscious or unconscious reasons, we prevent ourselves from planting, cultivating, and harvesting the fruits of our success. Though you might have been plunged into the underworld by mistakes made by you or others, you have the power to pivot and create a better future for yourself and others. As ancient wisdom across cultures has taught us, 1) life is fair in that it is unfair to everyone; 2) a meaningful life is a life in fulfilling relationships, and 3) we don’t have infinite time on this earth, but we can make the best of it regardless of its imperfections.
As your therapist, I can be a guide in your “underworld,” walk with you in the barren valley, and give you the “tools” through questions, reflection, and information so you can find your way back home. I will listen, support you, ask questions, and hold you accountable in your work to pivot your life. You don’t need to be someone completely different to live the life you want; you already possess intrinsic worth and value by virtue of how you were created. Let’s discover how you can use what you already have – your personality, skills, resources, and knowledge – to get started. You are the answer you’re looking for.
The People and Presenting Issues I work with
I work with teenagers, young adults, and adults of all backgrounds: diverse races and ethnicities, sexualities, faiths, and immigration statuses who are struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, burnout, and resiliency. I also work with sensitive feelers and individuals who are navigating the world as an empath.
Therapy for Anxiety
Everyone experiences anxiety, but their intensity, frequency, and duration vary. Anxiety can occur across many situations or be limited to one or two. Anxiety manifests in the body as increased heart rate, sweating, restlessness, and muscle tension. In our minds, anxiety can cause uncontrollable worry, spiraling, and rumination. Emotionally, it can lead to feelings of dread and irritability. Anxiety differs from fear in that fear is a response to an actual threat in the present, while anxiety is a response to a perceived threat in the future. The perceived threat could be real or imagined, but nonetheless not immediate. Both emotions are crucial for our survival, and evolution preserved them because they gave us adaptive advantages.
However, sometimes anxiety gets overused, and we misperceive neutral situations as threatening. Our resulting hypervigilant behaviors can be debilitating and hinder our ability to socialize, work, and enjoy life. Like an overprotective parent, our anxiety prevents us from living fully.
I am currently being trained to become certified as a Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP), specializing in applying Neuroscience to treat anxiety. If you work with me on anxiety, we can not only learn coping skills, but to “coach” your brain to respond to perceived threats in more adaptive ways, discern threat levels of triggers, and continue building a life you want despite feeling occasional discomfort. In fact, ancient wisdom and modern “gurus” alike testify that success requires discomfort that comes from risk-taking. However, you don’t need to feel brave to take risks, because courage is an action, and to act courageously is to choose priorities that are more important than your feelings. Let’s figure out your priorities in therapy.
Therapy for Burnout Recovery and Prevention
Burnout is an outcome of excessive and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress. It can occur in various aspects of life. You might feel perpetually fatigued and emotionally drained as if you are trying to constantly keep your head above water. Burnout varies in severity, and at its worst, it could result in depression, ruptured relationships, and significant financial or social loss.
There are many reasons why we keep pushing ourselves until we collapse. It could be an over-functioning of strengths like determination, drive, and passion. It could be an act of overcompensation for low self-worth, trying too hard to prove others wrong, addiction to intensity, and even fear. However, increasing our self-awareness can help with burnout. If you work with me to treat burnout, we will problem-solve to find practices that replenish and revitalize you, understand the roots of your decisions, learn from the past, forgive yourself, reconcile, and recover. After recovery, we can formulate a burnout prevention plan so you can build and enjoy sustainable success. We drain our relationships when we are needy; as we work to replenish you, you will have more to give to loved ones.
Empath and Sensitive Feelers
If you are an individual who resonates being sensitive, you may experience being easily overstimulated, being able to pick up the nuances of people’s feelings and energy that most overlook, and juggling layers of sensory information input. Sensitivity could be a strength, but most HSPs grew up feeling “abnormal” because few people could understand their experiences. They might be labeled as “cry babies,” “over-thinkers,” or “fragile.” It is easy for HSPs to feel ashamed of their sensitivity, even though it is a beautiful thing.
