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Yuchen Shi 


Tier I Therapist 

In my life, I've met many people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I've found that although everyone has their different struggles, the feeling of pain is the most common among them. There is a saying, "Only through breaking out of the cocoon can one become a butterfly," which seems to imply no pain, no growth. However, sometimes, this pain really hard to digest.

I believe that everyone on the path of counseling is doing their best to solve it in their way. Sometimes, this pain feels like a rope that tightens more the more you struggle, invisible to others, only truly felt by you.

My hope in the work is to feel it with you and to unravel it together.
As a therapist, I am also very grateful to every client who gives me the opportunity to listen to them, allowing me the privilege to witness the miracles of the mind.

I offer bilingual counseling in both English and Chinese.

If you are deep in darkness,
you also become the star that lights up the dark.

My Story

During high school, I suffered from distress a lot. I set a goal for myself: if I could get through it by counseling, I would then help others in the same way. Because I also want to pass on this transformative power to more people after I saw it. Years later, without realizing it, I found myself in the position I had promised to reach. This is a stroke of luck, and I cherish it greatly. 

Everyone who seeks help shows incredible courage. Sometimes, especially for men, seeking help involves facing greater social pressure and prejudice. Reflecting on my own hesitations and difficulties when I first got into counseling, I can totally understand that the real challenge is that we seem to have to admit that we are 'troubled,' ' weak,' and 'vulnerable.' But looking back now, the reality is quite the opposite. Seeking help actually means that we don't want to fall because we believe the game is not over yet. Seeking help means we are strong because we actually endure more pressure on this path. Through my story, I hope to encourage those who might still be hesitating, especially men who feel they must bear everything alone, to bravely take that step."

Reflecting on this journey, I had met unhelpful therapists who responded like a stone, offering advice that felt as distant as if it were from another planet; I experienced stagnant counseling sessions that made me doubt whether I could ever clear the shadows clouding my mind. However, just as challenges often arise regardless of one’s will, growth and change can also happen unexpectedly, and my efforts were not in vain. Standing now in the shoes of a counselor and looking back at my path, I can better understand what clients need and what makes an effective counseling session.

In practice, I try to make the counseling process as natural as possible. When necessary, with permission, I also guide clients to explore certain directions. This side-by-side approach not only offers companionship but also allows me to appropriately influence the direction of the counseling, helping those who feel lost.
Although the path of counseling is winding and requires long-term commitment, my passion has never waned. Like long-term physical exercise, although challenging, persistence will bring change. Therefore, I particularly favor evidence-based methods, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which combine humanistic care with scientific methods.

Therapeutic Approaches

My therapeutic approach integrates humanistic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). I believe that the connection between people is a prerequisite for the effectiveness of any counseling method. Without understanding, what is deemed "correct advice" can be as harmful as violence. Therefore, the humanistic approach softens the counseling experience. Building on this, CBT is the most extensively researched and widely validated method. ACT complements this by not only offering a plethora of techniques to help us flexibly meet current challenges but also assisting in reshaping our life's goals and meanings.


Emotional Distress
We are taught how to understand the world, but not how to know our inner selves. Facing surges of emotions, suppression, and neglect are the most common choices because they are very effective, allowing us to refocus our attention on the challenges of reality. However, overly relying on this method makes it seem as if we are split into two parts: one that continuously generates various emotions like anger, anxiety, fear, etc.; the other, constantly having to deal with them. When both fighters in the ring are ourselves, there can be no winner.
This predicament reminds us that it's time to pay attention to that inner part. I help clients see, understand, and then regulate their emotions in healthier ways, embarking on a journey toward their inner selves.

Men‘s Issues
As a male counselor, I have observed that in traditional male upbringing, emotional expression is discouraged, and many mental challenges are unique to men. This internal sense of loneliness needs to be understood. Through my work, I hope to help other male clients gain understanding and healing. For those clients who wish to establish healthier relationships with men, I also hope that my identity as a male counselor can provide a safe starting point.


  • Supervisor: Huilin Lai, LCSW: R081942

  • Degree: New York University - M.A. of Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness (in process)

  • Degree: Michigan State University – B.A. of Psychology

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