MARY JIA — Therapist
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Dr. Mary Jia earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She also completed a residency at Northwestern University. Dr. Jia offers a diverse range of tools and techniques to aid healing and self-discovery. She believes change to be rooted in having new experiences, both in therapy and in everyday life. This can be anything from noticing a different color in the autumn leaves, to having a different reaction in conflicts with a partner. Dr. Jia is known to integrate personalized skills coaching with deeper explorations of past experiences.
Get to know MARY
Dr. Mary Jia received her bachelor of science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She completed her Master of Arts and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Jia also trained for one year at Northwestern University where she worked extensively with people with eating disorders and complex health conditions. She has experience with a variety of treatment approaches and has practiced in a range of specialized settings (i.e., intensive addiction unit, forensic hospital, concussion day program, and private practice). Dr. Jia has particular expertise in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and in helping people distressed by intense emotions and problems in relationships.
Dr. Jia's wide range of experiences contribute not only to her effectiveness, but also to the respect she holds for the uniqueness of each individual's perspective and background. With her, therapy is first and foremost about feeling heard and understood. She believes that a good, trusting relationship is primary for healing. Dr. Jia's research during graduate school focused on how children make friends and how people develop close relationships across the lifespan. Thus, she takes a "relational" approach to therapy, focused on helping clients better understand their past relationships, develop better connections with themselves and others in the present, and consider how they would like these relationships to grow in the long-term.
Dr. Jia believes in creating a space of safety and trust with each client which then sets the stage for new experiences to occur. For her, therapy is really about experiencing something new; in order to feel different, we must live something different. Along these lines, Dr. Jia adopts and teaches a curious stance to life! This means developing an approach to problems, events, internal experiences with an attitude of curiosity. This is especially important in moments when we are judgmental and hard on ourselves. Instead of pushing away difficult thoughts and feelings, Dr. Jia encourages clients to investigate, understand, and become comfortable with different aspects of themselves. She places particular value on clients' own questions and things they are naturally curious about. In general, Dr. Jia combines insightful self-discovery with practical skills coaching which means that she will sometimes provide specific and concrete strategies for how to change something. Her vast toolkit of skills ensures a personalized approach that is fitted to each person. Not all skills will work for everyone, in every situation. Working with Dr. Jia means you will get to experience and practice a variety of new strategies and pick the ones that work best for you.
Importantly, Dr. Jia's therapeutic style is reflective, genuine, and curious. Others describe her as warm and open-minded. In fact, one of the first things that clients notice about her is how easy she is to talk to! Sessions always occur in a safe and honest environment where feedback is both requested and welcomed. Dr. Jia also likes to know each person's motivations for change. Essentially, what keeps you going when things get hard. Conversations about values and what creates meaning and fulfillment continue throughout therapy to help clients stay on track with their goals and practices.