Soo Jin Lee, LMFT
Therapist & Director of YCC
I specialize in perinatal mental health, anxiety-related disorders, trauma, and stress management. My therapy approach is integrative of mindfulness, trauma, and culturally informed. 한국어 상담 가능합니다.
Language: English & Korean
Sliding Scale: Limited
Insurance: Can provide a superbill for PPO plans
Accepting New Clients: Limited
- Older Adults
- Anxiety & Stress Management
- Asian & Asian American Experience
- Burnout & Perfectionism
- Pregnancy & Postpartum
- Trauma & PTSD
Therapy approach that honors all of you
As a Korean bilingual/bicultural therapist, I know how difficult it can feel to carve out a space for yourself. Your multiple roles are hard to carry. The whole of who you are can’t be broken apart and compartmentalized—you want to find balance and harmony between the life you *want* and the life you feel like you *should* be leading. Plus, an important part of your identity is honoring and living up to your family’s expectations, which can feel heavy.
Is Anxiety stealing the enjoyment in your life?
Are you feeling spent from the running thoughts in your mind? Do you feel like you have no control over the gears in your brain, which doesn’t seem to stop?
You worry about the smallest things that happen in your day and your imagination seems to take you into the most disastrous places.
Juggling everything on your plate each day is exhausting and yet, you can’t seem to stop. Perhaps you are taking on many responsibilities in your own life and everyone else around you or, you have so much going on that finding a sense of peace and self-care feels impossible. You may notice your patience is running low, and are easily irritable. You are looking for a way to manage your thoughts that are affecting your physical health, productivity at work, and relationships.
All your life, you’ve strived to do better and be more. As we keep growing in our personal and professional life, we eventually come to a point of desiring rest. Your idea of what is enough in life and the meaning of success can drive you to ignore other important aspects of your life. Our society has redefined the value of ourselves to be placed with a sense of productivity and our body and minds suffer to keep ‘produce’.
Anxiety affects everyone at one point or another in one’s lifetime and in fact, anxiety is an important emotion that allows us to live the fruitful life that we desire. It is when anxiety has taken over to an unhealthy level, that we must reassess ourselves to find a sense of balance again in life. Anxiety can be debilitating but it can be managed.
In therapy, we can create coping skills to manage your anxiety symptoms and explore triggers for your anxiety to recognize and prevent anxiety from taking over your life. Learning the tools and discovering the origin of your anxiety and different ways to manage will bring back a sense of control and peace in your life again.
Therapy can help you to find your sense of balance in life again.
There are many options when it comes to anxiety management and anxiety treatments. The most important aspect to recognize is your unique anxiety story. Everyone experiences anxiety differently and every anxiety has its own unique triggers. It can depend on many factors including your childhood environment, family values, current stressors, and your body’s reactions to anxiety. I will discover with you on your anxiety story and its impact on your own life. We will discuss mindfulness implementations to better manage your body’s reaction to anxiety. Your stillness and peace will look different from others.
I will guide you in discovering your anxious thoughts and its continued impact on different aspects of your life with openness. We will explore the different triggers of your anxiety to deepen our understanding of your associated responses to anxiety. I will provide you with the tools to recover the strength and stillness to manage future anxiety-provoking events.
Anxiety has a way of creeping up in our lives and we suddenly find ourselves drowning of anxious thoughts and overwhelming feelings. We will work to recognize the anxiety’s steps before it can creep up again in your life. Analyzing its footprints will help you to know what you can expect in your life and manage before it takes over.
Our bodies and minds are intricately intertwined being. When our thoughts are full of anxiety, our body reacts to those thoughts. We will explore how our bodies and minds are can be prepared together to defend against your anxious thoughts and learn to breathe with ease.
Your anxiety thoughts may be deep-rooted into a particular experience or belief about yourself. Our values of ourselves and of our world defines the ways we think and react to various situations in our lives. I will guide you in discovering those deeper experiences and belief systems to uncover the true cause of your anxiety. My goal is to help you clear away difficult feelings and experiences so you can have choices about your path forward.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)
A crucial tool for self-exploration and healing
Whether you’re feeling anxious as a young professional searching for work-life balance, a new parent worrying about getting it right, or exploring your cultural and family identities, EMDR can support you.
