Meet the Therapist: Wendy Zhao, PhD, Psychologist and Coach (Part 1)

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Meet the Therapist: Wendy Zhao, PhD, Psychologist and Coach (Part 1)

Wendy Zhao is a psychologist and executive coach. She works in the areas of business, psychology, and family matters. She focuses on helping clients through crisis and transformation, dealing with anxiety and stress related difficulties, and promoting clients’ personal growth and leadership development. Dr. Zhao offers treatment for both adults and children (ages 6-12).

Dr. Zhao’s Background

As a "Third Culture Kid "herself, spending teen years in the US after a childhood in Taiwan, Wendy can relate to the challenges facing students, parents, and educators undergoing transitions and encountering culture shock. While in high school, she was a volunteer for an English as second language lifeline and intake assistant at the University of California, Berkeley’s psychological clinic supporting students in transitory environments. She has worked with students from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as LGBT students.

Wendy's corporate career started in 1991, first as an advertising account executive, then fast moving consumer goods food conglomerates where she served as brand manager, food service manager, Asia Pacific Marketing Director, and Greater China General Manager. She has worked in San Francisco, New York, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.

Dr. Wendy holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Business Administration from New York University, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from South China Normal University. Her dissertation topic was "Father presence and intimate relationship satisfaction: Comparison between Shanghai and Taipei adult women ."

She is also a board member, facilitator, and moderator for Entrepreneurs Organization, which is a high-quality support network of 14,000+ like-minded leaders across 61 countries. It helps business entrepreneurs achieve their full potential through the power of life-enhancing connections, shared experiences, and collaborative learning.

Transitioning from Business to Psychology

As a two-decade corporate veteran, Dr. Wendy witnessed economic cycles from startup, growth, and stagnation to concession and transformation. The most unsettling periods were the times as Greater China General Manager for a Fortune 500 company. Wendy dealt with long hours, traveling, and stress which eventually resulted in burnout and anxiety attacks. However, the key event that led to her career transition was when she had to downsize a business unit due to a strategic shift. Consequently, productive employees, through no fault of their own, lost their jobs. They, along with their families, experienced a high degree of stress, loss of self-esteem, increased family tension, and a sense of powerlessness and resignation.

This turmoil required Wendy to harness the counseling skills acquired through the volunteer work she did in high school. This reinvigorated her vocational calling as a psychological professional to bring serenity and ease to those around her. Therefore, she decided to leave the corporate world and return to school, pursuing clinical psychology.

Having experienced the emotional ups and downs of navigating career changes allows Dr. Wendy to empathize with her clients and offer insights that resonate with them. In addition, her corporate experience permits her to clarify how rational principles related to work respond to psychological-emotional patterns. With adequate counseling and tools, it is possible to create a healthy life-work balance.

Dr. Wendy’s business background has helped professionals concerned about and wanting to strengthen their professional development, as well as companies committed to caring for their employees' mental health while still growing their businesses.

If you need support finding your personal and/or professional path with the help. Get in touch with us to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Wendy. She offers sessions in the Body & Soul Medical Clinics - Hongmei Road (Minhang) in English, and Mandarin.

In part 2 of this article, Dr. Wendy Zhao will share more about her specialties in psychology and coaching, techniques she uses, and who she can help. Make sure you are following Body & Soul on WeChat for the next installment.