Beyond the Couch with Bridges

Christie Kim, Diana Liao and Samantha Waldman

Welcome to Beyond the Couch, a podcast exploring the intersection of Asian Pacific Islander South Asian American identity and mental health. Hosted by three therapists, Diana Liao, LMHC, Samantha Waldman, LMHC, and Christie Kim, LMHC, who got together in the hopes of demystifying therapy and uplifting stories from our community. Tune in every Wednesday as we unpack topics from burnout and boundaries to perfectionism and collective care with fellow therapists, experts, and community members. Bridges is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care. Join the conversation at @bridgesmentalhealth on Instagram.

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Failing My Way Forward and Embracing Career Changes with Cynthia Pong
3d ago
Failing My Way Forward and Embracing Career Changes with Cynthia Pong
This week, Diana chats with Cynthia Pong (@embracechangenyc) about how to move forward with a career change, how career coaching has changed over the years, and the importance of trying new things and embracing failure as progress. They also discuss the ways in which we’ve been socialized in western society to prioritize individualist thinking over community or seeking help, as well as how an Asian upbringing might inform one’s approach to career aspirations.Cynthia Pong (she/her), JD, is an award-winning career coach, speaker, and author of Don't Stay in Your Lane: The Career Change Guide for Women of Color. An NYU-trained lawyer turned career coach, she's on a mission to get women of color the money, power, and respect that they deserve. Connect with Cynthia through her website or on Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTubeAlthough applications for Cynthia’s Embrace Change leadership accelerator have closed for the fall, those who are interested can apply for the 2023 cohort at out for our giveaway of Cynthia’s book, Don’t Stay in Your Lane, on our Instagram @bridgesmentalhealthMentioned in this episode:Embrace Change Leadership AcceleratorFirsts After Forty podcast hosted by Christina SteedOld in Art School by Nell Painter77 year old Indonesian ChefBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Failing My Way Forward and Embracing Career Changes with Cynthia Pong
3d ago
Failing My Way Forward and Embracing Career Changes with Cynthia Pong
This week, Diana chats with Cynthia Pong (@embracechangenyc) about how to move forward with a career change, how career coaching has changed over the years, and the importance of trying new things and embracing failure as progress. They also discuss the ways in which we’ve been socialized in western society to prioritize individualist thinking over community or seeking help, as well as how an Asian upbringing might inform one’s approach to career aspirations.Cynthia Pong (she/her), JD, is an award-winning career coach, speaker, and author of Don't Stay in Your Lane: The Career Change Guide for Women of Color. An NYU-trained lawyer turned career coach, she's on a mission to get women of color the money, power, and respect that they deserve. Connect with Cynthia through her website or on Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTubeAlthough applications for Cynthia’s Embrace Change leadership accelerator have closed for the fall, those who are interested can apply for the 2023 cohort at out for our giveaway of Cynthia’s book, Don’t Stay in Your Lane, on our Instagram @bridgesmentalhealthMentioned in this episode:Embrace Change Leadership AcceleratorFirsts After Forty podcast hosted by Christina SteedOld in Art School by Nell Painter77 year old Indonesian ChefBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Finding Balance in Ayurveda with Sweta Vikram
Aug 3 2022
Finding Balance in Ayurveda with Sweta Vikram
This week, Diana chats with Sweta Vikram about the 5000+ years-long practice of Ayurveda and how to look at mental and physical health in a more holistic, integrated way. They discuss the different types of doshas (a concept of bodily humor), being in tune with the natural course of the seasons and times of the day, and the benefits of working with, not against, our bodies, their needs, and our natural personalities. They discuss how modern-day work culture has caused many to be disconnected with their bodies, as well as examples of ways in which one might rebalance and retune the body-mind connection through complementing western medicine with eastern medicine, and vice versa, for enhanced overall health.Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an international speaker, best-selling author of 13 books, and Ayurveda and mindset coach who is committed to helping people thrive on their own terms. Her latest book, A Piece of Peace, was released in September 2021. Interviewed by NBC Palm Springs, she was voted as “One of the Most Influential Asians of Our Times” and won the prestigious VOTY Award. She was featured in a documentary with Dr. Deepak Chopra and her work has appeared in New York Times and other publications across nine countries on three continents. Connect with Sweta at swetavikram.com and @swetavikramMentioned in this episode:The Ayurvedic InstituteThe College of AyurvedaBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Protecting the ‘We’ in Multicultural Partnerships with Nita Batta & Tiffany Momoko Kindred
