Jennifer Tarm (Pronouns: she/her) is an associate marriage and family therapist and recent graduate from USC’s MFT program. She provides therapy to male teens and families within school-based settings. Tarm’s work within wellness is rooted in her values of education, leadership, and community. She enjoys surrounding her work around personal/identity development, sense of belonging, crisis intervention, and power-based violence. This includes her work with USC Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention & Services educating student communities about gender and power-based harm through workshops and social media campaigns. In addition, was a Rooted Projects Advisor with the Center for the Pacific Asian Family providing additional supervision to youth-led research projects addressing sexual violence within the Asian Pacific Islander community and families. She enjoys drinking tea, playing volleyball, and exploring artwork from creative artists.
Q&A with Jennifer
- How did you hear about AMHP?
I was seeing friends repost content from AMHP and AMHP came up on my Instagram feed so I decided to follow because of the specific focus on API/AAPI mental health.
- Favorite emoji?
- Songs that get you out of bed?
Somebody or Intentions by Justin Bieber
Undercover by Kehlani
Me & U by Cassie
Basically the RnB 90s & 2000s playlist on Spotify
- One thing you’re getting better at?
I feel that I’m getting better at saying various forms of “no” to projects that don’t energize me and/or that I don’t have the bandwidth to take on. Identifying as a helper role, I’ve had the tendencies to say “yes” to everything and everyone because of this internalized message of “that’s what helpers do.” In reality, I was actually overextending myself or not enjoying the work I was doing.
- Advice for anyone seeking mental health support for the first time?
This is more 2-in-1 advice, but keep an open mind & heart as well as don’t give up. Therapy is a process and a lot of the times we don’t get matched up with the right therapist on the first try. Additionally, sometimes all it takes is one bad first experience to deter people away from continuing therapy overall, which can continue perpetuating the negative stigma against therapy. Remember, if it wasn’t a match the first try or a couple of other times, just know that you are getting closer to a therapist that will be a great match for you through the natural process of seeing what you like/don’t like.
- Why are you a part of AMHP?
I was invited to become an AMHP team member after I assisted with our first survivor support summit in 2020. To be on this team and to be involved with this work has been really meaningful. I get to be able to work with like-minded and like-passionate teammates dedicated to amplifying API/AAPI mental health with a social justice lens.
- What are your involvements outside of AMHP? (school, work, volunteering)
Currently working at an LA-based group private practice as a therapist-in-training, but will soon be transitioning out and returning to school in Massachusetts to pursue a PsyD doctoral program in Counseling Psychology in Fall ’21. Depending on the season, I serve as an assistant professor for a university. I also volunteer my time as a wellness workshop facilitator for other organizations such as PsypherLA and Mental Health America.
- What is the most important lesson you’ve learned since being part of the team?
Understanding that there are so many systemic/historical issues to be addressed within the field and that it’s okay (also not realistic) to “not fix” each and every one of them. It’s important to recognize the quality work that we ARE able to do that aligns with our mission, resources, and capacities.
- Favorite Quote?
“Encourage, lift, and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all.” – Deborah Day
- Where can we connect with you?
(Private) Personal IG handle: tarmeezy
Personal inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (Can be related to anything mental health, facilitating workshops, speaking opportunities, graduate school, on becoming a therapist, etc).