About Dr. Chen

My Story

About Grace Chen, Ph.D, LMFT

Hi, Welcome to my site. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I received my Master’s 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.

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

Since 1996, my work has primarily focused on assisting individuals and couples in working through their old unfit patterns, healing from traumatic experiences, and transforming one and couple relationships into a new life. I started my journey to become a therapist when I was a college student volunteering at a Life Line Association.

Then, I studied to become an individual therapist to work with clients in the community in my master’s program. I developed an interest in working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse during this period. After receiving my Master’s Degree in 1996, I went back to Taiwan. I had opportunities to work with adult survivors of childhood abuse and intimate partner violence clients for a few years. During that time, I was trained extensively in Gestalt Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Psychodrama, and Object-Relation Theory.

Working with survivors of trauma opened my interest in the issues of family dynamics. The clients’ strengths inspired me in their recovery. But, more importantly, I would like to help them stop the cycles of abuse in their families of creation. Therefore, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy to understand better the family dynamics and their impact on the individuals.

What makes me come alive is the moment when you and I transform your unfulfilled feeling into inspired and satisfied life!

I gained the knowledge of treating clients from a systemic perspective (everyone in the system interacts and influences each other) instead of a linear perspective (A cause B) while integrating my work experiences with individual clients during my doctoral training. After graduating from Michigan State University in 2008, I taught in a Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program for a couple of years.

Then, I 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 and Military Sexual Trauma Survivors.

Working with veterans broadens my clinical expertise to work with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, Anxiety, and Complex Trauma from a systemic perspective. As a result, I launched a series of training for myself.

In 2015, I started training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidence-based treatment for PTDS and Complex Trauma. I received my certification in 2019 and continued to seek consultation and training regularly.

Recognizing the impact of trauma on attachment injuries and interpersonal relationship difficulties, I started the Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) training in 2020 and am currently a level 2 clinician.

My clinical interests have also extended to supervision and consultation in recent years.

As I look back on my professional development, I feel deeply appreciative of the clients and couples I have worked with for over 20 years. They allowed me to walk every step of their changes with them and witness their beautiful transformation. They allowed me to see that: Human beings strive to be better and work towards their optimist potential.

The repeated old patterns that we want to break through used to be survival strategies. The therapy process is a conscious examination process to examine the benefit of old habits and update these patterns into positive forces to help human beings reach their potential.

I am looking forward to walking your transformation journey with you!

For more information about my professional experiences, please check my LinkedIn Profile.

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68 Park St. Andover, MA