My name is Carol. I was born and raised in Malaysia, and moved to the US for my undergraduate studies and subsequently established roots and my career in the New England region and more recently in Southern California. I've spent most of my life engaged in social justice work in racial solidarity building, immigrant rights advocacy and working in the anti-violence against women movement. This drive stemmed from my experiences growing up as a child of immigrants in Malaysia and having experienced, embodied and witnessed the painful effects and realities of racism, colorism and xenophobia.
I have a background in working within healthcare and community mental health agencies, in public health, court-based crime victim services, in academia, with global non-governmental organizations on women's health and reproductive health services for three decades in the US and South East Asia.
From 2002-2012, I founded and directed the Trafficking Victims Outreach and Services (TVOS) Network, which was subsequently renamed Matahari: Eye of the Day. Through this Boston based organization, I coordinated multi-disciplinary teams and provided holistic trauma responsive care for and strategic safety planning with immigrant survivors of labor trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, domestic and sexual abuse and other human rights violations.
Photo courtesy of Simmons College
I had the opportunity to work on a national and global scale on a national pilot research project with a global NGO that was funded by the National Institute of Justice and co-authored a 2001 NIJ report, “Sex Trafficking in the United States: International and Domestic Trends”. This gave me an opportunity to meet hundreds of individuals engaged in survival sex and who had been exploited and those who worked closely with survivors and has shaped the way in which I support survivors through their journeys for safety, liberation and dignity.
Serving as adjunct faculty at Boston College School of Social Work and guest lecturing at campuses across Massachusetts kept me fresh and on my toes in staying current and engaging with learners of all ages in unpacking the intersectionality of race, class, caste, culture, economics, able-bodiedness, immigration, sexual and gender identity and how that informs our interpersonal, clinical, institutional and global community practices and policy.
Since my move to Los Angeles in 2010, I've have been practicing as a trauma-informed adult, child and family therapist. I served as a restorative justice mediator with youth and families when I first moved to Los Angeles. I specialize in providing therapy with crime victims and young people entangled in commercial sexual exploitation, part of a diversion program for trafficked children and adolescents initiated in 2014 in Los Angeles County. I currently serve as the Clinical Director at the Program for Torture Victims providing forensic psychological evaluations, trauma-responsive therapy for asylum seekers fleeing turbulence and persecution in their home countries. I also serve as a volunteer crisis responder for the Los Angeles Mayor's Office.
Each of us lives in a context. LIfe's challenges exist within a host of interrelated issues. I encourage and mentor people to discover their inner truth while holding the realities of one's socio-cultural- economic and political reality. I bring a tapestry of experiences that enrich and inform the way in which we will engage in the therapeutic work. I assess individual, familial, generational, ancestral and spiritual issues in the context of the cultural, systemic, institutional, socio-political and economic realms that we live in.
I look forward to working with you.
Get in touch. Find your peace.