Going home 2017

[Going Home 2017] Epilogue

Apparently, I really have a lot to say in my brain. I had thought about finishing this series with this story but uncertain whether it is too personal to share it or not. One day, I was talking to a friend who gave me a compliment about my work. She said: “you must feel good that your work is to help people.” I said to her: “no, not really, I mean, I am very privilege to be part of my clients’ transformation process. They invited me to go into their lives and to see their transformation. It’s a sacred process and I am honored to be part of that process. It’s quite a privilege.”

So, this is the final piece to conclude this series.

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Going home 2017

[Going Home 2017] Grow Together

IMG_3292.JPGThis is the picture with my friend, colleague, and previous supervisor. Lu-Sheng. We always got together when I went back to Taiwan. She was my supervisor when I was in my 20s for 3 years until I left Taiwan to come to the US. When I was under her supervision, my work was primary with the female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her supervision was primary Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy model. During those three years, with her help, I got very comfortable doing therapy, getting very familiar with the above two therapy models. During that period of the time, I also sought out a lot of training in the Psychodrama, Object-Relation Therapy, Satir Model and Structural Family Therapy model.

We never lost touch throughout the years even though we didn’t talk to each other on the daily basis. For a while, I didn’t talk to her for about 2 years. However, every single time, when I visited her, I always felt that I learned something from her again.

Why? Throughout the years, we both have changed and evolved. Even though we didn’t see our changes together, we changed in the same direction and our relationship continued to stay intact. Continue reading “[Going Home 2017] Grow Together”

Going home 2017

[Going Home 2017] Intention

Other than my mom’s homemade food, family get-together, and Chinese New Year, I met up with quite a few friends from college this time. These are the friends whom I have lost the contact with them over the last 20 years due to my migration to the US. Thanks to the social media (facebook) and communication apps in Asia (LINE), I was able to connect with them again.

So, here is how the story started. When I was in college, I joined a volunteer group that was organized by a local Life Line Association. The members of this specific volunteer group were all the university students from the three universities in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The goal was to act on the role as a big brother/big sister to the troubled teen in the area.

So, I joined the group in the spring semester of my freshman year and never left until I graduated from college.

Now, 20 years later, my friends are doctors, teachers, and clinical psychologist. They complimented me for changing the major from Chinese to counseling and went on to get my PhD in MFT. They wondered if our volunteer group changed my career direction. I said, “No. Actually, I joined our volunteer group because I have always wanted to be a therapist.”

So, the story started when……

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Going home 2017

[Going Home 2017]Cultural Expectation

IMG_3283.JPGI grew up in a very traditional family. My dad was the fourth child of the five brothers. My grandfather passed away when my father was about 4 years old. Life was not easy for my dad who grew up in World War II without a father. In a way, his oldest brother who was 13 years senior of my dad was like a father to my dad. My mother is the oldest of the 6 children. My youngest aunt is 13 years younger than my mom and my mother took on the responsibility of helping my grandparents with all the younger siblings as early as the first grade.

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Going home 2017

[Going Home 2017] Cultural Appreciation


Dr. Gottman described couple’s therapy process as helping the couples “building a sound relationship house.” The roof of the house is “create shared meaning.” Essentially, everyone is from different family culture. We all bring different values from our family of origin to our family of creation. Every behaviors, ritual, and values often have a family story behinds it. Once the couple is able to hear the stories behind, they have to decide how to create a shared meaning of these rituals/values/behaviors in their family of creation.
My high school Chinese teacher always told us: “you are not going to create the unique you unless you know your own culture and appreciated it.” So, when I realized that I can’t get into the counseling major in the College Entrance Exam, my second choice was Chinese. So, that’s what I studied: Chinese Literature in college.

I have never regretted that choice even though I have never made a living with Chinese culture. However, I have always been able to explain to my American friends the origins of different culture and the meanings behind it ever since I moved to the US.

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Going home 2017

[Going Home 2017]Prelude

img_3408I was away for few weeks, back to Taiwan to spend the Chinese New Year with my family. Now, I am back.

I grew up in Taiwan and received all my education from K-12 to college in Taiwan. After college, I came to the US to pursue an advanced degree in Counseling. After receiving my Master Degree in Counseling, I worked in Taiwan for about 6 years before I came back to the U.S. again to pursue my PhD. in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2003.

I have traveled and forth since then. In the past 6 years, because of the job change and many different reasons, I haven’t had any opportunity to go home. This year, I was very lucky to get to go home and spent the Chinese New Year (the year of Rooster) with my family.

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