In an effort to enhance the skills of our clinical staff and provide more well-rounded services to our community, 10 of KYCC’s Korean-speaking clinicians underwent psychodynamic therapy training from Aug. 14 to 19. Research has proven the long-lasting effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy, which—similar to psychoanalysis—is a form of depth psychology that delves into the unconscious content of a client’s psyche.

Soni Kim Monroe, Psy.D, of the Crossroads Institute for Psychotherapy and Assessment, provided the training, which was funded by the Robert Ellis Simon Foundation. In addition, Lauren Kwan, a Korean American Family Services (KFAM) clinician, took part with our staff.

“KYCC is grateful for the opportunity to get our staff trained in psychodynamic work,” said Grace Park, KYCC Clinical Services Manager. “It is extremely rare for a community-based mental health clinic to have access to this immersive type of training. Ultimately, we hope this will help clients achieve health and wellness.”

Currently, our DMH-funded programs expect our therapies to focus and target behavior, and most standard practices are evidence-based therapies. Psychodynamic therapy, however, is a traditional method that allows for deeper self-exploration and insight, and education in this training broadens our clinicians’ perspectives on treating clients.

The purpose of the program was to develop KYCC’s internal capacity to effectively provide psychodynamic model treatment services, and share training and technical assistance resources with other Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health-funded Korean American and Asian Pacific Islander agencies to better serve the Korean American community. KYCC clinicians believed that their mental health services to children and adolescents could be significantly improved with thorough training in this method.

Always with our clients in mind, the program also examined cultural considerations and adaptations related to the psychodynamic model. KYCC will continue consultation groups with Monroe through 2016. With consistent training, our clinicians will have the opportunity to further refine their skills as they begin to practice psychodynamic therapy.