Sonia Izmirian, PhD, MA, BA
Sr. Instructor, Psychiatry-Adult Psychiatry

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Graduate Schools :
  • MA, University of Hawaii At Manoa (2013)
  • PhD, University of Hawaii At Manoa (2017)
Undergraduate School:
  • BA, University of California–Los Angeles (CA) (2010)
Internship:
  • University of Wisconsin (Madison) Program (2017)
Fellowships:
  • Texas Children's Hospital, Psychology (2018)
Department: Psychiatry-Adult Psychiatry

Professional Titles

  • Psychologist

Research Interests

The emphasis of my research in Hawaii had been on bridging the gap between research and practice. In this regard, my research was primarily focused on investigating (a) the dissemination of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and (b) practice-based data in the hopes of improving mental health services for families. Initially, I investigated factors that influence the dissemination and implementation of EBPs (e.g., therapists’ knowledge/attitude about EBPs, organizational characteristics, social desirability). By learning about these factors, our goals were to help organizations modify their EBP training and organizational structure to improve attitudes toward and knowledge about EBPs. Furthermore, my research with the Hawaii Department of Health focused on investigating what therapeutic practices were implemented with youth across multiple levels of care. Through this work, I learned that there were limited research projects on youth placed in higher levels of care, like community-based residential settings (i.e., youth placed in a 24-hour therapeutic setting outside of their home). My research with this specific population focused on learning which youth typically returned to these higher levels of care and to what extent using EBPs would help these youth improve at faster rates. My goals with these projects were to learn how to help these youth improve and return to their homes.

Specialty Information

Specialties
  • Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
Clinical Interests
Assessing and treating anxiety disorder, traumas, depression, behavior issues, communication issues and more.

Care Philosophy
I am committed to helping families overcome their struggles by providing them with the most empirically supported care known within the psychological community. Thus, my approach to assessment, formulation, and treatment is founded in evidence-based practices (EBPs), such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavior therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and more. More specifically within these approaches, I value the collaboration between the therapist and client. I try to determine the current function of the client’s behavior, set present-focused goals, and track data to determine treatment progress. Using EBPs helps my clients improve at faster rates, which is why it is a passion of mine, both clinically and academically. I have provided individual, family, and group therapy with youth and adults in schools, homes, community mental health agencies, outpatient military hospitals, inpatient medical hospitals, and primary care settings. This breadth of experience has shown me how to be flexible in the implementation of practices with the families that I serve. I have learned that no two people are the same; thus, I individualize my approach with each client, while incorporating warmth, collaboration, culture factors, support, and humor in every session. My goal is for my clients to gain the skills they need to be happy and healthy in all aspects of their life. It excites me to see my clients grow so that they can live the life that they want to live. For example, I commonly work with people who are experiencing anxiety, depression, and trauma. I feel excited when I see these clients progress to a place in their lives where they overcome fear/avoidance and experience the world for what it has to offer.

General Information

Graduate Schools:
  • MA, University of Hawaii At Manoa (2013)
  • PhD, University of Hawaii At Manoa (2017)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BA, University of California–Los Angeles (CA) (2010)
Internships:
  • University of Wisconsin (Madison) Program (2017)
Fellowships:
  • Texas Children's Hospital, Psychology (2018)
Department: Psychiatry-Adult Psychiatry
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