About Ellen J. Lin, PhD

Image 1: Aqua and blue pacific ocean water, with cliff and hillside to the right dotted with orange plants.
Image 2: smiling Asian woman

I strongly believe in honoring each person’s life experiences, familial and cultural context, and that resilient power and wisdom within.


It is such a privilege to be able to provide therapeutic services, and to witness clients taking steps to change and reclaim their lives! I look forward to walking along with you as you take this courageous path for your own wellbeing!

Therapeutic Experiences

Skilled in providing individual adult therapy for a wide variety of challenges including:

  • anxiety, fear, or having excessive worries
  • panic attacks
  • feeling emotionally overwhelmed or dysregulated
  • having hard time developing deeper connections with others
  • difficulties relaxing, can’t slow down
  • feeling tremendous weariness or burned out
  • relationship challenges
  • growing up with significant caretaker(s) who were emotionally volatile or absent
  • low self-esteem
  • life path crossroads
  • intergenerational, cross-cultural challenges
  • trauma (sexual harassment or assault, growing up with DV between parents, being bullied)
  • contextual, social justice, systemic issues impacting struggles

Sample Groups and Workshops

Facilitated over a hundred groups/workshops, with audience number ranging from small groups to over 100.  Some sample topics:

  • Trauma survivors healing circles
  • Tapping away Worries and Fears
  • Resilience workshop series
  • Anger Management workshop series
  • Emotion Regulation groups (DBT-based)
  • Women’s Groups
  • Binge-Eating treatment group
  • Red-flag mental illness warnings workshops
  • Stress management/relaxation workshops
  • Balancing life demands and responsibilities workshops
  • Diversity Process groups, Social Justice Seminars (for doctoral-level clinical trainees)

Therapeutic Style

Clients often comment that I:

  • Am able to dive into the depth of issues;
  • Have a strong intuitive sense and the ability to note patterns (to make connections between their experiences and historical and cultural context);
  • Teach them several techniques that they can practice themselves (e.g., recognize and start to take different perspectives, practice mind-body-emotion grounding techniques, change relational approaches)
  • Have a calming presence;
  • Facilitate so that they do see overall improvement.

Approaches

As a holistic psychologist and pending your particular struggles, I integrate relational, emotion-focused, cognitive behavioral, and mindfulness-based techniques to facilitate attendance of your mind, body, emotions, so that you live in alignment with your values and feed your soul. I also often facilitate somatic, imagery work, and/or body energy psychology (e.g., clinical Emotional-Freedom Techniques, which is you learning to tap on your own acupressure points) to release emotional turmoil and increase your sense of connection with that centered and grounded you. For those with trauma experiences, it is important to address the somatic aspect in addition to mind-body impact.

I am active and supportively direct in our sessions, and we will collaboratively identify area(s) for you to work toward in between our sessions.

It is up to you to be actively engaged during and in between our sessions, to follow through on what we discussed, to practice the skills learned, to prioritize and commit to yourself. For example as a start, I highly recommend taking notes and writing reflections in your journal after every session, and/or setting aside time to sit in quiet to recognize, reflect about, and curiously explore what physical sensations and emotions came up in and after each session.

Credentials

  • 23+ years of counseling/therapy experience with clients from very diverse backgrounds, professions, identity, life experiences
  • 20+ years training, supervising and providing consultations to countless doctoral-level therapists (experienced providing clinical supervision since as an advanced doctoral practicum counselor myself)
  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Washington State University (2002; pursued Counseling Psychology instead of Clinical Psychology degree because of my strong belief in education, social justice, and preventive work and not just focus on pathology; counseling psychology degree still afforded me the training in clinical psychology)
  • CA Licensed psychologist (# Psy 19278) since 2003
  • Was clinical lead for 8 years, with 4.5 years of those as “chief mental health officer”/director
  • Trained and experienced in mind/body/somatic/emotion interventions
  • Trained and experienced in integration of clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/”Tapping” on acupressure points), Level II
  • Diplomate certificate in Comprehensive Energy Psychology (DCEP) from International Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology
  • Developed and previously led “Supervision on Supervision” Seminar series, “Social Justice and Outreach” Seminar series, and Diversity Discussion series for advance doctoral-level clinical trainees
  • Presented at peer-reviewed national and regional conferences

Additional Information

  • Emerita faculty counselor (“Professor” equivalent), San José State University
  • Stepped down from “chief mental health officer”/director of an university clinic due to health issues (which prompted me to learn that the Western talk therapy doesn’t always work on its own. I started to study and incorporate more Eastern based, mind-body/somatic approaches and found such resonance for my own healing!). As challenging as burning out was, I’m so grateful for the invaluable skills that I’ve learned as a result!
  • Was a career counselor (many years ago)
  • I use she/her/they pronouns, am a 1.5-generation Taiwanese-American, with some informal conversational understanding of Mandarin (not able to conduct therapy in Mandarin) and will occasionally catch some Taiwanese phrases.
  • Not religious (grew up with Taiwanese Buddhist practices), but highly spiritual these days. E.g., now trained as Reiki practitioner.

As someone who has had tremendous life shifts over the years and learned to navigate different cultural and systemic contexts, I also recognize the privileges I have, and know that our background shapes our worldview and experiences.  I am honored to have had much experience serving and facilitating healing and transformation for individuals and groups from a wide variety of backgrounds (immigrants and ethnic minorities, LGB identity, gender fluid, sexual abuse survivors, undocumented populations, and various religious/spirituality background).


Please feel free to call me at 408-828-8375 or send me an email to inquire further.

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Image: Two stack of small rocks, with bokeh ocean background

Learn to stay grounded and centered even when surrounded by life’s turmoil.

Photo credit:  Top–Dr. Ellen J. Lin; rocks–Dr. Lin’s niece, Anwen Lin.