Please visit www.risamal.com Do you struggle with anxiety, depression and life in general? You have been dealing with stress for so long and you feel like you need to talk to someone. If you are overwhelmed, lost and feeling down, I would like to talk to you about how therapy can benefit you. I use a person-centered, empowerment-focused approach. I believe everyone has strengths and potential to emerge on the other side, given unconditional positive regard. I strive to create a radically safe space in which clients feel seen, heard and validated. Yet I understand everybody is talking about "safety" today, and it is my goal to collaborate with you to explore what safe space looks like or means to you in today's world. I meet where the client is, and together we will collaborate to identify certain thoughts and behaviors that no longer serve you. I will provide you with tools to cope with these thoughts and feelings. I would like to empower YOU to find their voice, appreciate their needs and know that their needs and feelings do matter. I specialize in complex PTSD, trauma, depression, anxiety, relationship issues and women's issues. I practice culturally responsive treatment, and intersectionality guides my practice. I am certified in DBT and tailor treatment based on the client's unique presenting concerns and needs, drawing from CBT, DBT, coaching techniques, Solution Focused Approach, Motivational Interviewing, Internal Family System and body-based approach. I am constantly learning and advancing my knowledge/clinical skills and enjoy collaborating with clients. I believe that your lived experiences are unique and I look forward to connecting with you. I am currently available on the Zoom Pro platform only. I do not work with court-mandated cases, or custody cases involving law. **24 hour cancellation policy. I will do my best to work with you and life happens. I will wait for 15 min and if it’s no show, a fee will be charged and if I have availability that day, I will do my best to work with you. Education: San Diego State Unversity, Masters in Social Work (Clinical Concentration) University of California, Los Angeles, BA in Sociology Languages: English Japanese Some Thai Training: Certified in DBT Solution Focused approach Motivational Interviewing Trained in CBT Trained in IFS Trained in ACT In progress with Somatic approach Client Testimonial: "I have been blessed to work with Risa as a client since 2020. I came to Risa as a neurodivergent patient who was struggling with undiagnosed anxiety and depression. These conditions were unidentified and unmanaged for most of my adult life, and they started to negatively impact my overall health, personal life, career, and quality of life. Risa is one of the most compassionate, detail-oriented, and supportive medical professionals I have ever met. Whenever I am mentally or emotionally struggling, Risa is always there to help me work through the tough times with kind and positive regard. She connects with her clients uniquely and specially. She displays a natural abiity to make patients feel comfortable and safe. Risa has exceptional skills as a therapist. She displays special counseling abilities: helping clients see their inner social and emotional strengths, encouraging self-awareness, and educating clients on tools and strategies that can empower them to reach their full potential. On a personal level, Risa can understand my unique experience of being part of an immigrant family and the ancestral trauma attached to that. It has been a gift to collaborate with Risa on my mental health and achieve a better balance overall in my life. I highly recommend her services to prospective clients who are seeking counseling and a supportive professional!" -Client C
What can clients expect to take away from sessions with you?
Clients would describe me as a great listener, caring and authentic. Although the therapeutic relationship is clinical, it is still a relationship within the clinical setting. I connect with most clients pretty quickly and I work with clients collaboratively. My session combines process time and skill-building/tools. I sometimes assign homework if clients would like and I also do in-depth processing of emotions, memories and thoughts so that we will together discover how the past is impacting your present day-to-day life. The first session will be about completing the intake paperwork in collaboration with the client and I will go over the policies/procedures and what working with me would look like. By the second session, we will come up with goals and we will go right in...
What treatment methods and tools do you utilize?
I offer holistic psychotherapy services that focus on a strong therapeutic relationship. I incorporate evidence-based interventions like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused, Trauma-informed, MI and ACT. Treatment is tailored to meet your specific needs and presenting concerns. I am certified in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and practice cultural competence/humility. I completed the certification in trauma professional in 2021.
Explain to clients what areas you feel are your biggest strengths.
I do believe that I can build strong therapeutic rapport with most clients because of my compassion and of having lived experiences as a mixed-race first-generation immigrant from Japan. Whatever you are currently struggling with, I want you to know that you are not alone. I struggled to navigate the complex cultural adaptation in the US and sought therapy as a young adult. I am passionate about collaborating with my clients interested in exploring the role of race, ethnicity, gender identity, class, disability status, sexual orientation, and religion in their lives. The psychotherapy services I provide use a holistic and social justice-informed lens. I have worked in various clinical settings including a substance use treatment center, a community mental health clinic, a non-profit organization, a home-based intervention program and a telehealth mental health clinic. I received a year-long intensive clinical training at the San Diego LGBT Center under the mentorship of a clinical psychologist and I am passionate about providing LGBTQIA-affirming care. I am compassionate, and I am committed to co-creating a radically safe space for you to process and explore your inner struggles, turmoil and the past. My mission is to normalize your feelings, thoughts and reactions toward the adverse events that happened to you, and to instill a sense of hope through our work together. Therapy can take time and it is hard work but you don't have to spend months not knowing what is going on. With your permission, I will become an active participant in your healing journey and will be walk alongside you.