Chia-Ying Chou, PhD

Office: 2142 Sutter Street, San Francisco


Tel: 415 851 5093

Let go, let in, and embrace… 


I believe these three steps can be the hardest, yet, with compassion, they can be the most life-giving and beautiful approaches to human life. It has always been my greatest pleasure to assist my clients in the process of letting go, letting in, and embracing life more intimately. The strength, love, and compassion that shine through our work together is deeply rewarding for me.

Clients I have worked with include individuals who seek to process and transform the impacts of trauma or loss, individuals who seek to relieve the burden associated with hoarding or clutter related issues, and individuals who seek to work through the challenges presented to them in their relationships or work/career path. 

Clients often start therapy with me when they…

  • find their current life is haunted by the shadow of experiences in the past
  • find it hard to live a full and meaningful life after losing a loved one
  • feel like they don’t know who they are and what they can expect from life anymore for known or unknown reasons
  • find that their life is cluttered up by physical stuff, thoughts, or worries
  • find it very hard to make decisions in general, or in critical areas of their life
  • find it challenging to stop (or start) doing something which they’d really like to stop (or start) doing
  • find that anxiety, fear, or worries has gotten the better part of them
  • find it very hard to trust people and themselves in relationships
  • feel very worried about what others think of them socially or professionally


About me

2014-2017     Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

2010-2014     PhD, University College London (UCL, World rank No. 4)

I was born and raised in Taiwan. After obtaining my license as a clinical psychologist in Taiwan, I moved to London to pursue my PhD degree in Psychology from University College London. In 2014, I came to San Francisco for my post-doctoral fellowship in the department of Psychiatry, UCSF. Currently, I am a registered psychological assistant at Dr. Brac Selph’s clinic, and am working toward obtaining my license as a psychologist in California in early 2018. I have been involved actively in research that examines ways to improve treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and hoarding disorder (HD). My clinical work with clients has therefore been well informed of the latest scientific findings. I also appreciate the benefit of my Zen practice, which has influenced my therapeutic approach.


How do I work?

I believe that lasting changes happen when the willingness to change, on an intellectual level, is supported by the agreement and readiness to change on an emotional level. My clients arrive at our work together at varying stages of the process of change. My focus in the early phase of the therapy is to help them get a clearer picture of where they are and want to be headed to in this journey, and be truly excited about it. For this, I often apply methods such as motivational interviewing in the beginning phase of therapy to help clients get in touch with the part of their heart that has been there for their best interest all along, and has encouraged them to step on the path of positive change.

One of the therapeutic approaches I apply is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I apply CBT, for example, to help my clients identify patterns of thinking that tend to be in operation under certain situations, and the effects of these thinking patterns on their emotional or behavioral responses to these situations. Most of my clients have found this process illuminating and freeing, as it shows that there is possibility to feel or act in different ways, and the key to change is within us.

To support the willingness to change with the needed emotional strength to make changes happen, I often couple CBT with Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) or Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR). I apply these therapeutic methods to help my clients increase awareness of their psychological states, and gain flexibility to return to an internal space where they feel more at ease and calm. I value this skill set tremendously, because there are challenges in the process of change, and it is my commitment to help my clients develop the “psychological muscles” needed for the journey they choose to step on.


How to get started?

I imagine that you may have some questions or thoughts after reading the content above. If you would like to have a brief chat with me to ask questions or discuss how we could work together, feel free to contact me at or leave a call back number for me on 415 851 5093. We could schedule a free 20-minute consultation.


Services and Fees

I provide individual (one-on-one) therapy, and group therapy (6-8 clients per group). I work with my clients in the beginning of the treatment to decide which of these treatment structures would be a better fit.

My fee for individual therapy is $150 per session. Fees for group therapy vary by group, and range between $50-80 per session. To make services available to clients of a broader range of income level, I have some availability to charge a reduced fee on a sliding scale. I do not take insurance. However, if you have a PPO, please check with your insurance company to see if you may be reimbursed for psychological services. If so, I can provide you a bill for this purpose.


I appreciate your reading this page. Wish you a fruitful journey of self-discovery and healing.