Anna Cho, M.A., Psy.D.
Anna Selena Cho, Psy.D. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Art Therapist, with a Doctorate in Applied Clinical Psychology. Dr. Cho currently facilitates art therapy groups at Roots Through Recovery to help clients process trauma and develop their sense of identity. Dr. Cho obtained her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, and eventually pursued her Master’s Degree in Psychology at Phillips Graduate University. She continued her education by pursuing her Doctorate in Applied Clinical Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Dr. Cho has had a unique relationship with art, having been trained in art in a traditional platform since the age of 5 in Seoul, Korea. Having grown up in a bicultural setting in South Korea and the United States, she experienced firsthand the struggles that come with adapting to multiple cultures and experiencing her own set of traumas that were unexpected. Upon launching into young adulthood, she worked in various creative fields including graphic design, metalsmithing, and branding, hoping to find meaningful outcomes utilizing her artistic gifts. She found herself more focused on the healing factors of her repetitive creative outlets than on professional success.
When Anna found that the field of Art Therapy existed, she delved into the field of Psychology to better understand herself and to eventually help clients experience the healing powers of art as she did. She believes that art is an essential piece in recovery to aid clients in applying therapeutic concepts that are at times difficult to grasp. While trauma is commonly internalized as a protective mechanism, behaviors, as a result of the trauma, are externalized without the evaluative skills set in place. In turn, clients dealing with trauma struggle with the initial traumatic event, in addition to the repercussions of their lack of coping skills and impulsive drives that bring them into a treatment center. Clients tend to find that their coping mechanisms are not working for them anymore, and commonly find themselves in treatment multiple times before they feel they can re-enter society.
Art therapy helps to integrate the left and right brain to make sense of their past experiences, and safely navigate, understand, and validate their emotions and triggers. Dr. Cho believes that recovering the “inner child” through therapeutic art while navigating their mind helps to ensure a deeper understanding of themselves. Dr. Cho found that raising her child as a single mother during her graduate coursework was one of the most challenging times of her life. She also believes that it was proof of the value of creativity, having been able to achieve her goals while delving into an intensive Art Therapy program. Dr. Cho integrates her traditional art training, personal life experience, use of symbolism, psychological theories and engaging art directives to help clients challenge themselves, helping them to safely delve into their unique narratives with hope for the future, and find alternative outcomes to their lives.
Upon completion of her post-doctorate fellowship at the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center, she has integrated her clinical practice and psycho-diagnostic work in the field of psychology and also has a growing private practice in West Los Angeles.
Dr. Cho continues to worth with the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center as a registered psychologist, conducting psychodiagnostic evaluations for children 5 to 18. She also conducts neuro-cognitive and psychological evaluations at PCH Center, working with clients with addiction, OCD, and dual diagnosis. She also practices as a red belt in Taekwondo to continue to challenge herself in mindfulness practices that promote perseverance, humility, and mental and physical growth.
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