Exploring Identity

Common Challenges
Questions of identity often emerge during major life transitions that disrupt one’s sense of self. This spans coming out, deconstructing internalized oppression, healing imposter syndrome, or reconciling multicultural belonging. Such journeys involve deep reexamination of assumptions, stories, roles and purpose. External invalidation and internal turmoil obstruct self-actualization.
Artistic image showcasing a man who is exploring identity
TREATMENT METHODS AND APPROACHES

How we work with addressing identity issues?

Our licensed therapists create welcoming spaces to unpack identity-based struggles with empathy and cultural attunement. Treatment integrates lived understanding, mind-body practices like somatic therapy or art expression to symbolize emotions, and strength-based perspectives. The aim is consolidating an integrated self-concept aligned with one’s values. We avoid imposition of identities, rather highlight clients’ existing wisdom and agency in constructing who they are and want to become. With compassionate guidance, rigid old notions of self transform into nuanced self-knowledge and self-acceptance.

Our Therapists Who Specialize in Identity

Therapist Kate McMilan

Kate McMillen, Ph.D.

Dr. McMillen received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University. She works in psychodynamic, interpersonal approaches. She is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and proficient in working with clients who struggle with anxiety, depression, self-harm, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Therapist Eunwoo Lee

Eunwoo Lee

Eunwoo is a Korean-English bilingual therapist. She uses CBT, motivational interviewing, relaxation techniques, and crisis intervention depending on the client’s needs and goals.
Therapist Kimone Williams at Mind in Motion clinic

Kimone Williams

Kimone holds a Ed.M. in Mental Health Counseling. She is interested in culturally responsive counseling and providing space to immigrant generations. In her practice Kimone integrates mindfulness, person centered therapy, and positive psychology.

"We contain multitudes of identities within us - reconciling our inner kaleidoscope into self-insight requires deep work that often eludes surface-level reflection."

SELF HELP

Why it's difficult to explore identity on your own

Questions of personal identity cut to the core of how we see and understand ourselves. When our internal view of self becomes destabilized during major life transitions, it can feel deeply unsettling and disorienting. Navigating turbulent identity issues often requires processing complex emotions tied to our sense of purpose, belonging, and self-worth. It necessitates grappling with internalized oppression and external invalidation that profoundly impact mental health.
Attempting this challenging inner work alone without guidance is extremely difficult for several reasons. We lack the objectivity to critique our own entrenched narratives or recognize our points of vulnerability. Friends reaffirm rather than challenge stories we tell about ourselves. Mainstream messaging frequently conflates identities in ways that obscure truth. And oversimplified cultural assumptions provide little space for nuanced self-expression. This isolates us without the external validation, permission, tools and safety needed to breakthrough engrained self-perceptions.

Ask for help today!

A skilled therapist provides the rare combination of compassionate listening, cultural fluency, clinical expertise and unwavering presence to stabilize the turbulence of an identity crisis. Through insightful questioning, they spotlight incongruities in how we characterize ourselves versus how we feel and behave. By bearing witness to suffering, they help transmute shame into self-acceptance. Their role is holding space for the loss of old identities so new aspects of self can emerge, more wholeheartedly claimed.

Resources

Podcast

Social Anxiety

The Unconscious Crew discussed a question related to getting a job and social anxiety. Enjoy!

Blog

The Paradox of Choice

In this episode of the Collective Unconscious Podcast, Dr. Damien Tilliman, psychologist and a business owner, and Dr. Sheena Shachdev,

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