Hello, My name is Cindy Way and I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. I am a differently-ABLED multicultural therapist, advocate, educator, and speaker for the AAPI, BIPOC, and Disability communities.
I have a strong interest in helping those who are struggling with self-esteem, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, divorce, blended families, military-related issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex trauma (C-PTSD), sexual trauma, racial trauma, cultural trauma, LGBTQIA+, different-abilities (disabilities), and chronic illness.
I have extensive experience (10+ years) with civilians, military commands, active duty service members, retirees, veterans, reservists, and their families. In addition, I have experience working with couples, court-mandated cases-Family Court and families experiencing major life transitions and unexpected loss due to divorce, separation, high-conflict and domestic violence. Moreover, I have also volunteered and worked in the human-trafficking population.
I come from a military family and have volunteered with many military organizations. These volunteer opportunities paved the way for me to spend over 6 years as a Transition Counselor and Navy Region Southwest Coordinator for several events in the San Diego community.
I have a strong connection to the disabled or as I like to say “differently-abled” community as I was born with a condition called Amniotic Band Syndrome, also known as Symbrachydactyly which is a congenital hand and feet anomaly. Research suggests that this affects 1 in 1200 to 1 to 15,000 live births making it a rare “different-ability”. Personally, I prefer the term differently-abled over society’s label “disabled or disability”. This is important for myself and many others as the word “disability” refers to words such as: limitation, impairment, disadvantage, incapable, and reflects a negative stigma that encourages our society to think of us to be less than or abnormal. I am an open book and truly encourage people to ask questions and remain curious!
Growing up with this condition inspired my passion for healing the mind, body, and soul- living from my own FREEDOM WITHIN. Myself and many others who are differently-abled have defied the odds of societal norm and have so many talents and gifts that are waiting to be shared with the world; mine being a speaker and therapist. My purpose is to be a voice for the voiceless and to provide competent and robust interventions that make life easier and more valuable for indigenous, underrepresented, and underserved communities.
How Can I Help You?
My goals are to listen and learn to understand ALL OF YOU. I work collaboratively with you in discovering strengths and abilities that will inspire you to live from the “Freedom Within.” I have training in Gottman Couples therapy to help partners thrive in their relationships. I also enjoy working from a family systems lens, integrating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Informed Care, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Medical-Family Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy. More importantly, I strongly believe that a client-centered approach is the best way for me to connect and understand your needs.
My Philosophy on Mental Health:
Most of the things we know about life are learned and influenced by our environment and society. Our brain is a muscle that is multifaceted. I believe that anyone can exercise and retrain the brain like we do with our bodies in the gym. With effort, consistency, and determination we can allow ourselves to heal from past trauma and learn healthy habits; respond vs. react. With all the things going on in the world, I support and encourage authenticity and humor in our sessions to make it the best experience possible.
More About Me…
I am an Asian-American (Filipino, Japanese, and Malaysian) and grew up in South Texas (Corpus Christi, TX). I can speak 3 languages: Tagalog-fluent, Spanish-Conversational, Japanese- Moderate/Conversational). I have a 12-year old daughter who also enjoys learning diversity, culture, representation, and inclusivity. I enjoy lifting weights at the gym, hiking, dancing, and anything else that keeps the body moving, releasing those endorphins, and increasing the happy feels! I love to travel with a mission to try anything new and enjoy cultural cuisines from all over the world. In my free time I enjoy spending time with loved ones, reading, practicing mindfulness activities, and volunteering.
Fun Fact: My favorite time of day is to sit under the night skies and obsess over the MOON!