Julia Zhang, MA
Adult, Couples & Family Therapist
I support individuals, couples, and families facing challenges like anxiety, depression, couples conflict, family trauma, and more. Though it may feel overwhelming, embracing this healing journey will lead you to self-discovery and newfound freedom. You're not alone; I'll walk alongside you, providing support, imparting skills, and offering fresh perspectives to empower you to become the person you aspire to be.
Language: English, Korean, Mandarin Chinese
Sliding Scale: Available
Insurance: Cigna, Aetna
Accepting New Clients: Yes
- Anxiety & Stress Management
- Asian & Asian American Experience
- Couples Therapist
- Family Therapy
- Highly Sensitive Person
Hi there, I’m Julia. I am here to help.
This is your space. Let’s take a deep breath and slowly dive into your experiences.
I’m passionate about providing:
Therapy for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
It’s similar to the flu—not to downplay the difficulties and challenges you have experienced, but to normalize and reassure you that these feelings are common among people. They can fluctuate, improving or worsening depending on your physical and mental conditions, as well as the seasons or specific times of the year. Let’s delve into where you feel them in your body, how severe they can be on different occasions, and discover strategies to manage them in your daily life.
Therapy for Immigrants, Children of Immigrants, and Asian American Families
You may find yourself feeling confused about your identity as you navigate the diverse expectations of your family of origin and encounter new values while living in a different country or environment. Throughout our therapy sessions, we will work together to identify the values that are effective for you and those that are not, navigate cultural differences and expectations, establish healthy boundaries, and empower you to differentiate yourself from your family.
Therapy for Family Trauma / Inter- and Trans-generational issues
Sometimes, things float on the surface when you revisit your parents or relatives during the holiday season or return to your hometown. You begin to recognize certain patterns and dysfunctions within your family that may have originated decades ago. Some tendencies may have passed down through generations, making it challenging to know where to start untangling them. The system undergoes changes and needs to adapt during and after major life transitions, such as launching into adulthood, getting married, going through pregnancy, having children, or experiencing divorce. Family units may resist change because they are familiar with old patterns, and introducing new patterns and relationships requires effort and energy. I consider realization to be the most significant step, and you are already halfway there. Once you realize what does not work for you, you can work on breaking those cycles, unlearning patterns that you do not deserve, and developing healthy, safe relationships that make you feel comfortable and secure.
Therapy for Highly Sensitive Person & Empaths
“You are too emotional,” “You are too sensitive,” “You’re overreacting.” Do these voices persistently echo in your mind, preventing you from freely expressing your thoughts, emotions, and true self? Where do these voices and ideas originate? Perhaps you have been told that you are “too sensitive” when you express discomfort around certain individuals. Or maybe you’ve heard the phrase “you’re overreacting” when displaying your emotions in front of others. These critical voices can come from various sources such as parents, relatives, partners, or friends. Growing up, you might have encountered these messages intermittently, and eventually, they became ingrained beliefs, leading you to consider yourself “too sensitive” or “too emotional.” Consequently, you may suppress your emotions and criticize yourself when overwhelmed by feelings, trying to conform to the standards imposed by those voices.
However, let me ask you, is this truly who you are? Who sets these standards, and who determines what is “too sensitive”? In reality, there is no such thing as being “too sensitive.” You are unique, and you don’t have to conform to external standards and expectations that do not align with your authentic self. Deep down, you know what you desire, what resonates with you best, and what path you wish to follow.
I believe sensitivity is one of the greatest gifts a person could possess. It signifies that you are kind, attentive, and caring towards others, taking their feelings into account to avoid causing harm. Your ability to read the room, sense others’ emotions, and deeply empathize makes you skilled at providing comfort and understanding. You are a compassionate individual. However, from time to time, you might feel overwhelmed and tired of constantly caring for others. At times, you may even wish you couldn’t sense or recognize others’ emotions, feel used, or yearn to establish boundaries for your own well-being. I understand how upsetting, lonely, and confusing it can be when your feelings, experiences, and even your sense of self are invalidated, and you are pressured to conform to standards and expectations that you disagree with. Your needs are valid, and I am here to help you navigate through your emotions, experiences, and values, ensuring you take care of yourself first. Together, we will work on establishing healthy boundaries with those you feel are necessary, finding ways to balance your needs and well-being while still being there for those you care about.”
