We are excited to introduce our newest therapist to our practice, Jordan Fu. Jordan is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (#135262) with an MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles. She trained in psychodynamic therapy at the Maple Counseling Center. Jordan also holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied a variety of mediums from illustration to fiber art. We have included some of Jordan's gorgeous illustrations for your enjoyment! In this Q&A, we get to know Jordan a little better and learn about her approach to therapy.
What inspired you to become a therapist?
When I was in high school, I began seeing a therapist who became a very formative presence in my life. As a teenager, it was incredibly valuable to have a trusted adult in my life who could validate my experience. She helped me understand myself and the world I was living in. When I decided to return to therapy as an adult, I felt a lot of trepidation about building a new therapeutic relationship with someone else. Then, I found someone whose style of therapy offered something new and unique. She facilitated a lot of moments of insight for me and really encouraged me to become a therapist. I feel so grateful for these experiences in my personal therapy and for the relief that therapy has brought me in challenging times. I would love to pass that on and support others in their journeys.
What is your approach to therapy?
I’m very interested in the past and its influence on the present. I am curious about the impact of family dynamics, childhood experiences, and past relationships on the way we think and act in our everyday lives. Are there behaviors or patterns of negative self-talk that were adopted from these experiences that are harming us in our present? Is there a correlation between the ways we learned to self-soothe earlier in life and the current method of coping we employ? I am passionate about helping people deepen their understanding of themselves and their inner world.
I also believe in the healing power of humor. A lot of us feel isolated and disconnected from others due to fear of judgment. I see humor as a relational experience that brings so much relief and elicits empathy for self and others. I think it’s a really powerful tool that I try to utilize in my work because it helps us learn to be kind to ourselves and feel connected to others who may be having similar experiences.
Artwork by Jordan Fu
Who is psychodynamic therapy right for?
I think psychodynamic therapy is great for those who wish to strengthen their sense of self through exploring their past. It’s beneficial if you approach therapy with openness and willingness to talk about challenging experiences. Psychodynamic therapy can help you develop the language and the awareness to articulate your experiences to others, which may lead to insight about how these experiences have impacted you and how you see yourself.
What are some of the challenges you face in your work as a therapist?
As an AAPI-identifying therapist, I face a lot of unique challenges. A lot of modalities feel like they were written through a very specific lens and not necessarily in consideration of someone from my cultural background. I’ve wrestled with the impact of this a great deal but as a result, I’ve really worked to integrate a more culturally sensitive mindset.
How do you incorporate cultural sensitivity into your work with clients?
I want to live in a world where people have the capacity to accept and make room for the existence of an experience that is different from their own. This is why I strongly believe in the importance of maintaining curiosity about a client’s cultural background. I try to ask questions to learn more about the role of culture in my clients’ lives because it is a huge part of understanding who they are and how they see the world. It is also imperative that I maintain cultural humility and awareness of how my cultural background shapes my perspective so that I can be mindful not to project this onto someone else.
Artwork by Jordan Fu
What are some of the rewards of your work as a therapist?
The therapeutic relationship is mutually beneficial in so many ways. I feel honored when someone shares something with me, and it is a gift to be able to offer support to them. I’ve learned so much from my clients–their diverse stories and perspectives have really enriched my life.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering therapy?
Take the time to find a therapist who makes you feel safe. This doesn’t mean your therapist is perfect and will always understand–this is why a sense of safety is a key component of a strong therapeutic relationship. Part of building a relationship with your therapist includes having a discussion when you feel like they’ve missed the mark. For most of us, the idea of a therapist making an interpretation that feels out of line with how we see ourselves can seem like an incredibly scary situation. Of course, there are times when this feels harmful, but I also see times of mismatch as opportunities to feel empowered and really stand firm in what we know about ourselves. It can also be incredibly healing to confront someone about feeling misunderstood when the other party can receive that, process it, and make the effort to understand you on a deeper level.
Artwork by Jordan Fu
What are some of your artistic interests?
I’ve been fortunate in my life to have exposure to a lot of different artistic mediums. When I was growing up, drawing was a really meaningful way of expressing myself in a time when I didn’t have a strong grasp on expressing myself through words. This laid the foundation for a strong belief in the healing power of art making. In college, I was really interested in trying everything I could from comic illustration to shoemaking. I found that I was particularly drawn to tactile and repetitive methods of making, like weaving and printmaking. I enjoy the meditative process of making something with my hands. Over the past several years, I’ve really returned to my roots and started drawing again. I would love to illustrate my own children’s book one day.
How has your background in the arts influenced your work as a therapist?
A lot of people come to therapy because they are feeling stuck in their life. Sometimes, this is a creative block, sometimes it’s a period of inaction or indecision. These conversations feel similar to the way I think about maintaining an artist’s practice in that there are times of intense making, and there are times for research and reflection. In these quieter periods, we might feel like we aren’t being “productive,” but learning and processing lay the foundation for insight and inspiration.
How do you think your background in the arts has helped you as a therapist?
There are a lot of similarities to things I learned in art school and my work as a therapist. I’ve sat in many critiques where we’ve discussed the relationship between the artist’s intent and the viewer’s interpretation. Engaging with art is a relational experience–there is so much that happens between the choices the artist makes and the lens through which the viewer sees the world. This exchange feels so similar to what occurs in therapy between what the therapist brings to the room and what the client brings in to discuss. There is something special that happens in the relational experience of trying to describe something internal, making it external through language or visual art, and sharing it with someone else. I think the communication and critical thinking skills I developed in conceptual art school serve me in my work as a therapist.
We hope you will join us in welcoming Jordan to our practice! She is a talented therapist who is committed to helping people heal and grow. If you are interested in working with Jordan please contact her HERE to schedule your free phone consultation.