I am offering video sessions to current and new clients and would be honored to support you during this difficult time.

About

About Sequoia Counseling and Wellness Services

Vision: Sequoia Counseling and Wellness Services is a private practice that provides short-term, evidence based treatment to clients that need support in managing and living with medical conditions or are suffering from the effects of depression and anxiety. Clients that have Christian beliefs may also request to integrate their values and practices into the treatment process.

Mission: Therapy services provided at Sequoia Counseling and Wellness Services are known by:

  • Evidence-based practices:

    All interventions are shared and recommended to clients according to what current research shows is most effective. From session to session, I select techniques with client input and careful thought and planning.

  • Individualized care:

    Each client receives an initial evaluation and feedback on noted themes, strengths, and challenges. I co-collaborate with my clients as we discuss symptoms and circumstances and the client learns new skills for change, healing, and growth.

  • Holistic treatment:

    I explore the factors that are influencing the client’s current emotional/psychological symptoms and functioning during this particular moment in time. Factors for exploration include the impact of reported symptoms, current physical health and self-management, social interactions, coping behaviors, and spiritual beliefs/practice. The scope and depth of exploration of these areas is determined by client’s expectations, treatment needs, and ability to make systemic changes.  Symptom relief and restored daily functioning are achieved through the client’s improved self-awareness and ability to apply healthy coping strategies and new behaviors.

Core values:

Compassionate and supportive care:  I view all clients with acceptance and support and treat them with friendliness, courtesy, and respect. Services are delivered with the intention to be helpful, healing, and personal yet providing insight and strategies to reach goals. “True empathy is always free of any evaluative or diagnostic quality. This comes across to the recipient with some surprise. If I am not being judged, perhaps I am not so evil or abnormal as I have thought.” (Carl Rogers)

Sincerity and integrity: Clients are treated with integrity and honesty in everything from simple therapist-client communications to ethical delivery of services.

Belief in healing and growth for everyone: I believe that all individuals are capable of restoration, renewal, and change. Clients are encouraged to prepare before each session and are supported to practice new behaviors that they learn in therapy in their everyday lives.

Passion for whole person health and wellbeing: Depending on the treatment focus, services are delivered favoring lifestyle medicine and active self-management of medical conditions. In other words, medical conditions can be prevented, improved, and managed through the pursuit of healthy diet, exercise, adequate sleep, balanced relationships, and stress management. This can involve coordination between therapist, client, and medical team provider(s).

About Melissa Soo Hoo

As I attended my undergraduate program at UC Irvine, I enjoyed learning about human development and behavior. I knew that I wanted to work in a field where I could be supportive, helping, and healing for others. I attended the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Azusa Pacific University. In graduate school, my clinical training and work-related experience involved community settings with a focus on children.

One of my mentors encouraged me to seek out experience in a medical setting. I completed my psychology residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. It was fascinating to see the interplay between physical and mental health, and to watch psychologists, physicians, and other specialists work together to restore patient health. After I completed my residency, I returned to Southern California and planned to continue learning and working in the specialty field of Adult Health Psychology- a field that addresses the influence of psychological and behavioral processes upon individual health and wellness. I completed my postdoctoral fellowship at California Hospital Medical Center and then worked in other settings such as assisted living facilities, community health centers, and primary care settings. I continue to learn and develop my skills by continuing education and certification programs such as the Harvard Medical School Lifestyle Medicine conference, Stanford University Empowered Relief for Pain Instructor training, and American Diabetes Association’s Mental Health Provider Training for care of patients with diabetes.

I completed additional in person post-graduate training at the Cognitive Therapy and Training Center with Dr. Reasbeck to learn more about treatments for depression, anxiety, and interpersonal relationship challenges. I am constantly learning and developing new skills and treatment techniques to better serve my clients.

Associations

  • American Psychological Association
  • Division 38 - Society for Health Psychology
  • American Diabetes Association
  • Orange County Psychological Association
  • American College of Lifestyle Medicine

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