Finding out I was an HSP when I was a teenager helped me to embrace its strength and work with its limitations. If you work with me on being an HSP, we can learn to adjust your overused or underused strengths to their sweet spots; make changes in your life to accommodate your sensitive nervous system, and find what you need in relationships to not feel overwhelmed without damaging the reciprocity. HSPs have gifts to share with the world. Being an HSP doesn’t make you special or better than other people, but it makes you unique and wonderful in your ways.
What Does Therapy With Me Look Like?
I balance practical problem-solving with empathy and compassion. Through in-depth reflection, a strong therapeutic relationship, common goals, and consistent practices, we can learn how to help you move your life forward.
Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In a similar vein, a lot of our “stuckness” comes from thinking, feeling, and behaving in the same way over and over again and expecting different outcomes. If you want a different outcome, you have to behave differently.
Change is a skill; everyone can do it with practice. It comes from choices you make every day that might not show their results immediately, but compound into real differences over time.
I help clients uncover unconscious or conscious motivations in repeating unhelpful patterns and adjust their present thinking, emotional responses, and behavioral patterns. You can grow bigger than your painful experiences and find inner strength without putting others down. You can build resilience by developing the ability to recover from or withstand difficult emotions. Challenges, adversity, and misfortune are part of the human experience, and so are joy, harmony, and hope. My job as a therapist is to help you build a system that can absorb the shock of inevitable challenges in life and not get knocked off, like high-rises that minimize the effects of inevitable earthquakes.
Genuine heart-to-heart relationships bring us out of the shadows of shame and loneliness. They help us adapt and thrive. Our “self-esteem”, anxiety, and depressed feelings are also intertwined with our relationships because we do not exist in isolation. If you choose to work with me, I want to help you build healthy, reciprocal, and meaningful relationships. In individual therapy, we can work on building a meaningful relationship with ourselves. We can explore ways that your self-talk affects your behavior, cultivate introspection, and learn to cope with discomfort. After establishing a good enough sense of self, we can move on to building relationships with others. You can learn to communicate boundaries while taking ownership of the impact you have on others, and enjoy relationships as teamwork.
Therapy with me looks like: listening compassionately to you, uncovering your overused or underused strengths with you, holding you accountable, confronting reality with you, and walking in the trenches with you.
Therapy with me does not look like: complete elimination of anxiety, depression, self-doubt, painful experiences, and other things that constitute the human experience.
My Story: Growing up in Asia
I grew up in Hong Kong as a “Hong Konger” and lived there for 26 years until I migrated to the States a few years ago. As with most experiences that shape our world views, my upbringing informed my understanding of Asian mental health in positive and negative ways. Growing up in Asia as an Asian, we don’t always have the language, and understanding to talk or even recognize emotional well-being. In the case of Hong Kong, almost all of us are descendants of refugees or immigrants, most of whom fled from authoritarian regimes in Asia. Our ancestors were busy trying to get out of poverty and make a life for their children. The trade-off to their success was mental health being allocated to the backseat. As a result, experiencing anxiety is told to be “thinking too much.” Having suicidal ideation is told to be “foolish and selfish.” Feeling depressed is told to be “not rational” or “you have so much, what rights do you have to be sad?”. Having grown up within such an environment, I learned to help others to normalize “out of the norm” emotions and experiences; the ones that most people feel in private but do not express in public.
Spending most of my life in Asia and not in the States gave me a perspective of seeing both the beauty and limitations across nations without romanticization. Like many Asian immigrants in the States, I stand on the shoulders of grandparents who escaped authoritarian regimes and poverty. They are testaments to the importance of work ethic, resilience, anti-fragility, and gratitude. Although we are more aware of our mental well-being than their generation, we can still emulate their adaptability and strength. Our past may influence our present, but it can be just a setup of who we will become in the future.
Experience in the Field
- Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Northwestern University)
- Currently training to be certified as a Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP), specializing in applied Neuroscience for treating anxiety, panic, and worry.
- Currently training to lead Asian American Adult ADHD Group Coaching at Yellow Chair Collective
Registered California Board of Behavioral Sciences Number: APCC 13376
Supervised by Phuong Tang, LCSW 27966