For Life Threatening Emergencies:
Or go to your nearest Emergency Room
For other crisis needs 24/7:
- Call UCI Counseling Center at (949) 824-6457
♦ Or 1-866-817-9842
♦ Text “Home” to 741741
- Call or text 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8
- Call UCI Campus Police at
Frances Diaz, Psy. D.
Vivian Yamada, Psy. D.
Chun-Chung Choi, Ph.D.
Meladee Garst, Ph.D
Rodolfo Victoria, Ph.D.
Weathering the Weather
It is getting closer to the holiday break and the end is in sight! Soon we will be with family and friends and getting some much-needed relaxation after the start to the quarter! Phew!
While this time can be something to look forward to, it is important to still be aware of caring for your mental health. Here are some things to consider as we reach the end of the year!
Summer is a great time to reflect on all the things you have done and learned along the way, and to also consider what areas you would like to grow into as you transition into the next academic year.
Take time to reflect, and perhaps even journal out your thoughts:
How to Improve Relationship with Food
Are you struggling with your relationship with food? In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week that occurs Feb. 21st- Feb. 27th here are 7 tips that will help you improve your relationship with food:
1. Be aware that there are NO “good” foods and “bad” foods. All foods provide nutrition and sustenance to the body and our bodies need protein, carbohydrate, fiber, and even sugar and fat to survive. All foods are good if you eat a variety of foods to get all of the nutrients that you need in moderation….
Frances Diaz, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychology, Pepperdine University
Hello and Welcome to the Counseling Center! As a licensed bilingual psychologist I have had the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life through a number of settings. As an alumnus of UCI, I feel honored to return and have the opportunity to work with the diverse student population of this university. While I enjoy working with individuals facing a variety of challenges, my special interests are in addressing personal development, impact of family on academic achievement, first-generation college students, acculturation, international students, issues of adjustment, and Latinx mental health. I recognize that higher education, whether it is undergraduate or graduate school, can be a difficult yet rewarding time in your life. Know that there are resources available to help you reach your full potential and goals. I look forward to meeting you!
Vivian Yamada, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Welcome! College and graduate school can be so fulfilling, but can also lead to many stressors and challenges. I greatly value the opportunity to work with UCI students to help them navigate their roles as students and their additional relationships with family members, friends, romantic partners, colleagues and others. I enjoy working with students who have a variety of concerns and adapt my therapeutic approach to what a particular student needs. Most importantly, I believe a client needs to feel safe and understood given the vulnerability that can be present in counseling. In addition, I frequently find it helpful to explore how a client’s various relationships can function better in the client’s life as these relationships are often connected to their concerns. Some of my special interests are couples therapy, trauma and abuse, and multicultural issues including LGBT and multiracial/multi-ethnic issues.
Liaison: Student Health Center Primary Care
Chun-Chung Choi, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Welcome! It’s a privilege and honor to be part of your journey at UCI! Having been a first generation college student, an international student, and an immigrant, I have been exposed to the feelings of being uprooted and lost sense of belonging. While college and graduate school experiences are exciting and fulfilling, it can also be challenging and daunting. My work then is to provide a safe space for students to share their unique experiences, enhance self-awareness, and to build supportive resources and strengths from within while allowing the recognition and action taking of the impacts from the cultural and systemic level. Collaboratively, I work with individuals with a variety of challenges including but not limited to academic, relationships, cross-cultural, international, trauma, and various mental health issues. I am fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and English. I look forward to working with you!
Suh, H., Rice, K. G., Choi, C.-C., van Nuenen, M., Zhang, Y. M., Morero, Y., & Anderson, D. (2016). Measuring acculturative stress with the SAFE: Evidence for longitudinal measurement invariance and associations with life satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences. 89, 217-222.
Rice, K., Choi, C.-C., Zhang, Y., Morero, Y., & Anderson, D. (2012). Perfectionism, Acculturative Stress, and Depression Among International Students. The Counseling Psychologist. 40, 575-600.
