- Relationship Changes
Ellen Duong is a psychotherapist and earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Substance Use from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Ellen enjoys creating a partnership with individuals who are in search of support to help manage stress, feelings related to self-esteem and cultural identity, anxiety, depression, substance use, and school-work-life balance. She focuses on understanding and supporting clients in a holistic person-centered approach in order to build a safe and open space. Ellen believes in working with individuals to help develop boundaries, communication skills, coping skills, and behavioral pattern awareness in order to strengthen relationships and self-perception.
Ellen utilizes various therapeutic approaches, some of which include strength-based techniques, solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TFCBT), and harm reduction techniques. She has experience working with a wide scope of clients from children to teenagers. Throughout the process, she helped each discover and grow their authentic cultural self, cope with stress from school and bullying. She has also worked with young adults who struggle with pressures of relationships, stress management, family, and work.
Growing up as an Asian American, I did not learn about therapy nor see anyone that looked like me going to therapy. As I grew up, I began to learn, experience, and explore more about therapy within my identity. I became inspired by the positivity and the ability to support other individuals on a journey of self-discovery through various situations. I was specifically drawn to the idea that I could offer people comfort by listening. It has been a wonderful journey and I am thankful I am able to continue to learn and work with so many people. Currently, there continues to be a low number of Asian American psychotherapists. I hope to continue to be able to encourage and promote the importance of mental health to different minority communities.
1. What attracted you to being a psychotherapist?
My approach is based on meeting my clients where they are at. I believe in building a relationship with my clients and understanding who they are in a holistic setting by promoting unconditional understanding. By providing my clients a safe space, we will be able to work together towards new ideas and changes. It is important for my clients to feel safe in order to be open and able to process thoughts. I also enjoy challenging my clients and helping individuals reframe thoughts and feelings as we work towards a goal.
2. How would you describe your approach with your clients?
“Your body hears everything your mind says” - Naomi Judd.
Some times as people we may think negative things about ourselves without realization. It can become normal for us to think negatively within our self-dialogue. We might not ever say that to a friend, but we say it to ourselves. Our body hears the things we feel and think about ourselves whether we realize it or not. The impact of these negative thoughts affect our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Through negative self-talk, individuals can become more anxious and believe they are not good enough. Individuals can become more preoccupied by their thoughts and lose track of their present. Our mind is a unique individual tool we can control to manage our emotions. By practicing positive self-talk, we can change our mind to listen and accept ourselves. I invite you to take a minute and listen to how you feel as you describe yourself out loud. Explore your physical reaction towards your self-image and challenge yourself to change those thoughts.
3. What's your favorite quote about mental health?
What has surprised me the most about being a psychotherapist is the different people I meet. Every person I have met has such a unique and different story that is filled with strength, resilience, and forgiveness. I am always surprised at the strength my clients display without realizing.
4. What has surprised you the most about being a psychotherapist?