Jul 13 2022
Protecting the ‘We’ in Multicultural Partnerships with Nita Batta & Tiffany Momoko Kindred
This week, Christie is back with Nita Batta, LMSW, and Tiffany Momoko Kindred, LMSW, to explore complex identities and cultures within romantic partnerships. They discuss navigating multicultural partnerships themselves, and offer guidance on cultivating curiosity, respect and acceptance of each other’s differences.  Together, they explore ways to honor the traditions and experience of each partner as well as co-create a new shared identity of ‘we’ in partnership.Nita Batta, LMSW | The pull lies in the strength of the familiar; the push is an urge to create space and jump into the unfamiliar. As an individual who was raised between two cultures, I offer a warm and safe space to discuss cultural competency as it relates to your life. Connect with Nita at nita@agoodplacetherapy.comTiffany Momoko Kindred, LMSW | Being biracial and bicultural, I understand the complexities of holding multiple identities. I walk alongside individuals and couples to help them explore and gain an understanding of how their past has led them to their present, and how they want to move from the present into a happier, more fulfilling future. Connect with Tiffany at tiffany@agoodplacetherapy.comMentioned in this episode:Identity Wheel ExampleCultural Inclusion Index5 Questions Inter-Ethnic Couples Should Ask Before Getting Married BlogLearn more about Nita and Tiffany and their group practice website A Good PlaceBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comwww.bridgesmentalhealth.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Combating Anti-Asian Hate through Self-Defense & Art with Sammy Yuen
Jul 6 2022
Combating Anti-Asian Hate through Self-Defense & Art with Sammy Yuen
This week, Diana chats with Sammy Yuen about how he merges his work in the creative and publishing world with his personal passions to help people fight against anti-Asian hate. Sammy shares how he has contributed to his community through his art and self-defense classes, how his relationship to his Asian-American roots and history has evolved, and how he cares for himself throughout all that he juggles. Diana and Sammy also discuss the pleasant surprises that come with seeing how one thing can lead to another, and the significance of community care.Sammy Yuen (he/him) is an artist, illustrator, designer and self-defense instructor. Who has recently merged his personal and professional life to help fight anti-Asian hate. Connect with Sammy at www.sammyuen.com or @sammynycartMentioned in this episode:Meals for UnityMott Street GirlsYu and Me BooksYou Are Not Alone MuralsSee Sammy’s gallery show (starting 9/8/22 through December) with Mott Street Girls at Pearl River Mart to benefit Chinatown businesses that were affected by the pandemicIf you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a crisis, please reach out immediately to any of the 24/7 resources below:National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255NYC Well: 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355)Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741Or go to your nearest ERBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
How to Identify & Challenge Perfectionism with Dr. Michelle Chung
Jun 29 2022
How to Identify & Challenge Perfectionism with Dr. Michelle Chung
This week, Sam is back with Dr. Michelle Chung to talk about how to identify the two different types of perfectionistic behaviors and begin to challenge them. They chat about how each category of perfectionism can manifest at work, in relationships, and in our inner monologues, getting in the way of healthy ways to approach life. Though it may be challenging, they discuss ways to practice adopting a growth mindset and self-compassion to celebrate the small wins and minimize turning to maladaptive perfectionism to realize success.A clinical psychologist based in New York City, Dr. Chung specializes in the treatment of anxiety, mood, ADHD and executive functioning disorders. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Biofeedback models, Dr. Chung works with youth, families and adults in her boutique private practice with 5 other associates. She is also on the faculty of the Mt. Sinai Medical Center and runs In Practice with Dr. Michelle Chung (@dr.michellechung), an Instagram online platform of courses and workshops about mental health and emotional well-being. Connect with Dr. Chung at drmichellechung.com and at drmichellechung@gmail.comMentioned in this episode:Carol DweckAngela DuckworthNo Stupid Questions PodcastBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
The Cultural Roots of Perfectionism with Dr. Michelle Chung
Jun 22 2022
The Cultural Roots of Perfectionism with Dr. Michelle Chung
