Counseling Services Staff
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.
Andrew also directs the Men of Strength program at UH Hilo.
"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."
Masha Mitsioura, M.A., Mental Health Counselor
Maria “Masha” Mitsioura earned her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from UH Hilo's Counseling program. Masha approaches counseling from a person-centered perspective. She strives to gain a genuine understanding of student's perspectives and aims to provide support and empowerment in students’ lives. Masha implements cognitive-behavioral principals and utilizes tools from DBT to support students in achieving growth and healing. She believes that cultivating self-love and practicing adaptive coping skills can help students navigate challenges and create their best life.
Masha brings a holistic outlook to counseling, viewing health of body and mind as equally important to well-being. Masha has worked with culturally diverse individuals and their families as a therapist with Hawaiʻi Behavioral Health. As an intensive in-home therapist, Masha provided counseling to youth with a variety of mental health needs. Masha has worked with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and other mental health issues. Masha supported clients in addressing family issues, relationship concerns and personal challenges including self-harm, sleep difficulties and academic problems.
Tara is a 2nd-year graduate student in the counseling psychology program at UH Hilo, working towards her certification as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Tara believes in supporting clients through person-centered and cognitive-behaviorist approaches in an effort to find helpful solutions. She strives for a holistic understanding of her clients with particular attention to the importance of cultural identity. Through these approaches, Tara is able to tailor therapeutic interventions to the individualized needs of her clients.
Summer is currently working towards her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from UH Hilo. She uses tools from several disciplines, but she is primarily a person centered counselor. Forming a genuine understanding of the client is her first priority, followed by implementing strategies such as skill building, goal setting, relaxation, and cognitive re-framing. Summer wants clients to feel understood as individuals, respected, safe, and inspired to flourish in school and in the world. Summer hopes that she can make a counseling session a positive experience.
Ekaterina (also goes by Ekat) is a second-year graduate student in the M.A. counseling psychology program at UH Hilo. Ekat graduated with her B.S. from the University of Toronto in Canada in 2015. Before moving to Hilo to pursue her passion for mental health, Ekat was actively involved at her local Distress Center and in mental health/personality research labs for 4 years.
Ekat’s person-centered approach to counseling provides a space for individuals to talk about problems in a safe, non-judgemental environment. Building a strong therapeutic alliance is at the core of this practice. Ekat also draws from attachment theory and views connections with others as central to understanding the person in a holistic way. As an international student herself, Ekat brings a unique perspective to understanding issues of acculturation and assimilation, values, and cultural attitudes of individuals.
Continuing education is important to Ekat and she has completed trainings such as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and an Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy 4-Day Externship. She has experience working with adults, adolescents, children, and families in settings such as communities, in-home, over the phone, and online. Ekat has worked with individuals with anxiety, depression, conduct disorder, ADHD, among other disorders. In the future Ekat hopes to work with couples and families, and to provide educational workshops, consultation, and mentorship to new therapists.