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Department ofPsychology


Lindsay Wakayama

Lindsay Wakayama

Lindsay Wakayama '13 uses psychology to promote physical and mental well-being

Lindsay Wakayama graduated from SCU in 2013 with a dual degree in psychology and dance. After her time at Santa Clara, she pursued a Psy.D. from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium where she is currently a doctoral candidate (with an expected graduation date of June 2019).

While in grad school, Lindsay has completed various practica at sites such as Stanford Health Care’s Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Unit and UCSF’s Alliance Health Project for LGBTQ adults with HIV/AIDS. Currently, Lindsay is working as a predoctoral psychology intern at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, with a specialty in Behavioral Medicine, where she has conducted evidence based treatments for insomnia, chronic pain, weight management, Hep C/Liver disease, smoking cessation, sexual dysfunction, and medical adherence issues while also providing psychotherapy to veterans.

Lindsay’s research focuses on weight management, eating disorders, and body image. Her dissertation focused on a dissonance-based eating disorder intervention, and recently, Lindsay published a manuscript evaluating the impact of dietary adherence on post-operative bariatric surgery patients (link).

About her time at SCU, Lindsay writes:

“The four years spent at SCU’s psychology department were instrumental in my decision to pursue a career in clinical psychology. As a dancer since childhood, I believed physical well-being was the sole component to health. This notion was quickly dispelled during my freshman year, when I took an introductory psychology class and first learned about mental health. Through my research with Dr. Bell in his Learning and Memory Lab and in collaboration with Dr. Whitfield on Psi Chi, I became captivated by all that this field could offer. Specifically, it was in my junior year during Psi Chi’s annual alumni panel that I first learned about my future graduate school. From there, I knew I wanted to pursue an advanced degree in clinical psychology.  Finally, as a senior, I elected to take the Health Psychology capstone class with Dr. Plante, who inspired me to pursue a career in behavioral medicine, thus allowing me to combine my two passions: psychology and dance. This June, I will be completing my doctoral degree and embarking on my career as a clinical health psychologist. I recognize that I would not be where I am today without the mentorship and opportunities afforded to me while at SCU. My early undergraduate experiences helped cultivate my passion for working at the interface between mental and physical health and for that, I am truly grateful.”