Randy Ahn, Ph.D., MLIS; I'm a clinical psychologist and have worked in various clinical and non-clinical settings, including pre-K, K-12, college, and graduate school trainees. So most of my work has been with children and parents, adolescents, and young adults as they find their way in life.
For young families, I like to provide parenting consultation and family work -- what this usually means is exploring why situations have gotten out of hand, resetting family communication and expectations, and learning ways of encouraging positive behaviors -- all to increase parent-child attachment and to learn non-coercive parenting techniques. Mom, Dad, you can do this! I work from a psychodynamic and positive psychology perspective for older adolescents and young adults, which means building insight into relationships and learning to navigate difficult situations in life.
I work with a few groups primarily: Children and families where there is family conflict, arguing, difficulty in managing behavior, or the challenges of everyday life. Telehealth parenting support and individual therapy for older children work well; for younger children, though, I prefer in-person sessions. For adolescents, childhood problems can intensify and include the developmental challenge of being a teenager. It's not uncommon for adolescents to feel stress, anxiety, and depression because of school, friends, and what goes on at home -- so it can be helpful to talk about it with someone to organize one's thoughts and emotions around these situations, particularly if your trust in others has been lost; I'd like to help. For young people who are making their way in life, it can be a difficult time because one day, it seems like we are thrust into the realities of adult life; you may not feel prepared for this or stressed out about it -- I'd like to explore your life's story to this point so that you can see your future self more clearly.
My communication style
I want to get to know you to start and at your pace! I think that is what a good therapist should strive for -- and do this with acceptance, warmth, humor, and focus.
My journey to therapy
When I was a freshman in college, I learned about President Kennedy's Community Mental Health Act of 1963 and thought it was the best thing I'd ever heard about what the government does! Fortunately, my university had world-class professors and helped guide me into the field of clinical psychology; I started working with autistic children and later achieved my goal of becoming a Senior Community Mental Health Psychologist for the County of Los Angeles, Dept of Mental Health. I've held academic positions with UCLA, my alma mater, and later got an additional library degree in order to work on digital projects and information management within medical reference at UCLA. In the course of my career, the mental health field has transformed into one that offers what we call "evidence-based practices (EBP)," I am a supporter of this and have been trained to provide these as well. So I guess you could say I'm a bit of an old-school psychodynamic therapist mixed with the best science of EBPs. I am primarily an administrator these days, but because so many people would benefit from either approach during these difficult times, I have set aside some time each week to devote to client work.
My goals for you
Jointly with flexibility, goals may shift with your awareness because what one desire at first may only be the surface of one's life goals.
My first session with you
The very first session is our intake assessment session, and so I will be gathering background information on aspects of your life, such as your health and mental health, school history, occupation, etc. We'll also cover your reason for seeking assistance and outline a preliminary course of action. The intake session is necessary to begin work and is the most formal session we'll have because it is structured and forms a baseline of how you are doing at that point in time. Subsequent sessions will be more conversational, insight-oriented, and therapeutic.