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Ms. Jessica Cao, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Ms. Cao uses she/her/hers pronouns

  • International populations (international students, undocumented immigrants, refugees)

  • 1st/1.5/2nd generation of immigrants

  • Pan-Asian community

  • Life adjustment and transition

  • Acculturation or assimilation stress

  • Eating disorders and body image concerns

  • Religion and spirituality concerns

  • Sexual violence and trauma

  • Sexual health concerns

Additional Languages Spoken

Mandarin, Cantonese (國語/普通話、粵語/廣東話)

We live in a world of information explosion. You could google everything online and learn something about it. Meanwhile, I believe there is a reason that you are seeking therapy. My role as a therapist is to meet you where you are—maybe you sense something is going on in your life and you have an idea about what to do next, maybe you are curious about some patterns in your life and you would like to explore them, maybe you are struggling and you just want to try anything to feel better… I would work collaboratively with you toward where you want to go. I hope to be your ally, standing firmly with you and prioritizing your benefits. I hope to be your mirror, reflecting your patterns with yourself and others. I hope to be your supporter, walking with you and preparing you to live a life worth living.

I have lived most of my life in East Asia (born and raised in mainland China), shortly in East Europe (Lithuania), and resided in North America (United States) since my early 20s. My backgrounds are in philosophy, communication studies, and medical interpretation before I graduated from the University of Chicago with a Master's in Social Work. I have accumulated 4000 training hours from the postgraduate training in the Counseling and Psychological Service department at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, working closely with college students. I am currently a sex therapist in training. I have worked with international students, 1st/1.5/2nd generation of immigrants, and trauma survivors. My interests include eating disorders and body image concerns, sexual violence and sexual trauma, religious trauma and spirituality concerns, and difficulties in life transitions. 

I can provide services in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. I adopt a multicultural and intersectionality framework in my work. This framework believes that we each have unique experiences and interpretations despite some shared labels of social identities. Based on this belief, I view therapy as a collaborative process to empower individual in designing your own toolbox for wellness. I use an integrated approach, meaning I may draw techniques from different theoretical approaches as long as they work. If you need, I can also work with you on a specific approach you like. In practice, I often borrow therapy techniques from CBT, DBT, ACT, somatic experiencing, contemporary psychodynamics, and integrate religion and spirituality. I utilize client-centered, strength-based approaches toward trauma-informed treatment and believe in the power of love, compassion, and appreciation.

Outside of my work at CFT, I engage in social justice practice by promoting mental health awareness in the Chinese community, assisting in teaching mental health professionals in China, participating in research projects related to mental health disability in China, and offering outreach and consultation around Chinatown and Bridgeport.

選擇一位讓您感到信賴的治療師,建立讓您感到安全的關係是很有必要的。我瞭解東亞和 泛中華地區的文化和語言習慣,我能夠帶著文化敏感度和覺察性與您工作。我可以提供15 分鐘以內的免費電話會談,讓您體驗我的風格和流派,幫助您找到最合適的心理治療師。

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