Counseling Services Staff
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Chun Fang "Frank" Kuo, Ph.D., Counseling Services Director
Frank Kuo received his M.S. in Counseling and Counselor Education at Indiana University at Bloomington and earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He utilizes Rogers’ Client-centered approach. Frank listens and tries to understand how things are from the client's point of view. He treats the client with the utmost respect and regard. Frank also uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The basis of this orientation is around the concept of peoples’ thoughts affecting their actions and if their thoughts change, their actions can change, even if the situation stays the same. He uses many different strategies and techniques in this school of thought, along with borrowing from other approaches if he believes it will be beneficial for his client.
Frank looks at a student’s entire life, i.e. social, family, personal beliefs, environment, and genetics. He views mental health as a continuum, where students should be continuing their growth to the next stage and reaching their highest quality of life. Frank’s areas of interest include multicultural issues, international student outreach, diversity issues and cross-cultural adjustment, spirituality issues, supervision and training, and group counseling. Frank is able to provide bilingual counseling in English and Mandarin Chinese.
Andrew Polloi, M.A., LMHC
Andrew Polloi received his M.A. in Counseling Psychology from UH Hilo. Andrew seeks to create a supportive, culturally sensitive, understanding, sincere, and approachable working alliance. Andrew's approach to counseling is based on cognitive-behavioral theories and humanistic and person-centered theories. Andrew invites students to explore their potential and make the most of their personal and academic experiences.
"At the core of my counseling practice I am a person centered therapist. In that, I believe that the human body and mind is designed to heal itself and if I provide an individual the opportunity they can feel empowered to make the changes they want in their lives. Providing empathy, authenticity, and unconditional positive regard are the core of all my interactions whether it be with students seeking counseling, faculty and staff consultations, or in my role as leader for Men of Strength. My vision for myself is to be a competent mental health counselor, be a resource and advocate for Pacific Island students and address gender based violence in our communities."
Ekaterina Kapoustina, M.A., Mental Health Counselor
Ekaterina “Ekat” Kapoustina holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from UH Hilo, and a B.S. from the University of Toronto, Canada. Ekat’s person-centered approach to counseling provides a safe, non-judgmental environment for clients to learn about themselves, navigate challenging life transitions, and foster resilience. Ekat draws from attachment theory and views connections with others as central to understanding the person in a holistic way, as such a strong therapeutic alliance is at the core of her practice. Ekat’s passion is working with couples and individuals through an attachment lens to help clients gain a deeper understanding of their interactional patterns, increase emotional awareness, develop better communication skills, and form deeper connections.
Ekat has completed trainings such as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and an Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy 4-Day Externship to further her growth as a counselor. She has experience working with adults, adolescents, children, and families in various settings such as communities, in-home, over the phone, and online. Ekat has worked with individuals displaying symptoms of anxiety, depression, conduct disorder, ADHD, among other disorders. Ekat’s experience as an international student brings a unique perspective to understanding issues of acculturation and assimilation, values, and cultural attitudes that contribute to a client’s experience and identity. In the future, she hopes to become certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), provide educational workshops, consultation, and mentorship to new therapists. Ekat is also a certified QPR trainer; if you would like to schedule a training session or have questions related to suicide prevention topics, please feel free to get in touch and find out more.
Beth is currently a master’s student at the UH Hilo Counseling Psychology program and was also born and raised in Hilo. Beth believes that there are many factors at play in a student’s life, that shape their experiences, making the student the expert of their individual experience. Some of Beth’s areas of interest include neurodivergence, trauma, anxiety/depression, and life adjustments. Beth employs a collaborative approach which emphasizes empowering students, building skills relevant to their experiences, and learning more about themselves along the way. Beth is also passionate about finding creative ways to cope and find more joy in life.
Brandon Dancer is a 2nd year graduate student in the Counseling Psychology program at UH Hilo. After graduating with a Psychology BA from UH Hilo in the Spring of 2019, he spent three years working full-time at Child & Family Service as a Paraprofessional and a Parent Partner. Because of Brandon’s experience as a Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Campus student, he prioritizes cultural awareness and sensitivity to the unique needs of the individual within their situational context. Overall, Brandon uses authenticity, empathy, and unconditional positive regard when listening, in order to collaboratively support people seeking services.
Monica is a 2nd year graduate student in the Counseling Psychology program at UH Hilo. Before pursuing her master’s degree, Monica graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hawaii, West Oahu. Monica leans towards a person-centered approach to therapy, where each client is treated with empathy and unconditional positive regard. She is passionate about assisting clients through their mental wellness journey in a way that is supportive, culturally sensitive, and understanding. Monica is originally from Massachusetts and moved to the island of Oahu in 2013. She recently relocated from Oahu to the Big Island to complete her 2nd year studies at UH Hilo. Monica previously worked as a civilian employee with the U.S. Army and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. As an Army Civilian, Monica worked extensively with military families in career financial counseling.
Madalyn is a 2nd year graduate student in the Counseling Psychology program at UH Hilo. After graduating from UH Hilo with a BA in Art in 2020, she worked as a wellness coach, helping clients to achieve their goals using a client-centered technique known as Motivational Interviewing. Her approach continues to be client-centered, focusing on building a trusting relationship based on unconditional positive regard, authenticity, and culturally sensitive understanding. She draws on the client's own strengths, motivations, and insight into their unique experience. Madalyn also brings her own knowledge of the coping strategies and techniques that sometimes work for others when needed, and offers a new perspective whenever appropriate.