Meet Asian Australian Clinical Psychologist, Daniela Ho Tan

interview mental health Mar 23, 2023
A photo of Asian Australian Clinical Psychologist, Daniela Ho Tan

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 Daniela Ho Tan who is a clinical psychologist working at Mindwealth Psychology (located in Sydney, and offers Telehealth sessions Australia wide). We hope you enjoy connecting with Daniela below!


1. What led you to choosing psychology as a career?

I always knew I wanted to help people in some capacity (probably as I have a very self-sacrificing mother!) and I have always been fascinated by human behaviour. Coming from an Asian background, mental health and emotional well-being is not something that is openly discussed and I think that drove me to want to understand it even more. Once I started my psychology undergraduate degree I was hooked and ever since I became a clinical psychologist I have felt so privileged that my clients trust me to help them on their mental health journey.

2. What is your unique cultural heritage?

Both my parents are Vietnamese. I was born in Germany and moved to Australia when I was 4 years old. I have definitely had my own internal struggles with my sense of self in trying to identify who I am and what my values are due to being raised with collectivistic views in predominantly individualistic countries. I feel very grateful for my diversity though as it definitely allows me to relate to and understand my clients (many of whom are Asian) who are often second generation Australians.

3. What are your areas of specialty and what kind of frameworks do you work from?

My main areas of interest are complex trauma, attachment and relationships (I do not practice couples therapy), dissociative disorders, anxiety, depression, emotion dysregulation, adjustment to parenthood and disordered eating/body image. I particularly enjoy working in cross-cultural contexts and find it incredibly vital to weave culture into my clinical formulation.

The foundation of my training lies in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) but my passion is Schema Therapy for which I am currently undergoing accreditation. I have additionally completed training in the following modalities: Maudesley Family Based Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Attachment Based Therapy, Functional Analytic Psychotherapy, and Gottman Therapy.

4. What kind of clients are you best able to support?

I have shifted my focus to working mainly with adult clients. I am happy to work with any client who is willing to work collaboratively with me. I really enjoy working with clients of different ethnicities as I learn so much about how their culture shapes their experiences and how this can impact the way they think and express (or suppress!) their emotions. A majority of my clients are Asian and I think that is a reflection of the demographic of the area I work in as well as clients seeking out someone who they feel can relate to their own experiences. I am also passionate about supporting health professionals’ mental health especially in reducing any stigma associated with help-seeking (after all the carer also deserves to be cared for).

5. If you could be your own therapist right now, what do you think you would say to yourself?

Ooh this is a tricky one. I have always focused on being the therapist that I would want for myself to my clients. I think I would say "It's ok to slow down and know that you are doing enough. I know that you care so deeply and there is plenty of time to make an impact in this world." I think some of my clients would be surprised if they read that but I like to be open and honest that I am also just another human being and like them, I have my own self-sacrificing and perfectionistic tendencies.


Connect with Daniela via our Asian Australian Mental Health Practitioner List HERE.

Alternatively, if you feel like Daniela 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 Daniela 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 Daniela 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.

💡Free resource: The essential guide to Asian Australian mental health.

We created our "Essential Guide for Asian Australian Mental Health" by surveying over 350 Asian Australians during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Download our guide and learn about the three most pertinent areas of concern for the Asian community, with tips and strategies to support you through.

Download now