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Episode 19: Reply 1988 || Teen, Mom and College – Oh My!

Oh my, is right. Here in the U.S., one of the most stressful parts of high school is preparing for college. But, it’s a defining factor in Asian culture. In Korea, where you go to college is what can make or break your trajectory in life. ๐Ÿฅบ Hence, (TW) the reason behind many student suicides. That’s why my heart goes out to Deok-sun in episode 15. Imagine hearing your school counselor or teacher tell your parent that it’s going to be hard for you to attend a 4-year college or university due to your poor grades. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ. This. Is. A. Student’s. Nightmare. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

We all know the academic pressures in Asian culture take its toll on one’s mental health. I know that it did mine. Join me in this episode as I share what I have told families in navigating college stress to ensure student success. ๐Ÿ™Œ ๐Ÿ™

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Episode 18: Dear Reply 1988 || Express Yoโ€™self!

This deep dive episode was hidden away in my archives and for some reason didn’t air when it was supposed to! And, it’s on a favorite topic so I had to show it of course. ๐Ÿ™Œ I know I keep harping on Reply 1988, but there’s just so many gems in this K-Drama.

My whole framework is rooted in promoting healthy emotionality. This is why I absolutely love how well the Reply 1988 teen crew help Taek with pouring out his feelings during a tough time. ๐Ÿ˜ญ I want to point out how the parents tip-toed around Taek and didn’t mention what he was experiencing for fear of it bothering him or making him feel worse. This is typical in the Asian culture, where it’s about showing face, saving face, avoiding, etc. It’s not healthy.

The reality is that children and adolescents – all of us, really – need to feel emotionally safe, especially in the home. We should be able to share about our feelings and thoughts when we want to and need to. Kudos to Taek’s friends for encouraging him to release his true feelings, and in the end, helping him feel better. ๐Ÿ‘

How can you be better at expressing yo’self so YOU feel better? ๐Ÿง

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Episode 17: Dear Reply 1988 || Deok-sun’s Character and Leadership

A favorite character of mine is Deok-sun in Reply 1998. ๐Ÿฅฐ She’s got such “AEGYO” – that charming cuteness she shows through her expressions and mannerisms! Deok-sun’s genuineness makes her a winning character in my book because she’s perfectly flawed, relatable, and demonstrates integrity. In Episode 14, she shows us a wonderful example of leadership as a student in front of all her peers regarding an incident at school. This is the moment where I recalled wishing I had a Deok-sun by my side in high school! ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Everyone wants to feel normal and part of the group especially among peers at school. Watch episode 14 and see how Deok-sun normalizes what could’ve been a very stigmatized and traumatic experience for the class president. And based on the culture, perhaps this event could’ve led to the class president being bullied. However, thanks to Deok-sun’s heroic actions, her peer comes out unscarred and even self-assured. Bravo! ๐Ÿ‘

How can we be more like Deok-sun to normalize and destigmatize mental health, mental illness and physical health?

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Episode 16: Dear My Friends || Coming Full Circle

I’m so glad that I was encouraged to watch “Dear My Friends.” ๐Ÿ™Œ What an underrated K-Drama it is! I cried my way through most of it because it was just so touching. Pulls at your heartstrings, you know? Shout out to @iris.kim7 and @sheena.yap.chan for telling me about the K-Drama in the first place.

We come “full circle” in the life cycle whether we want to face it or not, so please watch this K-Drama. It’s good to understand the aging population and have empathy for the elderly. ๐Ÿง As one of the main character says, “We’re born wearing diapers and we die wearing diapers.” ๐Ÿ˜ฎ.

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Episode 15: Sisyphus: The Myth + Vincenzo || Living with Regrets

It’s been an interesting experience watching two K-Dramas (that are currently airing) at the same time. I never do that ๐Ÿ˜‚ so it was super cool to find that two episodes I watched on the same night from two different K-Dramas talked about the same thing – REGRET. I had to talk about regret (and remorse) because it’s what I see the most in folks I with. Having regrets in life based on what you said and did can plague you. It’s what I tend to hear often in families as well. In fact, it’s the most common phrase I tend to hear in therapy: “I really wish I hadn’t…..I keep thinking I should have ……” These are all based on regret which tends to turn into remorse.

How can we best deal with regret so we aren’t living with remorse? What have you said or done recently that you are regretting? How are you managing it so it doesn’t dictate your decisions and control your future in a way that is unhealthy? Ponder these questions as you watch this latest episode. ๐Ÿง

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Episode 14: IOTNBO + Catch the Ghost + Dear My Friends || Caregiver Stress

This episode is dedicated to our caregivers out there! Caregiving is hard and thereโ€™s a lot of stress in being a caregiver. Itโ€™s a big part of Asian culture due to things like filial piety and collective identity. Caregivers can carry such burden and get overwhelmed due to the responsibility they hold. Caregivers, please show yourself self-compassion! How can you make self-care your top priority?

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Episode 13: Reply 1988 || Be a Student of Your Parents

Kids (aka students), it’s your turn to study your parent (s) because it goes both ways right? You want them to understand you, so you need to learn about who they are. ๐Ÿง It’s all about enriching conversations in the family for greater connection and cohesion. Sure, you may think your parents “don’t get it” or are “aren’t on the same page” as you, but knowing more about them could help you better navigate family conflict and strife so you can feel heard and validated. ๐Ÿ™

How well do you know your parents on a scale of 1 to 10?

10 = “Know them like the back of my hand!”

1 = “No clue who they are.”

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Episode 12: Reply 1988 || Be a Student of Your Student

Parents, hear me out. It’s important to “study” your kids to understand what makes them tick and what floats their boat so you can connect with them. Reason being, the more connected they feel with you, the more you’ll get them to listen to what you want or need them to do. ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Check out this sequence in Reply 1988 to understand why it’s good, parents, for you to be a “student of your student.”

How well have you been studying your kids to understand them better? ๐Ÿค“

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Episode 11: Start-Up + Itaewon Class + The King || Girl Bosses in 2020 K-Dramas

Happy Women’s History Month and upcoming International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8! This year’s IWD theme is โ€œWomen in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.โ€ To honor the meaning behind IWD which is all about showcasing women’s achievements in society and contributions around the world, I’d like to celebrate the women leaders AKA “girl bosses” we have seen in some 2020 K-Dramas! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

I think it’s a big deal that we’ve gotten to see some examples of strong female characters the last year in #kdramasโ€‹ considering the norms of Asian culture, don’t you? I know there are many great female characters that exude leadership and strength, but I focused on my favs of 2020! Who’s your favorite K-Drama “girl boss?”

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Episode 10: Asian + Black Solidarity Through the Love of K-Dramas || Honoring Black History Month

As I see it, through our love of #kdramas (and #kpop), there’s a powerful intersectionality between Asian and Black culture. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Now more than ever we need to stand in solidarity! This episode is just a snippet showing Asian and Black cultural relatability to honor Black History Month.

I highlight three fabulous black women I very much admire! ๐Ÿฅฐ Asian and Black solidarity should be displayed always. ๐Ÿ™Œ. As a solution-focused therapist, I am calling you forward in focusing on the similarities of our experiences, not the differences. I’m calling you forward in celebrating our commonalities because there are many. I’m calling you forward in discovering your impact on how you can stand in solidarity today. ๐Ÿ‘Š