Embedded Counselors

Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMHS) partners with APASS to provide embedded counselors and liaisons for Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Desi American students in need of mental health and wellness support. APASS’s Embedded Counselors serve and support the the larger Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Desi American student community, and are located in proximity to the APASS center (Student Union 410). 

For students who desire to work with an Embedded Counselor from APASS and the other Student Equity and Inclusion Programs centers, including: CBCSA, La CASA, LGBTQ+ Student Center, Veterans Resource Center, and First Gen+ Success Center, individual therapy appointments can be made through the mySHR portal (https://usc.edu/myshr). Students can also work with embedded therapists with the Office of International Services.

After establishing care, your therapist will discuss your care and a treatment plan to meet your goals. The treatment plan might include additional sessions; referral to psychiatry and medication management; open-ended therapy with an insurance-based private practice (including the Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services practice, located on the 5th floor of the Engemann Building); or recommendation for an appropriate therapy group in USC Student Health.

CMHS also provides 30-minute Let’s Talk drop-in sessions, individual 1:1 appointments with a counselor, group counseling, and workshops.

Meet APASS's Embedded Counselors

headshot photo of Dr. Ekta Kumar

Ekta Kumar, PsyD (she/her/hers)

Ekta Kumar, PsyD received her master’s and doctorate from the University of Indianapolis. Dr. Kumar completed her APA-internship at USC’s Counseling and Mental Health and her post-doctorate fellowship from Loyola University Maryland. Her professional interests include multicultural psychology, identity development, college mental health, trauma, relationship difficulties, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Kumar is passionate about providing an affirming therapeutic space for individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community, underrepresented backgrounds, and clients of color. She utilizes a multiculturally and trauma-informed approach in working with clients and pulls upon interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, acceptance and commitment, and dialectical behavior therapy to provide a tailored approach for each client.

She is fluent in Hindi, understands Punjabi, and her family is in Tennessee and Punjab.  She is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry. She would tell her younger self, “Create a life of balance and ensure that you’re growing academically, but also personally. Figure out what you value and make sure your life reflects all of those values.”

At APASS every Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:00am – 3:30pm (by mySHR appointment only)
headshot photo of Hua Wen

Hua Wen, LMFT (she/her/hers)

Hua is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist from Counseling and Mental Health Services, USC Student Health Center. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine. She is an Embedded Counselor with APASS this year.

Hua is also a USC alumni; she received her Master’s degree at USC Rossier School of Education. Her professional interests include mindfulness, integrative care, diversity and cross-cultural issues. Hua adopts a systems approach to work with adjustment concerns, stress management, relational issues, depression and anxiety.

In her spare time, Hua enjoys chatting with people, watching shows on Netflix, listening to music, and having fun with family and friends. In addition to English, Hua speaks Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese. She adopts Bruce Lee’s philosophy: “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless-like water.”

At APASS every Monday and Friday, 8:30am – 5pm (by mySHR appointment only)

How to make an appointment with an Embedded Counselor

Hua Wen's, one of APASS's Embedded Counselors, video guide:

Visual Guide to navigating mySHR

A step-by-step visual guide to making an appointment with a culturally-specific therapist:

Download the guide here.

Screenshot Guide for navigating mySHR
Screenshot Guide for navigating mySHR
Screenshot Guide for navigating mySHR