This week, Sam chats with Dr. Michelle Chung about how Confucianist roots, collectivist values, and the idea of filial piety prime perfectionist thinking in many Asian cultures. They discuss the paralysis that might come with perfectionism, as well as guilt and shame when perfectionist goals are not met. As Asian-Americans themselves, they also dive into the idea that hard work will lead to success and how it contributes to the Model Minority Myth and the immigrant experience. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week, where they will discuss how to recognize perfectionism and tips on how to challenge perfectionist beliefs!A clinical psychologist based in New York City, Dr. Chung specializes in the treatment of anxiety, mood, ADHD and executive functioning disorders. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Biofeedback models, Dr. Chung works with youth, families and adults in her boutique private practice with 5 other associates. She is also on the faculty of the Mt. Sinai Medical Center and runs In Practice with Dr. Michelle Chung (@dr.michellechung), an Instagram online platform of courses and workshops about mental health and emotional well-being. Connect with Dr. Chung at drmichellechung.com or drmichellechung@gmail.comBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Asian Female Entrepreneurship within the Mental Health Field with Nisha Desai & Alice Zhang
Jun 8 2022
Asian Female Entrepreneurship within the Mental Health Field with Nisha Desai & Alice Zhang
This week, Christie chats with Nisha Desai and Alice Zhang about founding a startup focused on providing culturally responsive mental health care to communities of color. As two Asian-identified female co-founders, they talk about their own struggles with perfectionism, overcoming cultural differences in their communication, and navigating a white male dominated industry, as well as offer advice for other entrepreneurs.Nisha Desai (she/her) is co-founder of Anise Health and is passionate about breaking the stigma around mental health in communities of color. Prior to Anise, Nisha built digital mental health applications for Humana as a Product Manager and spent 5 years in healthcare financial services, investing in behavioral health and innovative care delivery models. Connect with Nisha at nisha@anisehealth.coAlice Zhang (she/her) is co-founder of Anise Health, a certified health and wellness coach, and she is eager to address the inequality and lack of cultural relevance in mental health interventions through her professional career. Previously, Alice worked across various roles in healthcare including product development at Galileo, a digital primary care startup, investing at Unison Capital, a Japan-focused private equity fund, and management consulting at L.E.K. Consulting. Connect with Alice at alice@anisehealth.coFrom Anise: "Anise Health is officially live in California, offering our holistic suite of culturally-responsive digital mental health services (i.e. therapy, coaching, alternative medicine, self-service tools, etc.), for Asian-identifying adults and/or partners (18+). No matter how big or small your concerns are, we encourage you to sign up for Anise by taking 5 minutes to fill out this intake form - we’ll be in touch with next steps within 48 hours!Also, sign up for our email distribution list on our website so that you can be the first to know about upcoming launches in NY and MA and stay updated on our progress."Bridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Food as a Love Language with Kevin Chu & Nicole Tang
Jun 1 2022
Food as a Love Language with Kevin Chu & Nicole Tang
This week, Christie chats with Nicole Tang and Kevin Chu about their work with Meals for Unity, a nonprofit uniting communities by working with local chefs, businesses, and volunteers to provide meals to the elderly AAPI community in NYC’s Chinatown. In response to the rise of anti-Asian violence, Nicole and Kevin discuss building relationships with the community, despite language and technological barriers, to overcome food insecurity and poverty levels and express love through food.Kevin Chu (he/him) is a Southern Texas kid living in the Big Apple trying to break the Asian Model Minority stereotypes on a corporate and community level. Connect with Kevin at kevin@mealsforunity.orgNicole Tang (she/her) is a tech girly, music enthusiast, world traveler, dog lover, and a marathon runner. When she’s not doing any of the above, she’s raising awareness in the AAPI community as the Director of External Relations and Director of Ecommerce at Meals for Unity. Connect with Nicole at nicole@mealsforunity.orgMentioned in this episode:A closer look at a Meals for Unity Meal Distribution EventFollow Meals For Unity on Instagram @mealsforunity and learn more about volunteering hereBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Activism in the Workplace with Brian Pang & Franklin Shen
May 25 2022
Activism in the Workplace with Brian Pang & Franklin Shen
