About Kyoko Katayama, MSW, Ph.D, LICSW


I was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Although my biological father was an American, I was raised as a Japanese, speaking and knowing only Japanese language and culture. Since then I have crossed and bridged many cultures and learned several languages. With my mother, I came to the US when I was 17. I lived in Italy for six years where some of my children were born. I returned to the US and earned my Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Minnesota and began working as a psychotherapist in 1982. I received my Ph.D. in Cross-cultural and Transpersonal Psychology from the Union University in 1997. I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). I have been in private practice in St. Paul, Minnesota, since 1994.

I have been on a spiritual journey since I was a teen. I have studied widely on topics related to spirituality, healing, and neuroscience. I am a senior member at Common Ground Meditation Center  http://commongroundmeditation.org where I sometimes give a dharma talk on mindfulness practice and teach a class on Befriending Death.

I am also an end of life educator and offer support for life transitions. I teach a course, Befriending Death, and offer my services in the broad community as a resource and support person for mindful living and conscious dying. I am a member of Minnesota Threshold Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting family-oriented, natural end-of-life transitions.

I have a life-long love and proclivity in visual arts and writing. I began the practice of drawing and journaling when I was twelve years old and bedridden for over a month from an accident. My poems have appeared in Asian American Renaissance Journal and Intersecting Circles: The Voices of Hapa Women in Poetry and Prose. An excerpt from my memoir-in-progress was published in Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises: Stories of Death and Renewal in 2013. http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1479320374

I am a grandmother of three delightful grandchildren and a befriender of a rescue dog — a yellow lab/Akita mix who sometimes accompanies me to sessions. I am a member of an amateur Japanese chorus.

Kyoko Katayama   |  tenshinkyoko@gmail.com