Carissa Dwiwardani, Ph.D.
Associate Professor (2015)
Assistant Professor (2011)
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Multicultural Competence
- Positive Psychology
After obtaining my undergraduate degree in psychology from Biola University, I continued my graduate training at the same university, allowing me continued mentorship by faculty members who tremendously impacted my thinking and professional development in my undergraduate years. Dr. Peter Hill mentored me in my research on humility, explicit and implicit self-esteem. As I began teaching undergraduate statistics during my graduate training, Dr. Paul Poelstra mentored my pedagogical skills and influenced much of my philosophy of education. My current research interests revolve around the construct of humility, posttraumatic growth and their cross-cultural applications. Additionally, I'm interested in studying the development of multicultural competence among service providers in training, particularly in relations to the service providers' ability to reflect on their own culture, worldviews and values. Clinically, my training and experiences focus on the delivery of culturally-sensitive services to those who suffer from severe mental illnesses through community mental health services.
Inherent in the different components of my work is the belief that all truth is God's truth. Research, clinical work, teaching and mentorship—all provide opportunities of encountering God and his truth, and this is what ultimately makes my work ultimately rewarding. What excites me most about psychology is that as a relatively young field, there is still much to be learned and gleaned in our study of the human psyche. Much of the territory is still left unchartered, and the heartbeat of my work in psychology is in being aware of and evaluating cultural assumptions that inevitably color the claims we make as a field. It excites me to think that I am a part of the training and development of future psychologists who will continue to push the boundaries of our field as we know it, and will make psychology more and more relevant to the diverse makeup of the individuals we serve.
When I'm not at work or engaging in an exhilarating discussion with friends and colleagues on multicultural issues in psychology, I enjoy reading both fiction and nonfiction, cooking, trying different ethnic cuisines, traveling and jogging. Since I moved from California, I have enjoyed going on road trips and taking in the unique landscapes and rich history of this side of the country. I look forward to continuing to get to know the east coast and its beauty!