You’re stuck and looking for a viable alternative. Intellectually, you know what weighs on you daily, you see the links, and you feel the impact, but you haven’t yet been able to make an emotional shift toward change. You’re ready for that change, but you fear making a mistake.
You’re facing multiple internal and external pressures and you don’t want to waste any more time.
An invitation to explore and shift your thinking
My style of culturally responsive EMDR starts with exploring what your life experience has been so far. You need a place to process your family’s immigration story, or examine the racial and cultural experiences you’ve had in today’s fragmented world as a person of color. You feel the pull to understand the influence of lived traumatic events. You may not even realize how your identities impact you until you have a safe place to unpack them.
A way forward without revisiting every element of your past
I know shame around feelings can be very real. Voicing your past or current struggles to a stranger isn’t easy. My biggest aim is to create a feeling of safety so you can fully immerse yourself in the healing process. Even though we can deal with difficult subjects using EMDR, I don’t need to know every single detail of your past or traumatic experiences to be able to support you in processing them.
What EMDR is
EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a powerful therapy that can allow you to heal from distressing life experiences. Your brain wants to heal. Just like your body can recover from physical stress or injury, so can your mind—which is how we harness the power of EMDR therapy.
How quickly does EMDR work?
You need relief, and you’re ready to address your struggles now. You don’t have the time or resources for years of therapy on top of everything else. That’s where EMDR might work well for you.
EMDR is an equitable and time-sensitive form of treatment that may provide a quicker release from pain than traditional talk therapy or psychodynamic therapy. EMDR can help you go deep quickly and get to the other side of your pain
Has your patience been running low? Are you finding yourself easily irritable and sensitive? Do you have difficulties in managing your sleep? Perhaps you have been feeling tired and more fatigued lately. Your days are filled with endless to-do lists and yet you find yourself unmotivated and losing focus.
Distractions are all around you while you are fighting to get through your daily grind. You are feeling the burn out from your work and it’s been impacting your relationship with your loved ones. If this has been your experience for a couple of months or longer, your suffering from chronic stress.
In short phases, stress is a normal emotion that is part of our everyday life. Some even say that stress is a tool that drives us to be more productive in our workplace. Stress can elevate you to success and meet challenges effectively. It is when this feeling starts interrupting in our days that we begin to notice its impact on our lives. When stress seems to never come to a stop and your experience with stress becomes long-lasting, it affects our physical and mental health.
Chronic stress affects the wellness of our body and our mind.
With high demanding work, limited support for your personal issues, and fast-paced societal changes, chronic stress is very common. You might notice the existence of stress in your life when you feel less motivated and overwhelmed with your normal daily activities. Your mind, body, and relationships will take a toll with prolonged stress.
Over time, stress will contribute to problems that affect your cardiovascular, digestive, reproductive, nervous, and immune systems. The complex impact of prolonged stress is unique to each individual and depending on your genetic and biological makeup, you can suffer from long-term illnesses both physically and mentally.
You deserve to live a life that is true to yours.
You have been working hard all your life, taking care of obligations for your needs and for others. You might be feeling stuck and overwhelmed with all the responsibilities life is throwing at you.
What you need is a space to pause, a short breathing space to release your concerns and worries of the world, and rejuvenate emotionally and mentally.
If you are consistently looking for an escape in your day, you need coping tools to help you manage your stress and find the underlying triggers for your stress. I will guide you to find the right tools to carve out your space of peace and rest.
Your stress doesn’t have to dictate your life and limit you in your achievements. With proper tools and safe space, you will regain the strength both in your body and your mind.
I get it; you are an achiever and making time for your mental health might be one of the hardest things to do amongst your busy schedules. In order for you to continue your successful path in your professional and personal life, taking the time to examine the triggers of your stress is important to step in finding balance in life.
When a stressful situation arises, your nervous system is reacting in response to those stress. Chemical changes start to take place in your brain to narrow your ability to think straight and for your body to move quickly. With this connection of your mind and body, I will teach you practical stress management skills to achieve your work and relational needs by implementing mental strategies and calming skills to ease your nervous systems.
We will also explore your deep-rooted issues that are causing those stress in the first place. These might be coming from your unconscious places of memories. I will attend to those inner cry for help so you will continue to recognize the triggers before it becomes too overwhelming in your life again.
Find your life balance and enjoy the ride.
