Dr. Nicole Hisaka is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department. She has been involved with UCLA Health’s Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Clinic where she is the Lead Attending Psychologist specializing in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Dr. Hisaka has been involved in the initiation of the program development for the PCIT Clinic since it established in 2021. She has extensive experience working with children and adolescents, and their families who have experienced traumatic events/experiences treating through a behavioral lens. Dr. Hisaka practices from a parent-child dyadic model that provides both positive parenting skills and behavioral modification strategies to effectively manage externalizing and problematic behaviors resulting from both traumatic events and conduct-related and neurodevelopmental disorders. She trained under the lead PCIT institution at the University of California, Davis Children’s Hospital and is certified in PCIT serving as UCLA’s in-house trainer for PCIT. Dr. Hisaka continues to disseminate clinical education via outreach on parenting and child behavioral management strategies both in-house and throughout the community.
Additionally, Dr. Hisaka specializes in UCLA Health’s EMPWR Program working with LGBTQ youth and their families, including youth exploring/questioning gender identity and/or sexual orientation. She practices from the Gender Affirmative Model and guides treatment with the goals to provide both support to families and foster healthy identity development.
Dr. Hisaka has a broad range of generalist experience using evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents with disruptive, mood, and anxiety disorders in community mental health, hospital-based outpatient and inpatient, and rehabilitation settings. Dr. Hisaka treats patients who have concurrent or past trauma histories including those who have experienced abuse, childhood maltreatment, foster care/adoption/ separation, medical and accidental trauma, and witnessing domestic violence. She also specializes in treating children and adolescents with conduct-related disorders and Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). She has extensive practice with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Families Overcoming Under Stress (FOCUS for Families), and exposure-based therapies. Dr. Hisaka’s primary specialization is in treating the psychological sequelae of both acute and complex childhood trauma from a parent-child dyadic behavioral approach, and has a background in working with family systems including parenting, couples, and family therapy.
Dr. Hisaka has obtained a double Masters in Clinical Psychology from both Pepperdine University and the California School of Professional Psychology. Following her Masters, she earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Prior to Dr. Hisaka’s Post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), she completed her Pre-doctoral Clinical Internship at UC Davis Children’s Hospital where she specialized in complex childhood trauma treatment and child-welfare evaluations working with underserved, foster-care, and adopted youth populations. Dr. Hisaka completed her externship practicum at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) training in neuropsychology with medically fragile children and adolescents. She completed her two-year Post-doctoral Fellowship at UCLA’s Stress, Trauma, & Resilience Clinic serving as the clinic’s lead PCIT interventionist.
Dr. Hisaka also has a strong passion as an academic educator serving as Adjunct Faculty at both undergraduate and graduate universities in the Southern California area teaching psychology. Additionally, she continues to contribute to research in her field focusing on interests related to children with complex trauma histories aiding in program development and treatment manual modifications from a behavioral perspective.
- Hisaka, N., O’Callaghan, E., & Bakaly, J. (2019). Pediatric Functional Abdominal Pain: The examination and clinical application of biopsychosocial factors through the relation perspective of the family system. Alliant International University Library. Los Angeles, CA.
- Hisaka, N., Bawnik, E., & Mihalas, S. (2016). Social Anxiety and Bullying: An ecological approach for peer-victimized children and adolescents. In APA Division 42 Newsletter: The independent Practitioner, 36(4), 149-157.
- Navarratte, U. & Hisaka, N. (2016). The Transgender Community: A glance at oppression. In APA Division 44 Column: Perspective Column, 2(2), p.5.