What is Third Culture?
I identify as a Third Culture clinician based on my early childhood experiences living in North-Eastern China and the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.
An Adult TCK (ATCK) or Third Culture Kid (TCK) pertains to an individual who spent portions of one's childhood living in cultural contexts that are different from one's parents' native culture. Sometimes, TCKs who spend portions of one's childhood on Indigenous territory are known as Hidden TCKs. The TCK experience is distinguished by frequent cross-cultural transitions during one's formative years, due to one's parents' highly-mobile careers. The result is a neither/nor experience of identity in which the individual experiences themselves as belonging everywhere and nowhere, simultaneously. From the outside, these children may appear as belonging (or not-belonging) to the dominant social milieu, however, underneath they possess layers of identity that are invisible to those who have not had similar life experiences. As a result, monocultural systems are typically unprepared to recognize and support the unique needs and struggles of TCKs.
These formative experiences, as well as my language studies, eventually lead me to a career in the fast-paced Language Service Industry, where I specialized in multilingual translation project management, localization and proofreading, before transitioning to a career in Somatic Psychology.
I simultaneously hold undeniable privilege as a White and female body, meanwhile my queer and Third Culture identities afford me first-hand experience as a hidden minority. These layers of identity have allowed me to form a level of cultural humility, a curiosity around how language, culture and transitions influence the shaping of identity, and a desire to support others who find themselves straddling two or more worlds.
I wish to acknowledge that I live and work on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Chochenyo Muwekma Ohlone peoples who are the original inhabitants of Berkeley, California: https://native-land.ca
Current: PhD Student in Transpersonal and Integral Psychology, emphasis in Somatic Psychology | California Institute of Integral Studies | San Francisco, California (August 2020 - present)
MA Counseling Psychology, emphasis in Somatic Psychology | California Institute of Integral Studies | San Francisco, California (August 2020)
BA Liberal Arts, emphasis in Mandarin Chinese | Bennington College | Bennington, Vermont (May 2013)
Certificate of Study in Chinese | Middlebury College, Chinese Language School | Middlebury, Vermont (Summer 2012)
Certificate of Study in Chinese | Xiamen University, International School | Xiamen, Fujian Province, China (Fall 2011)
Conversations in Formative Psychology (International) Class with Leila Cohn, MA (March 2021 - present)
Relational Somatic Healing (RSH) Training with Shirley Dvir, LMFT (February 2021 - present)
Formative Psychology Practice Group with Christina Loeffel, LMFT (June 2019 - present)
Formative Psychology Workshop on Managing Uncertainty with Aaron Hagaman, LMFT (November 2020)
Embodied Touch Workshop with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen (September 2019-February 2020)
Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) Level 1, Module 1, with Hans Stahlschmidt (February 2020) *Modules 2-3 incomplete due to COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place
A Workshop with Esther Perel: Exploring Modern Relationships (December 2019)
Identity Psychology Practice Group with Peter Wright, LMFT (August 2019 - November 2019)
A Workshop with Bessel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps Score (September 2019)
Nutrition for Mental Health Training with Anne Procyk via PESI (May 2019)
Inclusive Sexual Attitude Reassessment Workshop with Bianca Laureano (April 2019)
Art of Listening Couple's Workshop with Gal Szekely, LMFT (November 2018)
Process Work Practice Group with Bill Say (October - November 2018)
Workshop on Trauma with Peter Levine (April 2018)
A Thousand Paper-cuts: Workshop on Micro-aggressions with Rae Johnson (April 2018)