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. Prior to my career in therapy, I spent over two decades as a marketing consultant for multinational corporations helping them improve their understanding of diverse consumer culture. This extensive experience outside of the mental health field has allowed me to approach life's challenges with a solution-focused and holistic perspective, while still acknowledging and respecting each individual's unique experiences. My clinical experience working with diverse clients suffering from moderate to severe mental health challenges in a hospital and school-based setting has shown me that my holistic and solution-focused perspective is valuable. By staying informed about the latest research findings and evidence-based practices, I ensure that my therapeutic approach is grounded in the most up-to-date knowledge and techniques.
I work with a range of issues, including parenting, relationship, academic or work performance concerns, trauma, anxiety, stress/burnout, depression, and ADHD. I've worked in psychiatric settings helping patients with severe and moderate mental illnesses. My training also involved working with children and teens facing diverse learning and emotional difficulties within school-based environments.
I offer engaging lectures, seminars, and talks on mental health and art therapy for diverse audiences. With extensive experience presenting at academic conferences and symposiums, I break down the research and show how we can implement research findings into our lives and support our mental health.
I teach graduate level arts-based research and art therapy courses at Loyola Marymount University. I love inviting students to expand their thinking and witnessing their transformation. I also supervise students in clinical practicum and provide art therapy supervision and mentorship to post-graduate, budding therapists. My supervision style is proactive, purposeful, and practical.
I am passionate about effecting change in our world through intentional actions. I extend my services to non-profit organizations, assisting them in fulfilling their missions. Currently, I collaborate with the Korean American Wellness Association (KAWA) and Liberty for North Korea (LiNK) to support their important work.
Many mental health researchers are not practitioners which can create a dissonance between theory and practice. I strive to bridge that gap by actively seeking ways to enhance service methodology and delivery. My mental health research areas are wellness, burnout, and resilience.
For some, a workshop experience that enhances resilience and relationships is a better fit than traditional therapy. I facilitate small groups dedicated to personal and professional growth. Through arts-based wellness practices, these intimate gatherings provide a unique and meaningful opportunity to holistically assess and explore ourselves.
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.
Burnout - Characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment, burnout affects many students and professionals. It's not just about working hours but also about boundaries, self-awareness, prioritization, communication, and self-efficacy. Research shows that a holistic, integrative approach is most effective. I will help you utilize creativity to regain your best self and overcome burnout. Together, we'll explore strategies for rejuvenation and personal growth
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 research 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 - 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
Choe, N. S. (2023). Understanding the value of art prompts in an online narrative medicine workshop: an exploratory-descriptive focus group study. Medical Humanities, 49(2), 308-320.
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.