School of Consciousness and Transformation (SCT)
PhD, MA, California Institute of Integral Studies
B.S. Kanazawa University
Kumi Oya, Ph.D. is an adjunct faculty member in the Transformative Studies doctoral program. She has two bachelor’s degrees in Japan; one, in Theater/Dramatic Arts at Waseda University, and the other, concentrated in Occupational Therapy at Kanazawa University. Kumi moved to the U.S. to pursue her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Drama Therapy at CIIS. She also earned her PhD in the Transformative Studies at CIIS. Her area of focus and expertise is centered in dementia/dementia care, specifically person-centered and culturally humble care for people living with dementia. Her PhD dissertation utilized narrative research as a methodology to explore the complexity of culturally competent dementia care in the U.S., in contrast with Japanese values and approaches of care. Kumi has presented her academic work and research, specifically related to dementia care, at international conferences and community meetings/symposiums both in Japan and in the U.S. She has also given lectures in an Occupational Therapy program at Kanazawa University, Japan. Kumi has had extensive experiences working as a therapist, for over 10 years, using creative arts modalities such as drama, dance, movements, expressive arts and music with a diverse community of clients in a skilled nursing facility and Alzheimer’s residential facility in San Francisco. She has facilitated numerous group and individual sessions. In addition, she is a licensed occupational therapist in Japan, and has taught English for many years before becoming an Occupational Therapist. She is an experienced translator in English and Japanese for the fields of performing arts, occupational therapy, nursing and medicine. Kumi’s framework includes integrating ideas of person-centered care and cultural humility, in order to enhance work with clients from diverse cultures, as intentional ways of informing and influencing our systems of care. Attention to issues of equity and social justice, and a sense of intersubjectivity and interdependence is especially a core value of hers and is linked to her research and life's work. Kumi has been providing consultation, support, education and training for people with dementia and their family members as well as healthcare professionals. She is also passionate about dance and movement, and has choreographed several contemporary and jazz pieces for Tacoma City Ballet in Tacoma, Washington.