About Shifting Center
Sand Chang, PhD
FOUNDER OF SHIFTING CENTER
Hi! I’m Dr. Sand Chang, but I mostly go by Sand. My pronouns are they/them/their.
I am a Chinese American nonbinary Licensed Psychologist, DEI consultant, and somatic psychotherapist with more than 20 years of experience providing training and mental health services in a variety of settings, including corporate settings, startups, community mental health centers, university counseling centers, public schools, and medical centers. As a DEI trainer/educator and consultant, I strive to bring an intersectional, trauma-informed perspective to help workplaces create inclusive and psychologically safe environments. As a clinician, I provide both brief and long-term therapy to adults.
I am a somatic psychotherapist with a passion for justice, education, and healing-centered engagement.
Early in my career, I recognized the need to broaden the scope and reimagine DEI practices so as to create possibilities for authentic connection and collective care. I have been providing DEI consultation and training to leaders and organizations for over 15 years. I utilize a trauma-informed approach by meeting people where they are, amplifying their strengths rather than deficits, and facilitating a healthy exploration of the challenges that must be overcome in order to grow. To witness people take risks and grow in ways that they could not have imagined is truly a gift that motivates me to keep working toward systemic change. My deepest desire is to be of service in supporting more equitable and collaborative systems and communities. It’s not always comfortable or pretty, but it’s worth it.
My work as a psychotherapist is informed both by my professional training and my own lived experience, and it has evolved as I’ve done my own healing work. I’ve always been actively interested in helping people who tend to get excluded by mainstream, white, western, dominant culture norms. Naturally, I’ve gravitated towards perspectives and approaches that are empowering and strengths-based rather than pathologizing (like our mainstream psychiatric models and categorizations). As a somatic psychotherapist and trauma specialist, I am deeply committed to body liberation for all people and actively engage in ways to challenge and deconstruct colonialist practices within health and healing realms. My work with individuals is grounded in Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Somatic Experiencing (SE). I’m a Certified IFS Therapist, Certified EMDR Therapist, and Certified Body TrustⓇ Provider.
When I’m not working with individuals or organizations, you can find me speaking or writing. I co-authored A Clinician’s Guide to Gender Affirming Care (New Harbinger, 2018) and the APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients (2015). I’m honored to have been interviewed by NPR Life Kit, The New York Times, and Food Psych.
Outside of work, I am a dancer, punoff competitor, and smoosh-faced dog enthusiast. Most everyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge dog person. I believe that dogs have a lot to teach humans about being in the moment, resting, and enjoying food! Here’s a picture of me with my pug Zelda and my Brussels griffon BonBon!
I believe in the inherent potential of all people to heal from systems and ingrained beliefs that block connection and growth.
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What does Shifting Center mean?
Healthy organizations and teams maintain balance by continually moving and shifting to adapt to the conditions in the environment.
Without a strong center, even the most skilled and dedicated leaders and teams are apt to fall. How this translates into the work of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion is that we must refocus and redefine what and who is centered and uplifted so that no one feels left silenced or left behind.
“Dr. Chang spoke to the complexity of humans and DEI while at the same time *actually* modeling what doing that therapeutically could look like. It’s a major skill and provided such a good example of what could be helpful to try on one day for myself!”
DEI Training Atendee