Kathleen Kawamura, PhD Clinical Psychologist
Kathleen Kawamura, PhDClinical Psychologist 

About Me



Graduate Training


While in graduate school, my clinical experiences included training and working in:

  • Community clinics (including an Anxiety Disorders Clinic)
  • College counseling centers
  • Inpatient substance abuse treatment center at a VA hospital
  • Psychiatric emergency center
  • Inpatient psychiatric hospitals

I developed a specific interest in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders while at an Anxiety Disorders Clinic with Dr.s Randy Frost, a nationally recognized expert in the areas of perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hoarding and Patricia Di Bartolo, an expert in treating anxiety disorders in children and adolescentsI found it invaluable to learn from experts in the field who have been practicing, learning, teaching, and developing for many years.


Predoctoral Internship, VA Long Beach Health Care System 


My focus was on behavioral medicine, which relates to the use of psychological principles to prevent and manage medical issues. I used primarily cognitive behavioral techniques to address anxiety and depression in the areas of oncology, HIV, hospice, neuropsychology, spinal cord injury, primary care, and general medical inpatient care. I was also trained in group cognitive behavioral treatment of chronic pain, which included relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness techniques.    


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard Medical School Clinical Fellow, Cambridge Health Alliance Behavioral Medicine Program


The fellowship provided extensive education and clinical training in integrating cognitive behavioral techniques with mindfulness, relaxation, biofeedback, and hypnosis. Clinical work focused on clients who presented with issues related to anxiety, depression, chronic pain, weight management, and stress-related disorders. 


University of California Irvine, Counseling Center, Staff Psychologist


My specialization was in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and stress. I ran a popular Stress Management Group, provided supervision in cognitive behavioral therapy to psychologists in training, and conducted seminars in cognitive behavioral therapy.


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, bereavement, and difficulties in family, romantic, roommate, and friendship relationships all in the context of an ethnically diverse, LGBTQ friendly environment.




Master of Science (M.S.), Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Clinical Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2001)


The clinical psychology program at UMass is based on a scientist-practitioner model and therefore involves both clinical training and the production of original scientific research. My research was in the areas of perfectionism, anxiety, body image, depression, and Asian American issues. My work has been published in scientific psychology journals and as book chapters, and I have presented my clinical and research findings at a variety of professional settings.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), University of California, Irvine (1995)


I participated in research labs in the fields of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning processes in children, and hearing mechanisms in adults.  


High School/Jr. High, American School in Japan (1992)


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 awareness and respect for other cultures through both academic and experiential learning. This early experience helps make 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 solo 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, Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Korea, Italy, Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, and Canada. In the U.S., I have lived and traveled on both the east coast and the west coast, have driven coast to coast, and have visited the islands of Hawaii regularly since childhood. These travels have introduced me to new lands and new cultures which have broadened my understanding of the human condition.


My experiences as a wife, daughter, sister, and mother of two children have also informed my perspectives and understandings of life.




Teaching is an important skill in cognitive behavioral therapy in that this type of therapy involves providing the client with education about the development, maintenance, and treatment of their presenting problem, and this must be done in a clear and concise manner that is digestible to the client. 

  • Argosy Orange County, graduate program, adjunct professor - Cognitive Behavioral Theories and Techniqes
  • Argosy/Pepperdine, guest lecturer - Stress Management, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Irvine Valley College, adjunct professor - Introduction to Psychology, Human Development, Abnormal Psychology
  • California State Dominguez Hills, adjunct professor - Behavioral Modification
  • Smith College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Teaching Assistant - Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Theories in Clinical Psychology
  • Kaplan - SAT and GRE prep courses



  • Chopra, S.B., and Kawamura, K.Y. (in preparation). Developmental implications: Body image impact on developmental stages, identity, and self-esteem. In Y. Tsong & H.L. Cheng (Eds.), Body Image and the Asian Experience: Asians, Asian Americans, and Asian Diasporas Across the Globe. Elsevier.
    Body Image and the Asian experience:
    Asians, Asian Americans, and Asian diasporas across the globe
    Body Image and the Asian experience:
    Asians, Asian Americans, and Asian diasporas across the globe
  • 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.), Encyclopedia 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, 25, 291-301.
  • 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).