Things I savor: morning blue sky after a night of rain, old typewriters, steam towel on my face, a baby's giggle, and all things chocolate.
I offer my services in both English and Korean.
I offer virtual and in-person sessions.
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, board-certified art therapist, and mental health researcher. Before my life as a therapist, I worked as a marketing and design consultant for multinational corporations for over two decades. I used my bicultural expertise and skills in research, design, marketing, and client care to help companies increase their brand awareness and grow market share. This long working experience outside of mental health has helped me view life issues with a more solution-focused and big-picture perspective while still validating and honoring each person's experience. As a clinician, I've worked in inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings helping patients with severe and moderate mental illnesses. My training also involves working with children and teens with various learning and emotional challenges in school-based settings.
In private practice, I help people challenged by parenting, difficult relationships, academic/work performance, trauma, anxiety, stress, depression, and ADHD. My professional goal is to share the latest research and effective practices in person-centered psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, art therapy, narrative medicine, and wellness to enhance our resilience and bring meaning to the lives of many.
ADHD - After a thorough evaluation process, I utilize the latest research on brain development and learning differences to help clients overcome challenges arising from ADHD.
Anxiety - Depending on the type of anxiety disorder and the presence of comorbidity, I use a blend of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, narrative therapy and/or expressive arts therapy.
Mood disorders and OCD - I work with your psychiatrist to help you maximize the benefits of therapy and medication. I start from a strength-based approach to help you make small changes that result in positive outcomes that build on each other.
Sudden life changes - Experiencing an unexpected or unwelcome change can negatively impact even the hardiest people. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength and we will work together to help you understand the situation and deal with the changes in a way that gives you peace and meaning.
Trauma-informed - I subscribe to trauma-informed care where I understand the connections between trauma and the bodily, emotional, and behavioral responses. Without re-traumatizing, we will establish safety and work on decreasing traumatic stress symptoms. We will practice integrating parts of ourselves to create wholeness and balance.
Digital media - I help clients struggling with gaming and social media addiction. I don't demonize technology. In fact, as one of the first therapists to use digital arts and augmented reality apps in a clinical setting, I am particularly interested in digital media and its impact on our brains. I've also presented the benefits and limitations of incorporating technological tools in therapy at conferences and educational settings.
Art Therapy - During my time as an artist at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, a renowned artist residency program, I noticed something interesting about art-making. Some of the most brilliant artists I knew used the art process to express, evaluate, and heal from their trauma and life challenges. I teach art therapy graduate courses at Prescott College and Loyola Marymount University. I also facilitate resilience and self-care workshops that harness the power of creativity to heal and grow.
Narrative Medicine - Narrative medicine is a growing discipline in healthcare that utilizes close listening and narrative competence in clinical practice, research, and education as a way to promote healing. My dissertation investigated the effects of making art for just 15 minutes within the framework of Narrative Medicine, and I was blown away by how short, purposeful engagement in response writing and art making can yield many benefits such as flow, grounding, attunement, playfulness, deep reflection, and much more! As a believer in the process of listening, expressing, reflecting, and transforming, my practice uses Narrative Medicine methods in group therapy.
Professional Certificate in Narrative Medicine - Columbia University, NY
Ph.D. in Art Therapy Psychology - Notre Dame de Namur University, CA (Moved to Dominican University, CA)
MA in Marital and Family Therapy/Art Therapy - Loyola Marymount University, CA
Artist Residency - Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME
MFA in Fiber and Material Studies - The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, IL
BFA in Studio Arts and BA in Art History with a minor in Psychology - University of California, Irvine
Choe, N. & Carlton, N. (2019). Behind the screens: Informed consent and digital literacy in art therapy. Art Therapy. 36(1), 15-21
Choe, N. (2017). Designing an art therapy app. In S. Imholz & J. Sachter (Eds.), Psychology’s New Design Science and the Reflective Practitioner. Common Ground.
Choe, N. (2017). Utilizing digital tools and apps in art therapy. In R. Garner (Ed.), Digital art therapy: Materials, methods and application (pp. 54-66). Jessica Kingsley.
Choe, S. (2014). An exploration of the qualities and features of art apps for art therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy,41(2), 145-154.
2022, Dominican University, Department of Art Therapy Psychology
- Guest Lecturer - "Art as a Way of Knowing"
2022, Prescott College, Department of Expressive Arts Therapy
- Adjunct Professor
2020-2021, Loyola Marymount University, Department of Marital and Family Therapy with Specialized Training in Art Therapy
- Guest Lecturer - "Art Therapy and Telehealth"
- Guest Lecturer - "Therapist's Ethical Use of Social Media"
11/2020, American Art Therapy Association Conference, Washington, D.C.
- Presenter, “The Ekphrastic Encounter: When Poetry Meets Art”
2/23/2019, Digital International Creative Arts Therapies Symposium (DICATS)
- One of the founding members and Los Angeles host/organizer
11/2017, American Art Therapy Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM
- Presenter, “Mapping the Digital Landscape: Towards a Multicultural and Ethical Understanding of Digital
07/11/15, American Art Therapy Association Conference, Minneapolis, MN
- Presenter, “Ethics of Identity in Digital Culture and Art Therapy,"
05/2014, Pacific Clinics, Pasadena, CA
- Lecturer, “Art Therapy: A Clinical Understanding”
05/23/2013, Pacific Clinics, Pasadena, CA
- Presenter, “Art Therapy: A Clinical Understanding”
07/11/12, American Art Therapy Association Conference, Savannah, GA
- Panel Presenter, “Media Arts and Technology in Art Therapy: In Practice and Ethics”