Hi, I'm Elyse Gong
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker who will help you learn to manage distress, increase personal efficacy, and create positive and lasting change.
My goal is to help you learn what your anxiety and/or depression are about, and find ways to heal and move through them.
By increasing your tolerance of these emotions you will feel less limited by them, and can connect to the purpose available in your life.
What does it feel like to be in therapy with me?
I would describe my style in therapy as directive, collaborative, and supportive. I am invested in helping you make the changes needed to benefit your daily decision making and live your life as fully as possible.
I am ready to hear what has been going on for you, and what you are needing at this point in your life. To me, a good session is one where you leave feeling heard, understood, and armed with some practical tools for change to practice over the next week.
To help you meet your goals for therapy, I will be transparent about the skills we can learn so that you are in control of your own change process. Some of the things we will look at and work on in sessions will include the practice of:
Core Mindfulness skills through techniques such as paced breathing and paired relaxation
Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills to assertively communicate your wants and needs
Distress Tolerance Skills through techniques like self-soothing with the five-senses to cope with what may currently feel intolerable in healthy ways
Emotion Regulation Skills so that you can increase your ability to experience a wider range of intensely pleasant and also intensely unpleasant emotions
In an effort to help you accomplish and sustain change, I will sometimes give brief assignments such as thought or emotion records so that you have a written document to apply skills learned to real-life scenarios as they occur outside of sessions. This will provide you a tool to monitor progress made and a written document to track your change by.
It may also serve as a way to identify any barriers that arise towards change, which can then inform our work together in the next session.
*Please note: I have a specialization in working with addiction and recovery both for individuals and partners/family of these individuals. Together, we will work to identify and meet your treatment goals.
Clinical Training and Practice
I received my Master of Science in Social Work degree with a concentration in Health, Mental Health and Disabilities from Columbia University, and my Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology from Ramapo College of New Jersey.
After completing my graduate degree, I completed over three years of clinical supervision at Montefiore Medical Center where I spent the next five years working in a community-based intensive outpatient clinic treating adults with co-occurring disorders in the Bronx, NY. During this time, I received training and supervision with the NY State Psychiatric Institute for the practice of Motivational Interviewing.
Before receiving my clinical license in NY, I completed the Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) course at Columbia University and became a Supervisor of graduate students in the Montefiore clinic.
After relocating to CA, I continued treating co-occurring disorders in a partial-hospitalization program/intensive outpatient program. I have extensive experience in working with individuals and families struggling with addiction and in different stages of recovery.
In my clinical experience, I have worked with individuals, couples, and families across different levels of care in hospital-based settings and in community-based settings.
I have experience working with a spectrum of diverse clients with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, and ability.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker by the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences LCSW 77277.
I apply a strength-based approach to therapy, meaning that I will help you harness your strengths, identify your resources, and foster your resilience.
Additionally, I hold the belief that one size does not fit all when working with each person who enters into my office.
I will teach you tools that emerge from the following evidence-based approaches: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). By accessing these therapeutic techniques, I will help you to identify and break unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling, and doing that have become learned and habitual.
*Elyse Gong has appointments available in San Francisco, Berkeley, and online.