Grace Siqi Chen (Intern Therapist)
Grace Chen (she/her/hers) is an Intern Therapist at The Center for Growth from June 2023 to June 2024. Grace is working towards a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Previously Grace has worked in the financial services industry for about four years with a master’s degree in Accounting from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Lafayette College. Prior to her work with the Center for Growth, Grace completed her first-year internship in family therapy, working with children, adolescents, and families by providing CBT and behavioral therapy services. Grace works with clients in a variety of areas, including trauma, life transitions, eating disorders, self-esteem and self-love, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, grief & loss, and so on.
Grace, having lived in the United States for over 14 years, has successfully assimilated her Asian background into American culture. This unique perspective enables her to incorporate culturally responsive therapy into her practice, ensuring a more empathetic and tailored approach to her clients’ diverse needs. By integrating her bicultural understanding, Grace can recognize and address the specific challenges that individuals from different cultural backgrounds may face. This includes navigating issues related to acculturation, identity, and intergenerational conflicts. Grace's ability to draw from her own experiences and respect the cultural values of her clients allows her to create a therapeutic environment that fosters trust, understanding, and growth. In doing so, she can better serve clients from various cultural backgrounds, promoting inclusivity and enhancing the overall effectiveness of her therapeutic interventions.
Having interned and volunteered in a couple of mental health-related organizations, Grace has been equipped with a wealth of knowledge and skills that will significantly benefit her new career as an intern therapist at The Center for Growth. As a behavioral health technician intern at Family Therapy and Consultation Services, she gained hands-on experience with various therapeutic approaches, such as behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and family therapy, which enabled her to tailor her approach to each client’s unique needs. Additionally, her work conducting evaluations and assessments with students has honed her ability to effectively identify and address specific concerns. Finally, grace’s previous experience as a peer supporter has further refined her listening skills and person-centered approach, allowing her to empathize with clients from diverse backgrounds and provide compassionate, individualized support. These invaluable experiences have laid a strong foundation for Grace’s career as a therapist, enabling her to make a meaningful difference in the lives of her clients.
Grace’s unique four-year accounting experience in the financial services industry can bring valuable insights to her new career as an intern therapist at The Center for Growth. With her academic background in Accounting and Economics, she is well-equipped to understand the financial stressors that can significantly impact clients’ mental health. This perspective enables her to provide specialized support to individuals dealing with financial challenges or those working in high-pressure environments. Furthermore, her experience interning and volunteering in mental health organizations has helped her develop essential therapeutic skills such as listening, self-reflection, and problem-solving. By integrating her financial expertise with her mental health training, Grace can offer a comprehensive and empathetic approach that addresses both financial and emotional concerns, ultimately promoting overall well-being and resilience for her clients.
Grace’s decision to make a career change was driven by her search for a deeper meaning in her work and life. While working as an accountant, she found herself feeling unfulfilled and questioning the purpose of her daily tasks. This sense of meaninglessness led her to discover existential therapy online, which resonated with her as it addressed universal human concerns such as death, isolation, meaninglessness, and freedom. Realizing that she was in an existential vacuum at that time, Grace found that her work lacked excitement and motivation, causing her to do only the minimum required. This self-discovery prompted her to pursue a career in therapy, where she could not only find personal fulfillment but also help others navigate similar existential challenges and create more meaningful lives for themselves.
Grace’s personal journey through a career change can serve as a powerful source of inspiration for her new clients. Her experience of grappling with existential questions and searching for meaning in her work and life demonstrates that it is possible to overcome feelings of disillusionment and find one's passion. By sharing her own story of navigating the existential vacuum, Grace can help clients recognize that they are not alone in their struggles and that change is achievable. Her personal growth and transformation can empower clients to explore their own values, passions, and goals, guiding them towards a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life. Grace’s empathy and understanding, derived from her own experiences, can foster a therapeutic environment that is supportive, relatable, and encouraging for clients facing similar challenges.
In summary, Grace Chen is an intern therapist at The Center for Growth, bringing with her a unique blend of professional experience, personal growth, and cultural understanding. Her background in accounting and economics, along with her expertise in mental health counseling, allows her to provide comprehensive support to clients facing a wide range of challenges. Grace's bicultural perspective enriches her practice by ensuring a culturally responsive and empathetic approach to therapy, fostering an inclusive and supportive environment. Her own journey through an existential vacuum and career change serves as an inspiring example for clients seeking to overcome similar struggles, enabling her to provide guidance with compassion and authenticity. Her target population includes individuals and families from diverse cultural backgrounds, those facing financial stressors, and clients navigating life transitions, existential challenges, and various mental health concerns such as trauma, eating disorders, self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety, and grief & loss.
Grace’s therapeutic approaches incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), existential therapy, psychoanalysis therapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, narrative therapy, and culturally responsive therapy, allowing her to tailor her methods to meet each client's unique needs. Her bicultural understanding and experiences in both the financial services industry and mental health organizations have equipped her with the knowledge, skills, and empathy necessary to provide compassionate and individualized support. Grace also is ready to learn more therapeutic approaches throughout the internship at The Center for Growth.
By drawing on her own journey of self-discovery, career change, and search for meaning, Grace can inspire clients to overcome similar challenges and work towards a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life. Her commitment to inclusivity, empathy, and understanding in her practice fosters a therapeutic environment that promotes trust, growth, and healing for clients from all walks of life. She is poised to become an influential and transformative force in the field of mental health counseling, touching the lives of her clients and inspiring them to reach their fullest potential.
Fluent in English & Mandarin
NPI: Working towards a Master of Philosophy in Education, Professional Counseling
- Pennsylvania: PA: Providing therapy under supervision