Sidai Dong, M.A., M.Ed.
Clinical work supervised by Ben Spear, Ph.D.
Group work (DBT Critical Care) supervised by CB Klemt Craig, Psy.D.
- Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, Texas A&M University (in progress)
- M.Ed., Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University
- M.A., Child Development, Tufts University
- B.S., Psychology and Statistics, Central Michigan University
Approach to Therapy and Professional Interests
My theoretical orientation is primarily Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I integrate ideas and technics from other modalities into my case conceptualization and treatment within an ACT lens, including CBT, developmental, interpersonal, family systems, psychodynamic, and multicultural theories. ACT resonates with me because of the idea of psychological flexibility, which is congruent with my beliefs of finding balance and practicing the golden mean. In my clinical work, I learned that people struggle with psychological problems because they struggle to find balance in life. These include the balance between expectations and realities, others’ expectations and clients’ values, work and family, and more. Balancing life looks different for each person, depending on client variables (e.g., age, race, occupation), and other contextual factors (e.g., history, family system, social environment). Therefore, ACT provides clients individualized opportunities to explore their values, find common ground, and balance between Acceptance and changes.
In these intimate therapeutic processes, I see my role as a listener, a helper, a monitor, a teacher, and a cheerleader. Each person’s experiences are novel and require an embracement of flexibility. I hope to take my clients on a journey where they get to learn and experience the beauty of finding balance. I hope to assist them in finding autonomy, making decisions for themselves, and working hard to fulfill their dreams. I also hope to show them the importance of a sense of belonging and fostering warmth, love, and care.
Personal Statement on Diversity and Social Justice
As an Asian female psychologist in training and an international student, I am very aware of the stigma associated with mental illness and how those who have mental illness often do not receive the care they need once they are involved with the justice system. My graduate study experiences have expanded and deepened my view and understanding of the underserved population on campus. This involved working with individuals with diverse, multicultural backgrounds and systemic oppressions, including people with disabilities, those who come from low-income families, individuals from varied racial/ethnic, sexual orientation, and immigration backgrounds. These experiences exposed me to recognize and work with individuals impacted by gender, cultural, socioeconomic, and or linguistic barriers when seeking mental health care on campus. My passion for promoting mental health care for minority groups of college students encourages me to commit to helping clients navigate the health care system, accepting and celebrating diversity, support them through their critical development period, and examining a holistic view of the world.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, traveling, and eating good food.