Please take a moment to review my education, training, and experiences. This type of information can be important in choosing a therapist who is qualified and experienced in the problems or disorders for which you are seeking treatment. There are many different therapies and therapists out there, and it would be to your benefit to do some research into their backgrounds to be sure that they will be a good match for you.
I received both my Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst is a competitive program that has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1957. The program is based on a scientist-practitioner model and therefore involved seminars, clinical training, and the production of original scientific research. See Clinical Experiences for a summary of my clinical training during graduate school. My research was in the area of perfectionism, body image, anxiety, depression, and Asian American issues. I wrote research articles that were published in scientific psychology journals and two chapters on the body image experiences of Asian Americans. I also had the opportunity to present research and speak at a variety of settings on both research and clinical topics.
I majored in psychology at the University of California, Irvine. My academic experiences also included participation in research labs in the areas of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the learning process in children, and hearing mechanisms in adults.
I attended an American school in Japan for much of my seconday education. My experiences living overseas, attending an international school, and interacting with other international students has had a great influence on who I am both personally and professionally. The American School in Japan provided solid academic instruction and promoted the development of awareness and respect for other cultures through both academic and experiential learning. This early experience made it a natural process for me to utilize cultural sensitivity in my therapy practice.
School of Life
Though not part of my formal academic training, I do consider my year backpacking around the world to the Netherlands, Kenya, Rwanda, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, and New Zealand as one of my most valuable learning experiences. I have also traveled throughout the years to Japan, the islands of Hawaii, Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Korea, Italy, Costa Rica, and Peru. These experiences have introduced me to new lands and new cultures which have broadened my understanding of the human experience. During my travels, I not only try to appreciate the sights but also try to learn about the people, the history, and the culture of the places I visit. I plan to continue to use travel as a way to expand my understanding of different cultural viewpoints and lifestyles.
My clinical experiences included working in community clinics, college counseling centers, an inpatient substance abuse treatment center at a Veteran’s hospital, a psychiatric emergency center, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and general medical settings. I was trained in both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral therapies, but I developed a specific interest in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders while working at an Anxiety Disorders Clinic with Dr.s Randy Frost and Patricia Di Bartolo who are both clinical experts and published researchers in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Dr. Randy Frost is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hoarding, and Dr. Patricia DiBartolo is an expert in treating anxiety disorders in children and adolescents and had previously worked with Dr. David Barlow, one of the leading experts on the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders.
The Long Beach VA’s psychology internship program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1980. My focus was on behavioral medicine, which relates to the use of psychological principles to prevent and manage medical issues. I worked in the areas of oncology, HIV, hospice, neuropsychology, spinal cord injury, primary care, chronic pain, general medical inpatient care, and mental health. Heading the Chronic Pain Management Program was Dr. Richard Hanson, author of Coping with Chronic Pain: A Guide to Patient Self-Management.
My postdoctoral fellowship was at Harvard Medical School through Cambridge Health Alliance's Behavioral Medicine Program The fellowship provided extensive experience in integrating psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral techniques that were supplemented, when appropriate, with biofeedback or hypnosis. Clinical work was focused on working with adults at a community mental health clinic who presented with issues related to anxiety, depression, chronic pain, body image dissatisfaction, weight management, and stress-related disorders such as headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and TMJ.
I worked at the University of California Irvine’s Counseling Center from 2003 to 2008. There my specialization was in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and stress. I also ran a highly successful Stress Management Group and utilized biofeedback in my psychotherapy. Being at a Counseling Center required a generalist approach, and therefore, individual counseling also involved working with depression, body image dissatisfaction, transitions into and out of college, personal growth, coping with medical illnesses, ethnic minority issues, LGBT issues, bereavement, and difficulties in family, romantic, roommate, and friendship relationships. The focus of the counseling center was on multicultural competence and thus the staff was made up of experts in issues of multiculturalism and diversity. I also provided supervision in cognitive behavioral therapy to psychologists in training and conducted seminars in cognitive-behavioral therapy as part of their competitive psychology internship training program that draws in interns from across the country.
I thoroughly enjoy teaching and have been involved in it in some form for the last 10 years. In the beginning, I tutored Japanese adolescents in their general schoolwork and taught SAT and GRE prep courses. I was then a teaching assistant for various psychology courses and have since then been an adjunct professor teaching courses in behavioral modification, human development, abnormal psychology, and general psychology at Cal State Dominguez Hills and Irvine Valley College. I have also guest lectured on the topic of cognitive-behavioral therapy at Pepperdine and Argosy’s graduate schools and was an adjunct professor of Cognitive Behavioral Theories and Techniques in Argosy's doctorate program. Teaching a wide range of courses allows me to keep abreast of new developments in the whole field and helps me develop a comprehensive understanding of human nature.
Kawamura, K. Y. (2015). Cross-cultural and ethnicity issues in diagnosis. In L. Smolak & M.P. Levine (Eds.), The Wiley Handbook of Eating Disorders (pp. 197-208). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Kawamura, K.Y. (2012). Asian American body images. In T. Cash & L. Smolak (Eds.), Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention, 2nd Edition. New York: Guilford Press.
Kawamura, K.Y. (2012). Body image among Asian Americans. In T. Cash (Ed.), Encylopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance (pp. 95-102). Oxford: Elsevier.
Kawamura, K.Y., & Rice, T. (2008). Body image among Asian Americans. In N. Tewari & A.N. Alvarez (Eds.), Asian American Psychology: Current Perspectives (pp. 537-558). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Kawamura, K.Y. & Frost, R.O. (2004). Self-concealment as a mediator in the relationship between perfectionism and psychological distress. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 28. 183-191.
Kawamura, K.Y. (2002). Asian American body images. In T.E. Cash, & T.P. Pruzinsky (Eds.), Body Image: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice (pp. 243-249). New York: Guilford Press.
Kawamura, K.Y., Frost, R.O., & Harmatz, M.G. (2002). The relationship of perceived parenting styles to perfectionism. Personality and Individual Differences, 32(2), 317-327.
Kawamura, K.Y., Hunt, S., DiBartolo, P., & Frost, R. (2001). Perfectionism, anxiety, and depression: Are the relationships independent? Cognitive Therapy and Research,
Harmatz, M.G., Well, A.D., Overtree, C.E., Kawamura, K.Y., Rosal, M., & Ockene, I.S. (2000). Seasonal variation of depression and other moods: A longitudinal approach. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 15(4), 344-350.
Reviewer for research articles from Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and Psychological Assessment. (2005-2006).
I have given presentations over the last several years on topics related to cognitive-behavioral therapy, anxiety disorders, stress management, Asian-American issues, and perfectionism.