Oh, E., Choi, C.-C., Neville, H. A., Anderson, C. J., & Landrum-Brown, J. (2010). Beliefs about Affirmative Action Attitudes: A Test of the Group-Interest and Racial Beliefs Models. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. 3, 163-176.
Rice, K., Choi, C.-C., Zhang, Y., Villegas, J., Ye, H., Anderson, D., Nesic, A, & Bigler, M. (2009). International student perspectives on graduate advising relationships. Journal of Counseling Psychology. 3, 376–391.
Nesic, A., Choi, C.-C., & Anderson, D. (2009). Social connections for international students and spouses. In Evans, N., & Andrade, M. (Eds.), International students strengthening a critical resource (pp. 199-207). American Council on Education/Rowman & Littlefield.
Parker, M. & Choi, C.-C. (2009). Empathy training for ethnic and cultural awareness (ETECA). Tampa, FL: Microtraining Associates.
Choi, C.-C. & Lin, J.-c. G. (2008). Assimilation. In Leong, F. T. L. (Editor-in-Chief), Constantine, M. G., & Worthington, R. (Volume Editors), Encyclopedia of counseling: Volume 3. Cross-cultural counseling (pp. 1001-1004). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Wann, D. L., Metcalf, L. A., Adcock, M. L., Choi, C.-C., Dallas, M. B., & Slaton, E. (1997). Language of sport fans: Sportugese revisited. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 85, 1107-1110.
Meladee Garst, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychology, Oklahoma State University
Welcome to the UCI Counseling Center! Working with the college student population has been my passion since graduate school. I have had the pleasure of working at several college counseling centers all over the United States, recently coming from Kansas! I am proud and excited to be in Califorinia and join the UCI Anteater family. My goal as a psychologist is to help clients reach their academic, social, and emotional goals by providing support, advocacy, coaching, and therapy. I find it very important to have a strong therapeutic alliance in working with clients and provide a space where they can feel safe and comfortable in exploring their presenting concerns. I enjoy working with a variety of presenting concerns but have areas of emphasis in working with LGBTQ identifed students, first-generation college students, students from diverse or marginalized backgrounds, identity development concerns, and relationship issues. I also have a special area of interest in providing outreach and educational programming to the campus community. I find it important to provide educational programming and outreach to our campus as a ways of prevention, but also in reaching students who are in need of counseling services. I look forward to working with you as a potential Counseling Center client or seeing you around campus at an outreach event! In my free time I love to craft by brining new life to old things, cook, hiking and biking, and playing with my nieces and nephews.
Rodolfo Victoria, Ph.D.
Counseling Psychology, Teachers College – Columbia University
Bienvenidos! (Welcome!) It is a tremendous pleasure to be part of the Counseling Center here at UC Irvine. As a first-generation college student, my personal experiences have influenced my research and clinical interests which have focused on racial & ethnic identity development as well understanding how individuals navigate through various, and often conflicting, cultural demands. Together, students and I work collaboratively in enhancing self-awareness and exploring how our personal and collective, cultural histories influence our present day-to-day functioning.
I strongly believe that each of us has the resiliency to work through life’s hurdles and I help students identify these inner strengths with empathic support & insight. While therapy can be a challenging process, I encourage students to challenge and identify potential psychological barriers & patterns that prevent them from achieving their personal/professional goals as well as developing meaningful relationships. I look forward to working with you!!!
- Carter, R. T., Mazzula, S., Victoria, R., Vazquez, R., Hall, S., Smith, S, Sant, S., Forsyth, J., Bazelais, K., & Williams, B. (In Press). Initial Development of the Race-Based Traumatic Stress Symptom Scale: Assessing the emotional impact of racism. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, & Policy.
- Kohatsu, E., Victoria, R., Lau, A., Flores, M., & Salazar A. (2011). Analyzing anti-Asian prejudice from a racial identity and color-blind perspective. Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(1), 63-72.