Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Gong.
Brian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
A long time ago, I was in crisis and needed a LOT of help. Numerous people were there to guide me along the path to healing, and this support laid the foundation for my own journey of personal growth. I realized then that my mission in life was to “pay it forward” and help others like me get past their struggles and create lives worth living. I went back to school, worked a number of years as a therapist in long-term residential facilities, and eventually opened my private practice in 2017 in Delray Beach, FL.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course not! But that’s what builds character. I realize that growth comes from facing adversity and leaning into challenges, despite the discomfort that often comes along. Most of the time, I’m able to see whatever obstacle I face as an opportunity for self-development, though I admit that awareness doesn’t usually happen until after it’s over (sometimes long after). It’s true what they say how it’s all about the journey, not the destination. I’m sure life will provide many more obstacles in my future (because that’s what life does), and regardless of the final outcome, all that matters is how I show up to the party.
In March, the entire therapist community had to adjust quickly to the coronavirus situation. Therapy is inherently relational and conducted in intimate, face-to-face settings – not ideal in a global pandemic. We needed to find ways to be responsible and keep ourselves and our clients safe, while at the same time being available to provide mental health services to those who needed it (meanwhile, dealing with the pandemic ourselves). I’m proud of how the community came together to find creative and effective ways to continue the work.
We’d love to hear more about your practice.
I am a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of trauma and addiction (which often go hand in hand). I treat all types of addictions, from substance/alcohol use to process addictions such as gambling, codependency, sex, etc. I work with individuals all along the trauma/PTSD spectrum, from single-incident traumatic events to the more complex nature of childhood trauma and dissociative disorders. I have done continuing education events for fellow clinicians on the topic of trauma and provide consultation to new trauma therapists looking to improve their skills.
It’s important for me to note that the definition of “trauma” extends way beyond how one might typically characterize it, stereotypically in the form of a vicious assault, being in combat, a near-death car accident, etc. These certainly are all classic examples of trauma; however, many clients have never experienced these and are successful, high-functioning members of society. Yet deep down they still suffer from perfectionism, toxic shame, unstable and codependent relationships, and the nagging sense of not beings good enough which shows up in many aspects of their lives. Their trauma histories come in the form of what many call little “t” traumas such as having a critical or emotionally-immature parent, social rejection or humiliation, or a lack of feeling safe or seen growing up. Often minimizing their own adverse experiences, these individuals often struggle under the surface and deserve the opportunity to heal and recover as well.
One thing I take great pride in was my role following the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland in 2018. Desperately wanting to help, a colleague and I created the Southeast Florida Trauma Recovery Network, a local network of volunteer therapists who agree to provide pro bono trauma therapy services to survivors of community disasters. We treated many students, teachers, family members, and first responders related to the shooting and were able to have a positive impact in the community.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The list is so long, an amazing and supportive family, good friends, caring therapists, my dogs… I honestly don’t even know where to start.
- Address: Brian Gong Psychotherapy
401 Linton Blvd Ste 200-A
Delray Beach, FL 33444
- Website: briangong.com
- Phone: (561) 501-1008
- Email: email@example.com