This week, Diana chats with Franklin Shen and Brian Pang about the the power of Asian activism in the workplace. Franklin and Brian share their unique journeys from assimilation to reclaiming their Asian identities to uplifting the greater community. Together, they discuss corporate activism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), as well as the importance of challenging the model minority myth through storytelling, empathy and an abundance mindset. They offer lessons on working against perfectionism and sustainable activism.Brian Pang serves on the leadership teams of the Asian Leaders Alliance, Stand with Asian Americans, and Ascend, is dedicated to advocating for underrepresented workplace talent, for-justice initiatives, and advancing marginalized communities. Connect with Brian on Instagram @bpanger33Franklin Shen serves on the leadership team of the Asian Leaders Alliance and the NYC chapter for Stand with Asian Americans. Professionally he is a VP at Tembo Health, a startup focused on helping seniors. Before that, he was at Flatiron Health where he served in the company's inaugural Inclusion Working Group and helped found and lead their Asian employee resource group. Connect with Franklin on Instagram @shensayshenMentioned in this episode:Media: Minor Feelings by Cathy Park HongThe Wake Up by Michelle MiJung KimCrying in H Mart by Michelle ZaunerBrown Girl Therapy PodcastDear Asian Americans PodcastAsian Americans Film Series (PBS)Organizations: Asian Mental Health ProjectThe CosmosAsian Mental Health CollectiveAsian American Psychological AssociationChange Your AlgorithmHate is a VirusSoar Over HateAsians are StrongRight to BeAscendNational Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP)Stand with Asian AmericansAsian Leaders AllianceThe Asian American Education ProjectMake Us VisibleBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Lessons from Asian American Activists Michael Liu & Pam Tau Lee
May 18 2022
Lessons from Asian American Activists Michael Liu & Pam Tau Lee
This week, Diana chats with lifelong activists Pam Tau Lee and Michael Liu about their early experiences organizing within Asian communities starting in the '60s & '70s. They discuss the importance of relationships and collective care in their work, and reflect upon the evolution of activism over the decades, and offer wisdom for young organizers today.Pam Tau Lee is an Asian radical elder whose working-class and San Francisco Chinatown roots led her to a lifelong journey dedicated to environmental justice. She is a cofounder of the Chinese Progressive Association-SF, Bay Area Asians for Nuclear Disarmament, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Just Transition Alliance, and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines-US, and a contributor to the Principles of Environmental Justice. In her nearly 5 decades of organizing and mentorship, she strives to uplift an ideology of radical love and resistance grounded in the practice of All Power to the People, Serve the People, internationalism, and women whose presence has taught her to act with generosity and courage. Connect with Pam at ptlee14@gmail.com or on Instagram @pamtaulee4081.Michael Liu is a native of Boston Chinatown and was active in numerous local anti-development, anti-war and electoral campaigns and a founding member of numerous community social justice groups including the Chinese Progressive Association Boston, Asian American Resource Workshop, and the Boston Rainbow Coalition. He later worked as a researcher for two decades at the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMass, Boston. He co-authored an interpretive history of Asian American organizing, The Snake Dance of Asian American Activism, and recently authored the first book-length history of Boston Chinatown, Forever Struggle. Connect with Michael at michael.liu@umb.edu.Bridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall
Emotional Expression, Body Image & Disordered Eating with Dr. Rosa Lim
Apr 27 2022
Emotional Expression, Body Image & Disordered Eating with Dr. Rosa Lim
This week, Diana chats with Dr. Rosa Lim about disordered eating and relationships with food in the Asian American community. As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Lim discusses the connection between eating disorders and cultural messages around bodies, emotional expression, achievement, and intergenerational conflict. Additionally, Dr. Lim maps out various disordered eating symptoms and shares insights about therapy and treatment. Together they explore the pressures of fitting in, western versus Asian beauty standards as well as the dark side of ‘clean eating’. Rosa Lim, PhD, (she/her) is a licensed clinical psychologist in NYC who has worked in private practice and in college counseling for the past 20 years. Currently, she is involved with the William Alanson White Institute’s Eating Disorders, Compulsions, and Addictions program, as both a member of the steering committee and as guest faculty. Connect with Dr. Lim at rosa.lim@gmail.comMentioned in this episode:National Eating Disorders AssociationAcademy for Eating DisordersEating Disorders AnonymousSick Enough: A Guide to the Medical ComplicationsHungers and Compulsions: The Psychodynamic Treatment of Eating Disorders and AddictionsBridges Mental Health is a stigma-free hub for Asians, Pacific Islanders, and South Asian Americans (APISA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care in NYC.Write to us with comments & questions, we'd love to hear from you.@bridgesmentalhealthbridgesmentalhealthnyc@gmail.comCover photo by Janice ChungTheme music by Will Marshall