Crossroads: Los Angeles, Torrance, and Los Alamitos Psychologists

Kay Mimaki, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist

I provide both psychotherapy and psychological assessment services and would like to share some of my thoughts on psychotherapy and psychological assessment that I hope you will find useful.

Psychotherapy: We all encounter problems in life at some point and we try to cope with them by using our best resources possible. Most of the time, whatever we do works, but sometimes, we get stuck, and you may feel as if you got trapped in a quicksand; the harder you try to free yourself, the deeper you find yourself into the problem.

I primarily use an approach called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), that can help you learn to recognize how your thinking and behavioral patterns may contribute to the problems you are experiencing. Working collaboratively with you, I can help to identify and re-evaluate some learned patterns of thinking and behaviors that may be contributing to your distress. We will talk about problem-solving and coping skills so you can better cope with difficult situations. Overall, CBT is an approach to build resilience and a sense of confidence in your own abilities.

I believe that mind and body are intimately connected, and psychotherapy can be an effective tool in managing your overall health. Negative emotions, such as depression, anxiety, worries, and anger can affect our physiological responses, which can increase the risk for more serious health consequences like sleep and appetite disturbance, high blood pressure, heart disease, digestion problems, and so on.

While it is never too late to seek help, it is always better to seek help early and use psychotherapy as a preventative tool to improve both your psychological and physical health.

Psychological assessment: When you are not feeling well, your primary care medical doctor may order blood tests to understand what is causing your symptoms. The results will help the doctor formulate a treatment plan to help you in the best way possible. Psychological assessment works the same way. It is a tool psychologists use to observe and measure your symptoms, behaviors, and abilities to identify the root of the problems, arrive at an accurate diagnosis, and to make the best treatment recommendations.

A typical psychological assessment involves different components, such as interviews, observations, and psychological tests. Psychologists are specially trained to understand, analyze, and integrate such information, so a specific question being asked can be answered. When results are ready, I always sit down with the client (if the client is a young child, I review them with parents or guardians) to go over the results and recommendations, and welcome any questions to make the assessment more useful for you.

Background: I received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Loma Linda University. I have worked with children and adults in a variety of settings, including county mental health facilities, non-profit mental health service clinics, university counseling center, and private counseling offices. I worked as a psychological evaluator for Children’s Institute, Inc., for 10 years, helping children to succeed socially and academically.

Teaching has also been my passion for years. For 15 years, I was instrumental in managing and operating a graduate program in clinical psychology in Tokyo through Alliant International University/California School of Professional psychology. This was the only graduate-level clinical psychology program offered by an American university, and was approved by the Ministry of Education. I retired from the position as the Program Director in 2018 in order to focus on my clinical work.

I can provide psychotherapy in both English and Japanese.