Since late adolescence, I’ve been interested in personal development and the development of human society. My mother, a psychiatrist, taught me the value of helping others. In high school, I wrote a paper on the cultural and psychological issues that Asian-American immigrants confront within education. I attended the University of Pennsylvania and majored in psychology, where my mind opened to Cognitive Behavioral Psychology and Jungian Psychology. Both of these modalities inspired me to delve deeper into psychology and the study of the mind.

 

I have been practitioner of meditation and martial arts for over twenty years, and after becoming a math tutor and teaching children’s classes in the Japanese martial art, Aikido, I became interested in the intersection of mental health and the learning process. I saw that the mind and body were at an optimal learning receptivity when one was calm and when one was enjoying the process of learning.

 

I worked with students attending both public and independent schools as well as with students being home schooled. The more students I tutored, the more I began to realize that many students were lacking in the belief and the confidence to accomplish what they wanted. These experiences motivated me to return to psychology and work with individuals to focus on this growth.

 

During my second year internship, I counseled a racially diverse group of college students confronting social anxiety, depression, relational issues, and other emotional challenges within the context of academic development and career searches at the San Francisco State Counseling Clinic.

 

San Francisco Unified School District hired me as a school counselor, providing therapeutic services for a racially and socio-economically diverse group of elementary school children. For six years, I helped children through conflict resolution, self-esteem building, grief counseling, depression, and anxiety within the context of academic development. I also supported teachers and administrators to develop, implement and manage plans for student success.

 

I left the school setting and decided to enter private practice, as a way to provide dedicated, ongoing healing for adults and children who seek a better way to experience their lives. We are often unconscious of the narratives we hold about our own lives and how events fall into that constructed narration. Therapy can allow a person to step back and see the narrative that something one has created, and can be recreated to follow a new journey where one is at greater choice.

 

One of the main lessons I took from Aikido is that one does not face an opponent; rather one’s opponent is a reflection of the internal voice of doubt and defeat. Learning to confront and overcome this doubt is a focus in the therapy I provide. In addition to my practice of Aikido, much of my outlook has been inspired and informed by psychologist Carl Jung. I was profoundly moved after learning about Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth series. Both Jung and Campbell spoke about symbols, stories, mythology and metaphors that give a template and show a path to greater healing and growth. I have found this to be true in my own life, and help my clients see how their narratives create their reality and their experiences.

 

Overall, Aikido and psychology are the two lenses through which I perceive and process the world. My strengths include calmness, clarity, and an ability to balance support and challenge. I have experience imparting these skills for my clients to learn to utilize in their own lives.

San Francisco State University
M.S. in Family and Child Counseling, 2007

Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPSC), 2008

 

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
BA Psychology, Minor in History

Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT

 

2006 Virginia Lee Block Scholarship:
San Francisco State University Counseling Department.

 

Centennial Scholar Award:
Awarded every 100 years at Choate Rosemary Hall.
Researched cultural and psychological issues
Asian-Americans confront in education.

 

Shodan in Aikido (black belt)

sandeepkumarpdx@gmail.com