Lina Chang: A Front Row Seat to Learning

by | May 28, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

“I love it. The program is fantastic. I didn’t honestly realize how much I would love it.”

Lina Chang describes her experience thus far at Phillips in this way. Having worked in art education and in real estate, she says she never entirely felt at home in her jobs, and instead always asked herself, “What is my purpose?” What is my passion?”

It was her participation in a national dating show that changed her life. Joining the program brought her in contact with a psychotherapist who had been brought on board by the production company. She says now she couldn’t believe this was actually a job, traveling to different locations and productions as the on-set psychotherapist, working with casts and crews alike. She describes the realization that there were all kinds of new ways to engage with clients as a watershed moment for her. She had discovered firsthand that becoming an MFT was a career that she could adjust to suit her own interests and goals, serving many different kinds of communities. She would be able to talk about mental health with all kinds of people, just by thinking outside the box.

“Why didn’t I think about becoming a therapist sooner?” she describes wondering at the time.

She decided to apply to an in-person MFT program in the Los Angeles area. She visited Phillips, reporting that the case conference class was extremely impressive, as it allowed students a “front row seat” to learning what therapy was really all about, rather than just learning from a book or lecture.

She enrolled almost as soon as she was admitted. On the cusp of her third semester in the program, she already envisions a career within a psychotherapy practice that involves multifaceted, interdisciplinary treatments and modalities. Sorting through different psychotherapeutic paradigms, she currently works as a trainee with young people. She resonates with both solution focused, and family systems approaches, saying she has found these ways of working with clients most helpful in her nascent practice.

“I’m definitely more of an optimist, interested in a future for my clients and their possibilities than rather than focusing on the past,” she says.

When asked, Lina suggests anyone considering becoming an MFT schedule a visit to Phillips to explore the program. With the case conference and a smaller classroom environment, she says there’s always an opportunity to get to know teachers and colleagues. “Learning about mental health is just really fulfilling,” she says.

Her drive and clear enthusiasm for the field are indeed impressive, and skills that will no doubt serve her well working with clients in the future.