Everyone’s function and purpose of stress are different. Your energy can be reserved to be more present with the things and people you love. Balance is not far to find within your life. I invite you to a nonjudgment space of calmness and mental wealth. Connect with me today to begin your understanding of stress.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Therapy
After giving birth, you may be experiencing inadequacy taking care of your own wellbeing. Taking a shower or eating can become a burdensome task. It may even be difficult to get out of bed in the morning. These are common symptoms of depression and it affects you and your newborn’s health and relationship.
Anxiety is another common experience for many mothers during and post-birth. Anxiety for mothers includes intrusive thoughts about hurting the baby, or someone else potentially hurting the baby in irrational ways. You may feel overwhelmed, and have a sense of panic often in your days. Many of these intrusive thoughts may end up causing compulsive behaviors such as repeatedly cleaning or frequently checking on your sleeping baby. You need a safe place to discuss these scary thoughts without any sense of shame and judgment.
Your thoughts deserve to be heard and your emotions are valid.
There are many predetermined risk factors that create a higher rate of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorder during pregnancy and postpartum. ALL women risk suffering from mental distress during pregnancy. Certain triggers may cause you to have higher risks such as extreme stress, family genetics, personal history of mental health, physical well being, and even support systems. These risk factors are no fault to you. You deserve to receive the best care through an already exhausting process of becoming a mom.
According to the World Health Organization, about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental disorder. Some mothers will be affected to the point of having suicidal thoughts or have issues in their daily functioning. Maternal mental health issues can be treated with proper help and understanding.
Find intimacy with yourself and peace with your baby.
There are several components that make perinatal therapy effective during and post-pregnancy for both you and your baby. The length and approach to our work can vary based on many factors, including your experience of difficulty, history of mental health in your family, and support. We will first work towards having your basic needs met such as sleep, healthy eating habits, and finding support. Your basic needs affect every aspect of your life including your relationship with your partner and your baby.
Then, we will work towards finding time for yourself again. A space of internal peace to be the mother you need yourself to be. We will develop coping skills to decrease your body’s response to stress and create a new lifestyle.
Let’s work towards calming your constant worries and racing thoughts so you can find peace within yourself and build a healthy relationship with your baby.
It has been a while since your morning felt refreshing and clear. You’re waking up to the same exhausting routine day after day. You are looking at the clock several times throughout your day in anticipation for the day to be over. Things are being accomplished but, you are not feeling fulfilled.
You are on your bed. Your body is exhausted from the day’s tensions, but your mind is wide awake, racing endlessly in different directions. The nightly battles with your thoughts continue until you don’t even know how you finally fell asleep.
If you’ve reached this page, you’ve finally taken the first step for a journey into self-discovery and healing. Life presents overwhelming and confusing obstacles, and you may be feeling lost or anxious.
There is a way out of your daily battles with your thoughts and emotions.
My therapy approach is simple:
1. Together, we will develop a personalized coping tool kit to address specific battles that you are dealing with daily. For some of you, this can look like
- Difficulties with sleep
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Sudden anxiety and panic attacks
- Racing thoughts
- Low motivation
- Loss of interest in being around others
Your coping tool kit will be a comprehensive and practical way of dealing with these issues to enhance your daily activities and clear your mind of all the clutter.
2. We will strengthen the balance between your mind and your body. As much as your battles are happening in your thoughts, your body has adapted to react to those thoughts. This means in order for you to quiet your mind, we have to recognize the body’s tension and teach your body to calm your nerves. We will be implementing mindfulness-based practices to create a long-lasting change both in your mind and your body.
3. Once your mind and body are in a more balanced state, we will explore deeper into your upbringing, including your family dynamics and cultural values. This exploration will help you to understand where your triggers originate and how your values developed.
Culture-Integration and Individualized Therapy Approach
I utilize the best of the different approaches of therapy models including DBT, inner child, and EMDR to honor each of your journeys individually.
As a bicultural therapist, I understand your struggle of finding a balance between family values and individual identity. You’re often in an ‘in-between space’ within yourself at work, at home, and in general society.
You can find comfort and peace with yourself through all these aspects of who you are.
I invite you to start your journey into finding balance today.
My services are offered in both English and Korean. 한국어 상담 가능합니다.
Registered Board of Behavioral Sciences Number: LMFT 118366