Meet Asian Australian Counsellor, Jacqueline HaJun 21, 2023
We know that it's not always easy trying to work out which therapist we might like to work with: Because the decision isn't just about where they're located and when they're available, but there's a bit more of a human, relational element to the decision too.
So here at Shapes and Sounds, we want to help make that process just a little easier.
Every month, we'll be introducing a therapist from the Asian Australian Mental Health Practitioner List to help you gain a bit more insight into who you feel might be a good fit for you or someone that you know.
This month we're excited to connect you with Jacqueline Ha who is a counsellor working at Morrow Endeavour (offering sessions in Essendon, VIC and Telehealth sessions Australia-wide). We hope you enjoy connecting with Jacqueline below!
1. What led you to choosing psychology as a career?
Growing up with immigrant parents and experiencing various challenges, I developed a strong sense of empathy and compassion for others who go through hardships. I became fascinated with how our experiences shape us and affect our relationships with ourselves and the world around us. I found it fulfilling to help others from a young age, whether through offering a listening ear or a small act of kindness. Although I knew that I wanted to study psychology after high school, it took me a few years to focus on my studies. During that time, I traveled extensively, which fueled my curiosity about people and cultures, and deepened my interest in understanding how individualistic and collectivist cultures shape societies, family dynamics, and identities.
Although I struggled with certain academic subjects like math and science, I discovered that my natural curiosity and ability to understand people made behavioural science engaging and exciting for me. I felt a strong connection to the subject matter and appreciated the practical applications of psychology to improve people's lives.
2. What is your unique cultural heritage?
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. My mother was born in a country town in Changmai, Thailand, and my father, who has Chinese heritage, was born in Vietnam. During my early years, I was influenced by both of my parents' cultures. However, when my family and I relocated to a predominantly Anglo-Australia suburb in Melbourne in my early adolescent years, I grew increasingly distant from my cultural heritage. It wasn't until my early 20s when I partnered with someone with Vietnamese heritage that I reconnected with my Asian culture again. I understand first-hand how confusing and difficult, but also wonderful it can be to grow up walking the tight rope between different cultures. It also makes for rich and thought-provoking conversations!
3. What are your areas of specialty and what kind of frameworks do you work from?
I adapt my approach to meet the unique needs of each individual or couple I work with. I primarily use Emotion-Focused Therapy to help people access and use the important information and meanings contained in their emotions. Additionally, I draw from a range of modalities including Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness, and approach therapy from a holistic perspective that considers the interconnectedness of the mind and body.
My background as an Early Childhood Teacher emphasised the importance of building strong, supportive relationships and creating a positive environment for growth and development. I prioritise building a strong therapeutic relationship as the foundation for growth, healing, and long-lasting change.
I am also in the process of completing training in Somatic Psychotherapy and Gottman Method of Relationship Therapy, with the intention of integrating these modalities into my practice with individuals and couples
4. What kind of clients are you best able to support?
I work with adults aged 18 and over facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, trauma, anger management, parenting, relationship issues, emotion dysregulation, family conflict, and grief and loss. I also have experience working with individuals born to immigrant parents or growing up in multiple cultures. My goal is to help clients understand and change unhelpful patterns, develop meaningful relationships, and build long-lasting partnerships. In therapy, I create a safe, inclusive space for clients to explore their emotions and needs. I have extensive experience working with parents navigating the complexities of parenting, particularly in relation to children's behaviour issues.
5. If you could be your own therapist right now, what do you think you would say to yourself?
Take a moment to slow down, breathe, and practice mindfulness and gratitude. Even in busy times, pausing for self-care is crucial for your emotional and mental wellbeing.
Connect with Jacqueline via our Asian Australian Mental Health Practitioner List HERE.
Alternatively, if you feel like Jacqueline may be a good fit for someone that you know, be sure to forward this page on to them too. Let us continue to not only support ourselves but all those around us too!
If you require urgent assistance, please do not contact Jacqueline or any of the practitioners on this list. Instead, please call emergency services on 000 or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Shapes and Sounds does not recommend or endorse Jacqueline or any of the practitioners listed on the Asian Australian Mental Health Practitioner List.
Please always consult your GP before making changes to your mental health care plan.
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You're not alone in navigating the intersections of race, culture and mental health. Find out more about our Shapes and Sounds Community, designed for and by Asian Australians.