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Takako Suzuki, PhD, Assistant Professor, Assistant Director of Clinical Services, Clinical Coordinator of CARES


Takako Suzuki, PhD joined PCOM full time in February 2005 as assistant professor, assistant director of clinical services (Center for Brief Therapy) and clinical coordinator for the Center for Academic Resources and Educational Services (CARES). The courses she teaches are mainly diversity related: Human Diversity; Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Culturally Diverse Clients; and Advanced Ethics, Health Policy, and Multicultural Competency in Medical Settings. As the assistant director of the Center for Brief Therapy, Dr. Suzuki takes part in training and supervising practicum students and interns whose patients include the underserved and those from diverse cultural backgrounds. In her role as clinical coordinator of CARES, Dr. Suzuki organizes programs such as study skills workshops, academic tutoring and writing programs for PCOM students. Dr. Suzuki also serves as one of the faculty advisors to the Culturally Aware Psychology Students (CAPS) club at PCOM.

Dr. Suzuki was born and raised in Japan, and after the completion of her undergraduate studies in psychology at Chuoh University in Tokyo, she pursued her graduate studies in the psychoeducational processes program at Temple University where she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees. There, she studied systems theories and their application to therapy, training, group processes, organizational development and socio-cultural dynamics. During her doctoral studies, she served as assistant director for international training and research programs of the Management and Organizational Development Center at Temple.

Dr. Suzuki is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and New York. Prior to her appointment at PCOM, she was in a group practice for fifteen years where she was trained in cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders and in private practice for twelve years. Her practice in New York (2001-2006) began as a volunteer service following the 9/11 tragedy, and she saw clients mainly from the Japanese community. At present, Dr. Suzuki continues to maintain a small private practice locally and sees clients of various cultural backgrounds with a variety of anxiety disorders.

Maintaining relationships with and contributing to the Japanese community is important for Dr. Suzuki. She serves as a board director and director of mental health services for the Japanese Association of Greater Philadelphia. For over 15 years she has been writing a column entitled, "Managing stress while living in America" for the association’s newsletter. Through this column, she addresses the unique issues of Japanese expatriates, sojourners and interracial couples. Dr. Suzuki consults with the Japanese Language School of Philadelphia, where she addresses challenging issues that derive from the ever-changing needs of parents who are raising Japanese and biracial children in the United States while aiming to keep their Japanese cultural connections.  After the recent natural and nuclear disaster in Japan, Dr. Suzuki, as a part of the New York based organization JAMSNET (Japanese Medical/Mental Support Network), has been actively supporting the Japanese community.

Dr. Suzuki's general research interests are the cross-cultural manifestation of symptoms of anxiety disorders, and culturally responsive treatments of complex issues with broadly defined multicultural populations. Dr. Suzuki has been taking special interest in “Intergenerational Conflicts” among immigrants and refugee populations and offering workshops for the past few years.  Currently she is working on a research project to address the “anti-bullying” initiative among South East Asian high school students whose families moved to the US as refugees.  She is also interested in rapport building and a successful therapy process when the therapist’s and client’s cultural backgrounds are different.

Dr. Suzuki has been serving in national, state and local psychological associations. She is a member of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies where she co-chairs the special interest group for Asian American Issues in Behavioral Therapy and Research. She is an active member of the Committee of Multiculturalism of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association. This is the second year she was selected to participate in the “State Leadership conference,” which is the annual advocacy training conference for leaders in a professional psychology practice (Div.31: State, Provincial and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs) of the APA.  Locally, she chairs the Diversity Committee for the Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists. She is a member of the Asian American Psychological Association, the Japanese Association of Behavior Therapy, the American Psychological Association’s Division 45, and the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology. She has made numerous professional presentations at meetings and conferences nationally and internationally.

Recent Publications:

Suzuki, T.  (2010).  Out of Danger, into Displacement: Seeking Refuge in the US.  The Pennsylvania Psychologist, World Psychology Issue.  Vo.70, No.11.

