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Dr. Tanaka began her graduate training in clinical psychology at Arizona State University in 2010. She started providing psychological services to a wide variety of patients in 2011, and after a year-long clinical internship at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, Dr. Tanaka earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Arizona State University in 2015. 

After earning her degree, Dr. Tanaka completed her post-doctoral fellowship in the Behavioral Cardiology Research Unit at Toronto General Hospital (TGH), in Toronto, Canada. After her fellowship, Dr. Tanaka stayed at TGH, where she became Co-Director of Clinical Services at the Cardiovascular Health Psychology Clinic. As Co-Director, she oversaw all in-person and remote psychotherapy services and was also responsible for the development of evidence-based clinical content for a web-based preventive cardiology intervention. While in Toronto, Dr. Tanaka was also a psychological associate at a private practice, which provided clinical and health psychology services to clients from all over the greater Toronto area. 

Having dedicated the majority of the last decade developing and providing evidence-based, culturally sensitive, and accessible psychological services to patients in both the U.S. and Canada, Dr. Tanaka is excited to continue to share her knowledge and skills with her patients here in San Diego.

Currently, Dr. Tanaka is available to work with all adults (18+) struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, stress, life transitions, health behavior changes, health-related psychological distress, and more. She is happy to answer any further questions you may have about her services by phone (619-554-0120), email (info@coronadopsych.com), or click here to schedule an initial consultation.

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“I first met Dr. Rika Tanaka while she was working as a psychologist at Toronto General Hospital, widely considered one of the top 10 hospitals worldwide. After learning of her expertise and professionalism I invited her to join my private practice in downtown Toronto. During her tenure in our practice she excelled in providing evidence-based, culturally sensitive therapy. Dr. Tanaka is a highly skilled therapist who combines insightful assessment and goal- focused treatment with the warmth and empathy of a truly caring healthcare professional. Dr. Tanaka is a rare talent…San Diego is lucky to have her.”

Dr. Andrew Matthew, PhD., CPsych.
Psychologist, Lead
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
University Health Network
Toronto, Canada

“Dr. Rika Tanaka has demonstrated expertise in clinical health psychology, both in her clinical practice and in the applied clinical research she has conducted. She is personable and compassionate—a person who genuinely cares about providing the best evidence-based therapy to her clients. I have complete confidence in the high standard of clinical service that she provides.”

Dr. Rob Nolan, PhD, C.Psych.
Director, Cardiac eHealth & Behavioural Cardiology Research Unit
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network
Senior Scientist, Toronto General Research Institute
Associate Professor, Psychiatry Dept. and Inst. of Medical Sciences
Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto

Select Publications

  • Tanaka, R., Nolan, R.P. (2018). Psychobehavioral profiles to assist tailoring of interventions for patients with hypertension: Latent profile analysis, J Med Internet Res, 20(5):e149, DOI: 10.2196/jmir.8757.
  • Tanaka, R., Banerjee, A., Surikova, J., Tracey, J., Payne, A., Ross, H., Nolan, R. (2018). A moderated e-forum for adults with cardiovascular disease: A usability study. JMIR Hum Factors, 5(2):e20, DOI: 10.2196/humanfactors.8820.
  • Tanaka, R., Trief, P. M., Scales, K., Weinstock, R. S. (2017) “Miscarried helping” in adults with Type 2 diabetes: Helping for Health Inventory-Couples. Family Systems and Health, 35(4):409-419, DOI: 10.1037/fsh0000289.
Definition of negative

Cognitive Restructuring: Part 1

Cognitive restructuring is another core component of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Cognitive restructuring refers to our ability to assess and challenge automatic negative thoughts that contribute to heightened distress. In part 1, we discuss building awareness of our automatic (negative) thoughts.

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What Is an Initial Consultation?

Most clinicians offer some form of an initial consultation for clients prior to booking their first session. This allows for you, a potential client, to gather more information about the provider and their practice. It also allows the therapist to assess whether they can be of service to you.