How long have you done this? What is your experience?
I started working with adults and children in 2008. In 2010, I started a career exclusively providing therapy and applied behavioral analysis (ABA) to children and families affected by Autism. From there I was the Regional Director of two of the largest ABA providers here in the Bay Area before stepping away to open my own practice. In addition to children, much of my clinical practice involved providing parents training by helping moms and dads with all the stressors of juggling parenthood, and life in general. I've also spent several years working with adults who’ve needed help with depression, anxiety, life stressors, and suicidal ideation.
What does therapy look like? Do I just talk the whole time?
If you’re a talker, I'm more than happy to listen, but typically therapy involves back and forth dialogue. Whatever the topic, the conversations and work will always be collaborative. I may throw out some challenging questions every once in a while (really get those wheels turning for you), but generally we set goals together and plans for treatment as a team.
What is your therapy style?
My style of therapy is eclectic, which is just a fancy way of saying I practice from a lot of models. It really depends on my client and what their needs are. For example, if I am working with someone struggling with depression and negative thoughts, I usually go with a cognitive-behavioral approach. If it is a child working on behavioral difficulties, I may do more behavioral analysis and solution focused work. Regardless of approach, I am always sensitive to your personal experience because it is unlike any others’. These experiences mold us into the people we are today, and we have to take those experiences into consideration in order to move you forward and change the narrative.
I am a parent and I want help from someone who knows the struggle. Can you relate?
Ah yes! I love this question because it is such a valid one to ask. Hell yes I am a parent! I get it, and I know that sometimes recommendations from professionals just don’t fit with your lifestyle and family. I have done my fair share of side-eyeing recommendations I know a parent won’t or simply can’t do. Because the struggle is real, and we all need support! My goal when working with parents is always to compromise and determine what is actually manageable. Everyone’s experience is different and unique. Although I am a parent and can relate, my experience will never be like yours. My job is to help collaborate with you to decide what works best for you (your child, partner, etc.) and to move towards your personalized goals together.
Why did you choose to become a therapist?
So this is going to be sad, but try not to concentrate on the sad part of my answer. As an adolescent, I started seeing a therapist after my mother passed away. The therapeutic experience left a positive impact, and as a child I wanted to become a psychologist…but I settled on becoming a licensed therapist instead ;)
Is Jackie Chang your real name and are you related to Jackie Chan?
No, Jackie Chan is not my father. For my entire life, I've been haunted by my name's striking similarity to the action star, Jackie Chan. Growing up, peers would joke about him being my father, but unfortunately, I wasn’t born into a Hollywood family. I've learned to embrace this, and now I actually think the similarity it quite hilarious. Oddly enough, my real name is actually Meng Chang (even better because is rhymes!) but I’ve gone by Jackie my whole life.
Do you have any interests outside of being a therapist?
Decorating. I am a professional TJ Maxx and Home Goods shopper. I understand people are sensitive to environment, so when I designed my office it was the ultimate challenge for me to combine my profession and my love for interior design.