Suzuki, T., White, B., & Velez, I. (2010). Psychoeducation and Cultural Competence in the Primary Care Setting. In R.D. DiTomasso, B.A. Golden, & H.J. Morris (Eds.) The Comprehensive Handbook of Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches in Primary Care. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Suzuki, T. (2009). Cultural Conservatism. The Pennsylvania Psychologist

Japanese Association of Greater Philadelphia Newsletter.  (Quarterly column, 1996 to present.)
Column Title: Managing stress while living in America.

Recent Presentations:

Arcadia University, Physicians Assistant Program: Glenside, PA & Christiana, DE. (2009- Present).
Diversity Training: Provide lecture on “Health Care Disparities & Understanding Diversity” and facilitate cultural immersion project to Physicians Assistant Students.

Pennsylvania Psychological Association: 2011 Annual convention.  Harrisburg, PA (June 19, 2011).
Workshop: Understanding Intergenerational issues with Refugees: Advocacy, Treatment and Ethical Considerations.

Teachers College, Columbia University, 28th Annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable on Cultural Psychology and Education, New York, NY (February, 2011).  Roundtable: Emerging SE Asian Refugees’ Grandchildren: Their Destiny? Our Readiness?

Chiba University, Department of Medicine, Japan.  (November 15, 2010). Lecture: What’s happening in US in psychology field: CBT APPROACH?

Pennsylvania Psychological Association: 2010 Annual convention.  Harrisburg, PA  (June 18, 2010)
Workshop: Intergenerational Conflicts among Immigrant Families.

Pennsylvania Psychological Association: 2010 Annual convention.  Harrisburg, PA  (June 17, 2010)
Workshop: Utilization of personal stories as a means to cultural competence.

Salus University: Elkins Park, PA (2007- 2010). Diversity Training:  Provided lectures on “Understanding Diversity” and facilitate Cultural Immersion Project to Physicians Assistant Students.

Association of Behavioral & Cognitive Therapy, 43 Annual convention. Nov. 20, 2009. NY, NY.
Clinical Round Table: Familial Intergenerational Conflict Variation Among Immigrant Asian-Americans:  Searching for Appropriate Cognitive Behavioral Model Coherence.

Pennsylvania Psychological Association: Annual convention: (June 19, 2009). Workshop: Multicultural Matrix: Diversity, ethics, and early career psychologists.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Physicians Assistant Program: (July 11, 2008). Lecture: Impact of Multicultural Issues in Medical Settings.

Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education 10th Annual Conference:  Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (April 4, 2008). Workshop: Understanding intergenerational conflict & identity patterns among Asian American youth and parents: Reducing barriers to assist and identify educational/therapeutic intervention options.

Asian Behavioral Health Symposium: Sponsored by the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services: Community College of Philadelphia (October 23, 2007).  Workshop: Intergenerational Issues with Children and Families of Asian Americans.

Philadelphia College of Optometry: Elkins Park, PA (October 10 & December 14, 2007). Lecture:  Provided lectures on “Understanding Diversity” through immersion activity to Physicians Assistant Students.

Association of Behavioral Cognitive Therapy Annual Convention: Philadelphia, PA. (November 16, 2007).
Clinical Round Table: Addressing and Applying Multicultural Issues in Various Clinical Settings:  Innovative Strategies for Culturally Competent Evidence-Based Practices.

American Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA (August 20, 2007).
Symposium: Opportunities and Challenges: Serving the Underserved in Urban Healthcare Settings.
Co-presenters: B. A. Golden, Psy.D. ABPP, S. Kanther-Sista, Psy.D., K. Simmerman, Psy.D.

Health Sciences University of Hokkaido Dept. of Psychological Science, Hokkaido, Japan.  (July 23-26, 2007).
Invited Lecture: Review of Educational system of field of Psychology in US as focusing on clinical and multicultural psychology.

Teachers College, Columbia University, 24th Annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable on Cultural Psychology and Education New York, NY (February, 2007).  Workshop: Linear and nonlinear approaches to personal cultural identity development: An emergent model to guide acculturation strategy in therapy and education. Co-presenter: Larry J. Krafft, Ph.D., Temple University.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. (April, 2007). Transgender Health Panel Discussion.

Pennsylvania Psychological Association: Annual convention, Harrisburg, PA (June, 2007)
Panel Discussion: Sexual assault and impact on physical health.  Co-presenters S. Capaldi, MA, E. H. Musewicz, MS. (PCOM)