Gatsby Dai

Xiaojun Dai

I offer in-depth psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families in the San Francisco Bay Area and California. I am an AMFT (#142634 in CA) with over 1200 hours of face-to-face counseling experience.(Not taking new clients at the moment.)

“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Gatsby Dai

How I work

I am a psychodynamic-oriented and trauma-informed therapist. Inspired by both East and West philosophies and psychology, I work with people’s suffering in relationships as well as the awakening incubated in pain. Our work together is to connect honestly to your experiences and listen carefully to your symptoms - anxiety, depression, panic attack, addiction, relationship struggles, low self-esteem, codependency, people-pleasing, self-sabotaging patterns, inadequacy, guilt and shame, negative self-talk, divorce, flashbacks, isolation.The good news is therapy works! Together, we may revisit your inner child, life events, family dynamics, cultural influence, and most importantly, your subjective narratives and perceptions. We will learn together how to grieve better, regulate intense emotions safely within our body, and cultivate space between stimulus and reaction, allowing for expanded possibilities and outcomes, and real changes in your life. We may unpack and observe both personal and relational patterns and make some real changes in your life.I grew up bilingual and have worked in different countries and cultures. I have a deep, particular compassion for those who feel caught in-between — between body and mind, heart and brain, different cultures and religions, and between suffering and awakening.Our conversations in therapy are your place of safety in which you can process and re-write your life story, and rediscover both perspective and playfulness.

Gatsby Dai


Holding different, sometimes contradictory, realities without losing oneself or becoming entrenched is an indicator of emotional maturity. It entails avoiding personalization and embracing shades of gray rather than adopting a black-and-white perspective.Thoughts and feelings are not static like rocks, but rather dynamic like rivers. By cultivating a mindset that allows for greater spaciousness, we can hold these thoughts and feelings in a safe "container" that welcomes diverse flavors, perspectives, and ultimately, possibilities.Holding this container together also creates an inner and outer space where we can encounter a "choice" - a momentary pause between a stimulus and our response. It is within this pause that our true freedom and wisdom reside.I encourage you to maintain curiosity about our own behavioral patterns - the "Whys" that have shaped our reactions to life's events. Through safe exploration, we gain the opportunity to delve into the "Hows," where genuine transformation occurs.

Gatsby Dai


  • M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA.

  • Visiting Researcher in Entrepreneurs’ Mental Well-being at the University of California in Berkeley, CA.

  • MBA in Business Administration from Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, China.

  • B.A. in English and International Studies from China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, China.

"You only are free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great."- Maya Angelou

Let's Chat

Contact me below to arrange a complimentary 15-minute phone or video consultation.

“A person is a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity; a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material; a continually changing constellation of potentialities, not a fixed quantity of traits.”
- Carl R. Rogers

GATSBY DAISan Francisco, CA | 2023.