Dr. Kai Alexander is a psychological assistant who provides individual and family therapy to children (7+), adolescents, and young adults under the supervision of Dr. Peter Aston. Dr. Alexander uses a cognitive behavioral framework that is informed by both person-centered concepts of ACT and family and community systems. Her work centers on youth and transitional age youth who are striving to overcome the challenges associated with anxiety, trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorders, relationships, and transitions through different phases of life.
Dr. Alexander earned a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Pacific Clinics. Her research and clinical work have focused on developing and adapting interventions for youth and families from culturally diverse populations.
Dr. Alexander is passionate about collaborating with clients to find an approach that meets their needs and are in alignment with their personal and cultural values. She hopes to create a safe space for clients to gain confidence, better their mental and emotional wellbeing, and most importantly be their genuine selves.
IN HER OWN WORDS
"When I reflect on the process of becoming a therapist, I realize it is very similar to what many of my clients experience when they first walk into the therapy room. I had so many expectations of what a therapist should look and sound like - and believe me, I tried my best to fit into that mold. It was scary to be my real self, especially because I didn’t believe that my natural characteristics of being energetic, creative, and “down to earth” did not look like the therapists I read about in books. However, over time, I learned that one of the biggest keys to effective therapy is doing exactly what I ask my clients to do all the time - to come as you are. Through this experience, I can understand how it can be very difficult to find yourself and believe that that self is enough. My goal as a therapist is to provide a safe space to help you challenge the self-doubt, develop skills, and discover that the genuine version of you is enough. As I believe every individual is unique, I enjoy providing therapy that is tailored to you and not to “the mold”. I see it very much like a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of experience, with me there to guide and support you. Our work together may take many forms- we might both be surprised to find ourselves making art, playing a game, or working on basketball skills. I am always open to different opportunities and ways to find healing, build confidence, and learn skills.
In addition to working alongside clients to build self-acceptance, I also support clients in identifying areas where change is essential to the healing process. When treating anxiety, trauma, and OCD, I first work with the client to identify when their fear/anxiety response is helpful and necessary versus when it is unhelpful and taking a toll on their ability to lead a meaningful life. Once we can recognize when and where the fear/anxiety is acting against healthy functioning, I use an active exposure-based approach to help the client “turn down the dial” on their anxiety in those moments where it is doing more harm than good.
Let’s work together toward self-acceptance and committing to making healthy changes."