You may feel unheard, unseen, and as if you’re talking to a wall when you attempt to communicate with your partner. Discussing topics like finances, values, or family planning can make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells, given the past experiences you’ve had with your partner, unsure where the conversation might lead. You find yourself unhappy in this relationship, realizing that it isn’t what you had envisioned when you married your partner. Although you want to work on your relationship, you may not know where to start or feel like you’re the only one putting effort into the family. I hear you, and I understand the loneliness and exhaustion you feel. Numerous factors may be affecting your relationship, including communication and conflict management skills, issues related to trust, respect, and acceptance, and matters of sexuality. These challenges may have recently arisen or developed over the course of decades in your long-term relationship. Regardless of the type or duration of the issues, I am here to explore them with you and assist you in navigating your relationship with your significant other more effectively.
Who am I?
I am a relational therapist who perceives situations through a relational lens. I recognize that we all are in environments or relationships that we interact and impact our emotions, behaviors, and identities. It’s important to emphasize that you are not the problem, as we are web of beings tangled in cultural, societal, relational obligations and perspectives. Therefore, I dedicate time to explore clients’ relationships with their parents and significant others, examining the norms and expectations derived from their families and cultures.
As an Asian American therapist, I comprehend the challenges of navigating different cultural factors. I have been providing therapy in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean, and I have noticed that my clients feel more at ease opening up and connecting with me as a therapist when I speak in their mother languages and understand their cultural norms and values. My primary objective is to create a safe space for my clients to express themselves, explore their feelings, experience growth, and flourish.”
What Therapy with Me Looks Like
I tend not to approach therapy from an expert position. Instead, I choose to walk alongside my clients to understand them and collaborate with them through a strength-based, culturally responsive, and client-centered approach. My goal is to assist my clients in exploring their true selves. I take the time to truly comprehend my clients and their experiences, providing a safe and comfortable space until they feel ready to address specific aspects of their lives. For me, building a strong alliance with my clients is the first and foremost important factor in therapy progress. I actively listen, embrace, respect, learn, and welcome feedback, as I grow together with my clients. I genuinely believe that every client possesses unique strengths, and my role is to explore and empower them to become who they aspire to be.”
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy provides various strategies that you can practice to become aware of your overwhelming emotions and thoughts, enabling you to better manage them in your daily life.
Narrative Therapy invites us to revisit problem-saturated stories from past experiences, offering different perspectives, and allowing us to rewrite the meaning of these stories to develop a more constructive view of ourselves.
Structural Family Therapy helps us recognize dysfunctions that exist in subsystems within a family. By understanding family dynamics and hierarchies, we can find ways to establish healthy boundaries with our families.
Transgenerational Family Therapy can be used to understand sibling positions, triangles, cutoffs, and emotional fusions that occur between family members. The goal is to better manage the anxiety that transfers among family members and increase our differentiation from our family.
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) guides us in meeting with different parts of ourselves. Through understanding and working with these multiple parts, you can experience self-acceptance and inner harmony.
Please remember that therapy is not a linear journey. Instead, it is a dynamic process with its ups and downs, moments of progress, and occasional setbacks. These experiences will serve as valuable signposts, directing you toward the future you envision and truly desire. I understand that clients’ goals and priorities may change due to circumstances. Therefore, to ensure I serve the best interests of my clients, I follow specific procedures throughout the therapy process:
- Formulate treatment plans
- Provide ongoing assessment
- Set up desired treatment goals with clients
- Collaborate with clients’ indirect systems as needed to expand the support network
Education & Training
- MS in Marriage and Family Therapy, Northwestern University
- BA in Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine
- Clinical Traning, Bette D. Harris Family and Child Clinic
- Completion of the PREPARE/ENRICH Certified Facilitator Training
Before You Leave
You are here because you have come to the recognition that something feels off. I want to acknowledge your bravery in reaching out for help and support; it takes courage. I am confident that you already possess strengths within yourself and are strong enough to face and work on those challenges. Regardless of how long the process may take or how bumpy the healing journey could be, I am here to walk with you. You may feel anxious and unsure about what to expect, especially if this is your first experience in therapy. Don’t worry; I will guide you through it.
You are allowed to prioritize your needs. This is a reserved time and space where you can fully focus on yourself, work on your needs, and practice self-compassion. If you are ready to start taking care of yourself, make an appointment with me today! I am only a phone call away. I would be honored to go on this healing journey together.
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in“
-Leonard Cohen, singer
Registered California Board of Behavioral Sciences Number: AMFT 137780
Supervised by Nadia Islam, Ph.D., LCSW 24725