Huantian (Aria) Xiao, LPMHC
Growing up in a family that never really talked about or comfortably expressed emotions, as a child and teenager, I struggled to identify my own feelings. When I was introduced to the discipline of psychology in high school, I was fascinated as I finally had an explanation for my own (and others’) emotions and behaviors.
Because of this newfound curiosity about human psychology and my inherent drive to connect and understand others, I volunteered to work with children on the Autism Spectrum in high school. This work deepened my intrinsic motivation to learn more about psychology and apply it towards a career. My experiences volunteering in a developmental psychology lab in college and studying applied psychology on the undergraduate level made clear my preference for working with people as opposed coding data in a lab setting. And in 2021 I graduated with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.
Born and raised in Shenzhen, China, and now living in New York City for many years, I identify as a global citizen, and I share the struggle of “being in the middle space” of two cultures; as a result, I actively incorporate social justice and cultural sensitivity into my work. Treating clients from diverse backgrounds, and based upon my current and past work with late teens and young adults with trauma history, I have sought to refine my ability to work with traumatic experiences and post-traumatic stress. That said, I enjoy working with a multitude of issues and difficulties and seek to meet each client where they need.
Sessions with me are collaborative and creative, utilizing relational understanding to help develop emotional and cognitive skills and promote growth. In addition, I believe that it is important that individuals feel empowered to advocate for themselves within and amongst their own communities (whether with a partner, in a family or amongst a neighborhood or in a larger community) as well as the culture at large. While this is another important goal of the therapeutic work, I firmly believe that everyone needs a safe and comfortable space to be fully seen and heard.