Pakou Thao, APSW

Clinical Therapist



I am a first-generation Hmong American and bilingual in Hmong and English. My professional experience started when I volunteered as a Hmong interpreter at the Madison Headstart Program for children and parents during my undergraduate studies. I also worked in several administrative support roles in higher education until I found my passion for helping others to navigate resources and with diversity, equity and inclusion. This has led me to the path of pursuing a Master of Social Work in a clinical setting and to continue serving diverse populations in the community.

My approach is meeting clients where they are at and empowering clients to be experts in their own lives. I would say my therapy style is integrative, using evidence-based techniques and different therapeutic methods best suited for the person's needs. Some of these include cognitive-based therapy (CBT), solutions-based therapy (SBT), strengths-based, mindfulness techniques, and am trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), while applying a cultural lens to all approaches and methods. I've worked with multiple matters involving anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, OCD, LGBTQ+ and gender-specific issues, culturally specific concerns, self-esteem, and behavioral and anger management, from ages 5+.

On my free time, I am either on Netflix, reading, finishing up a personal project, or spending time with family.