“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman
What makes me come alive is the moment when you and I transform your unfulfilled feeling into inspired and satisfied life!
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I received my Master Degree in Counseling and Human Services from Syracuse University in 1996 and my Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Michigan State University in 2008.
Since 1996, my work has primarily focused on assisting individuals and couples to work through their old unfit patterns and to transform oneself and couple relationship into a new life. I was originally trained as a therapist working with individual clients. After receiving my Master Degree in 1996, I went back to Taiwan and worked few years primary with adulthood survivors of childhood abuse and intimate partner violence survivors. During that time, I was trained extensively in Gestalt Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Psychodrama, and Object-Relation Theory.
During this time, my clients opened up my interests in the family dynamics. I was inspired by my clients’ strength in their recovery. More importantly, I would like to help them to stop the cycles of abuse continued in their families of creation. Therefore, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy to better understand the family dynamics and its impact on the individuals.
During my doctoral training, I continued to learn how to work with the individuals in the couple and family system by focusing on the family violence issues. I worked at the Ingham Counseling Center in Lansing, Michigan with families when children had emotional and behavioral issues. This experience broadened my understanding of trauma from adulthood to childhood.
After graduated from Michigan State University in 2008, I taught in a Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program for a couple of years and decided that working in the clinical setting suits me better. I was very fortunate to receive the offer as a Marriage and Family Therapist at the Lowell Vet Center to work with the Combat Veterans and their families as well as Military Sexual Trauma Survivors.
The opportunity to work with the veteran broaden my horizon to the senior population. As the issue of PTSD is getting attention, more and more Vietnam veterans and their loved ones started to seek help for the issues that have not been dealt with for over 40 years. Also, they are also going through the transition into the retirement age. These experiences have helped me to understand the impact of trauma in the later adulthood.
As I look back on my professional development, I feel deeply appreciated by the clients and couples I have worked with in the last 20 years. They allowed me to walk every step of their changes with them and to witness their beautiful transformation with them. They allowed me to see that: Human beings strives to be better and to work towards their own optimist potentials. The repeated old patterns that we want to break through used to be survival strategies. Therapy process is a conscious examination process to examine the benefit of old patterns and to update these patterns into the positive force to help the human beings to reach their potential.
More Detail Information about Grace Chen, Ph.D., LMFT.