Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharon Chan.
Sharon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Aloha! I am an island girl born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and from Korean and Chinese descent. I have lived in LA for the past ten years due to my calling and profession.
A long time ago, I remember someone telling me, “Only few people are fortunate enough in life to do what they are passionate about the others have to make a living.” I don’t particularly agree 100% with that statement but I know for me my calling started at a very young age.
As a sensitive and introverted child, I felt it was hard for me to adjust in school, interact with peers, and with the world around me. I could sense things at a very young age, but didn’t have the language or voice to be able to articulate my inner world. I remember dreading going to school for a number of reasons. I was an average kid academically and I didn’t especially enjoy school. I still remember the experience as clear as day, when my 5th grade teacher showed and told me how valuable I was. She told this to my parents in so many words during a parent teacher conference meeting. What my 5th grade teacher gave me was a message that she saw me and valued me as a student and a child. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to impart that same value on children and teens that needed it. It was the first seed of hope and deep compassion that landed in my heart which inspired me to give to the world around.
That led me to my career choice of being a teacher in Hawaii to kids with special needs. There’s such a unique opportunity that can transpire everyday when kids enter the classroom to be heard, valued, to develop feelings of success, and importance. As the years went by, I knew that my calling didn’t end there and that is when I pursued my Master’s degree in California as a Marriage and Family Therapist. As a teacher the seed that was planted in 5th grade was able to grow by serving those students. However, I knew that I needed to gain more training and skills to be able to be where I am today.
I graduated from my Marriage and Family Therapy program in 2009. Three thousand hours later and after passing two licensing tests I got licensed in 2015. I am now working as a private practitioner in Tustin (Orange County) and Pasadena.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t know if anything that is worth it in life will come without challenges or obstacles. I questioned, wrestled, and wondered if my calling during the past eight years was to continue to provide mental health services. It was a difficult time to get a job and the trajectory of my professional development was a lot slower and harder than I had anticipated. Heck it took me six years to get licensed (just made it)! I had to make a choice to do volunteer work, work part time jobs, and then a full-time job in order to make ends meet but also to fulfill the requirements for licensure.
Being a mental health professional has also challenged me on a personal level. I believe in order to be my best professional self; I need to be constantly aware of my own personal reactions, limitations, and strengths. As a human being the more honest I am with myself the more I can be more present and attuned to my clients’ needs. This has been an authentic and difficult challenge for me to take a realistic look at who I am as a person and chose to work through those things.
Even today, as a professional, it comes with its own bag of rewards and obstacles. Success to me is captured in the lives touched and the healing that occurs. I think that this quote captures it beautifully, “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy, meets the world’s greatest need,” (Fredrick Buechner).
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a Marriage and Family Therapist and I have two offices located in Pasadena and Tustin. I have been practicing for about ten years and I provide services to individuals, couples, and kids/teens. Clients come to me for a variety of reasons which range from depression, anxiety, trauma, school difficulties, and difficulty with peer interactions, relationship difficulties, and life transitions.
My emphasis and passion is working with kids and teens with emotional difficulties. Due to my experience and passion with kids with special needs I love the opportunity to work with kids/teens with special needs in a therapy setting. Most of my work has been in the school and community setting with kids/teens with emotional and behavioral difficulties. These emotional/behavioral difficulties have impeded their learning, relationships, mood, choices, or functioning.
I am also passionate about reaching more of the Asian culture and providing another message regarding mental health to address the shame based messages so more people can receive support.
It’s such an honor to be able to witness people find their voice or to learn how to advocate for themselves. I have been fortunate enough to have been able to facilitate conversations between parents and kids, couples, or siblings to form deeper and safer connections. I am blessed to be able to part of peoples’ lives to see them make positive changes with treatment and support.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Some people chalk their success to good luck or bad luck. I don’t think things happen by luck or chance. Faith has been my constant and most significant part of my life and profession. I can look back at my life and see God’s hand in the different steps, obstacles, developments, successes and interactions. Even during the times where all I could see was an obstacle, I believe it shaped me into the person I am today. It’s like a tapestry that is forming and each piece is being added and God’s provision of any success has been through his hands. The measure of my success is not based on how many clients I see or how well known I become. Instead the measure of my success is to be faithful, ethical, and effective with the clients that I am working with now and truly make a positive impact to the clients that come through my doors.
- Website: https://www.sharonchanlmft.com/
- Phone: 626-656-3158
- Email: email@example.com
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