Pakalana Soon, MA, LMHC
I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i. I am 3rd generation Asian Pacific American (Chinese and Korean). While Hakaa Chinese, Cantonese and Korean was spoken in my home, English is the only language I speak. Traditional Chinese and Korean cultures as well as the Hawaiian culture was practiced while I was growing up. I left Hawai’i when I was 18 and came to the Continental US to go to college. This was a tremendous culture shock for me. I felt helpless and I had to relearn how to do things and communicate. I learned first hand the difficulty of cultural adjustment. I addition to this, I had to learn how to cope with having a learning disability and attention deficit. This experience has made a significant impact on me and how I work with clients and provide psychotherapy, especially for underprivileged groups. Culturally, I am a 3rd generation Asian Pacific American (Chinese-Korean from Hawai’i), Gay, Gender fluid, Non-binary therapist of Color.
CLINICAL EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and State Approved Supervisor in Washington state. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology from Seattle University. I worked in Healthcare while I went to graduate school. I have a Master of Education in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders and a Master of Counseling degree in Counseling.
Both graduate degrees are from Seattle University. I have 20 years of experience in providing psychotherapy and supervision in the Community Mental Health setting. I have worked with Adults recently diagnosed with a chronic illness, Adults with developmental disabilities, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQIA, older adults, adults exploring their gender identity, adults with depression and anxiety. I am also a Yoga teacher, E-RYT 500 with the Yoga Alliance.
I am trained in an electic approach to counseling. As a result, I use a variety of techniques including Cognitive-Behavioral, Person Centered, Humanistic, Mindfulness, EMDR, and East- West techniques. I work with thoughts, emotions, body sensation and the breath. I work with the present moment. I use Vipassana meditation, body scans, guided meditation and EMDR to relieve symptoms. I also incorporate yoga t assist in the present moment experience. I aim to develop a balance of mind-body-spirit and I discuss the mind-body connection in my sessions. My therapeutic orientation is Person Centered, nondirective, Eastern perspective. I work with adults from ages 18 and up.
AREAS OF FOCUS
Issues in counseling that I work with include: anxiety, depression, LGBTQIA issues, gender issues, gender exploration, gender dysphoria, ADD in adults, coping with disabilities, coping with chronic illness, cultural adjustment, discrimination, anti-oppression issues, immigrant and refugee issues, aging issues. Minority identity issues, multicultural issues, chronic pain using Vipassana (Mindfulness) and EMDR, life transitions, simple trauma using EMDR and Vipassana, biracial/Mixed Race/Hapa identity issues.