Cal State L.A.

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Eric Kohatsu


Office: KHA3038
Phone: 323-343-2270


Having been born and raised in Hawaii, my experiences as a “local boy” living in New Jersey and Maryland for almost eight years provided the basis for my consummate passion for understanding racism, prejudice and cultural issues overall. My previous academic work in Asian religion/philosophy and Asian history melded well with my training in psychology. After completing a one year clinical postdoctoral position at Loyola Marymount University, I came to CSLA’s Psychology department. I was the first faculty member hired with a degree in Counseling Psychology and specializing in cross-cultural issues. As a Counseling Psychologist, I am invested in researching and promoting a greater understanding of the impact that cultural variables have on the psychological functioning of People of Color. Concomitantly, I am also committed to mentoring students who are interested in cross-cultural psychology and culturally specific forms of psychology, such as Asian American and African American psychology. Undoubtedly, my passion for mentoring students partially stems from wanting to "give back" out of respect/appreciation for the mentoring I received.  In particular, I wanted to acknowledge the outstanding mentorship I received from Dr. Janet Helms (Boston College) and Drs. Joseph White and Thomas Parham (University of California, Irvine).



My broad-based training as a Counseling psychologist has enabled me to teach a range of different courses. I have taught more than ten different courses, including counseling theories, abnormal psychology, personality theories, history and systems, human sexuality, and advanced research methods. One consistent feature of my teaching interests has been the inclusion of cultural issues. In every course, I emphasize examining the pervasive influences of culture and critically examine how that particular subfield of psychology has accounted for these influences. Typically, over the last few years I usually teach the Advanced Research Methods, racial/ethnic minority mental health, and human sexuality courses.



My research interests center on cross-cultural issues and are also quite diverse as well. One primary area of interest is in racial identity issues, with a particular focus on applying Helms’ racial identity model to Asians and Latinos as a framework to better understand how the mechanisms of prejudice, intergroup contact, and racism function. To that end, I am also involved in examining racism and discrimination, quality of intergroup contact between the People of Color groups, and anti-Asian prejudice. In addition, my research interests include mental health issues of the various People of Color groups, cross-cultural research methodology, cross-cultural counseling issues, acculturation issues, and alternative healing approaches in cross-cultural counseling.



Title Date
Kohatsu, E.L., Victoria, R., Lau, A., Flores, M., & Salazar, A. Analyzing anti-Asian prejudice from a racial identity and color-blind perspective. Journal of Counseling and Development. In press
Kohatsu, E. L., Concepcion, W., & Perez, P. Incorporating levels of acculturation in counseling practice. In J.G. Ponterotto, J.M. Casas, L.A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds), Handbook of Multicultural Counseling (3rd ed., pp. 343-356). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 2010
Kohatsu, E.L., Mizukami, S., Ervin, M., & Shimamoto, A. Cluster analysis of anti-Asian prejudice, colorblindness, and racial identity. Poster presented at the 117th annual American Psychological Association convention, Toronto, Canada. 2009, August
Kohatsu, E.L., Vong, S., Flores, M., Mizukami, S., Martinez, N., Fang, M. & Shimamoto, A. Racial identity and colorblindness as predictors of anti-Asian prejudice among Latinos. Poster presented at the 116th annual convention, American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA. 2008, August
Kohatsu, E.L. Acculturation: Current and future directions. In R.T. Carter (Ed.), Handbook of racial-cultural psychology and counseling, vol. One, Theory and research (pp. 207-231). New York: Wiley. 2005



Ph.D. Counseling Psychology 1992

Ed.M. Counseling Psychology 1987

M.A. Religion 1985

B.A. Religion 1982



Course Course Title Day & Time Room Quarter
PSY 308 History and Systems     Fall 2010
PSY 465 Multicultural Psychology     Fall, 2010


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