Theresa Hanaoka

Theresa Hanaoka


Somatic Psychologist

Dr. Theresa Hanaoka is a Japanese somatic psychologist with private practice over 20 years and a full time Somatic Experiencing® teacher. She has M.A. in Anthropology, and in Health Psychology, and Ph.D. in Somatic Psychology. She offers personal sessions for adult clients with early adverse experiences and attachment disruptions, and she uses SE and SE touch to support regulation of their nervous system. The title of her dissertation is “Experiment based research on psychological and physiological effects of touch upon the adults who have adverse childhood experiences and currently in a depressive state”. She conducted SE and SE touch upon the experiment participants for 6 months and found that SE and SE touch supported them to recover from depressive state with statistical significance, using both psychological index which she created and physiological outcome measuring RSA, using the systems developed by Dr. Porges.

She is a lecturer at J.F. Oberlin University, and invited to speak at various Universities and other educational foundations. She has translated more than 10 books regarding SE and the Polyvagal Theory into Japanese, including Dr. Peter Levine’s “Trauma and Memory”, and Dr. Kain and Dr. Terrelle’s “Nurturing Resilience” and these books were highly appreciated by the community of the Japanese therapists. She wrote a book on Child Maltreatment and the Polyvagal Theory and introduced SE in details in the book. The book is quite successful in Japan and now being translated into Chinese. She has compiled another book on Sexual Trauma and the Polyvagal Theory in Japanese with the authors including Dr. and Dr. Porges, and this book has been used as a reference for Japanese Criminal Law amendment for sexual violence. She introduced the concept of freeze response which was extensively studied by Dr. Levine and Dr. Porges to the Japanese Criminal Law for the first time in its history.

In addition to SE, Theresa is trained in Somatic Practice by Dr. Kain, ISP by Dr. Selvam, DARe by Dr. Heller, and BASE by Mr. Berger. She is also trained in IFS and TRE. She is a certified Positive Psychology Coach and an Enneagram Teacher.

Theresa is a Roman Catholic and also practices Zen at Japanese Zen temples, as they are open to people of all religions. She has been practicing meditation for more than 30 years. She is a Reiki Master and an intuitive. She loves to savor Eastern tradition of spiritual practices and also, she is trained in the evidence based Western science. Her passion is to bring SE to Japanese therapists in their mother tongue. She is also interested in studying how SE is best applied to Asian socio-cultural context where there is strong influence of Confucianism. Her key to good health is to practice Japanese traditional dance and she is one of the Master Sensei (Shihan) at Bando-Ryu Kabuki Dance School.

Instructor Level: SE Professional Training Faculty
Levels Taught: Beginning
Teaching in: Asia
Sees Private Clients: Yes
Offers Case Consultations and Personal Sessions: Yes

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