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Travis Research Institute

Jenny Pak Lab 2019
Jenny Pak Lab 2019

Cultural Psychology and Narrative Inquiry

Jenny Pak, PhD


Psychology Building 123
Fuller Theological Seminary
180 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101-1714





External Collaborators:

Dr. J. W. Lee and his research team, Social Work Department, Kangnam University, Yongin, Korea
Dr. H. H. Xu and her research team, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China


According to recent scholarship from multiple disciplines (e.g., philosophy, anthropology, cognitive and developmental psychology), a person’s sense of self and life experiences are narrative in structure, formed in social interaction, and shaped by larger cultural frameworks. This lab is unique in its combination of cultural psychology and narrative approach to address a variety of theoretical and applied issues in psychology with the aim of advancing knowledge and professional competence at the individual and community level. Focused on a broad range of theoretically grounded topics, the current line of investigation includes how implicit cultural and religious values impact attachment, identity, spiritual formation, and emotional process in trauma, psychotherapy and care.


Culture, Religion, and Attachment

• Parent-child closeness and God attachment in urban and rural China
• Indigenous Asian parent-child relationship closeness measure
• Influence of culture, religion, and attachment on optimism


Culture, Religion/Spirituality, and Trauma

• Moral injury and minority identity formation
• Catholic spirituality and navigating doubt
• Grief and loss in the Coptic community
• Culture, religion, and aging among Korean/Korean immigrant elderly
• Psychological abuse and promoting resilience


Culture, Psychotherapy and Pastoral/Member Care

• Analysis of dual cultural self and emotional process in psychotherapy
• Culturally informed psychological practices and research strategies
• Cultivating humility and cultural adaptations in psychotherapy and
pastoral/member care

Recent Publications (with external links)

Lee, J. W., Pak, J. H., Lee, H. A. (2019).  A qualitative study of the aging experience among Korean older adults residing in urban, rural, and the US immigrant context. Journal of the Korean Gerontological Society, 39(3), 589-612. 

Kim, J., Eltiti, S., Crawford, N., & Pak, J. (2019). Effect of cultural identification and family affection on coping abilities for missionary kids. Journal of Religion and Health.DOI: 10.1007/s10943-019-00848-0

Xu, H., Pak, J., Tu, R., and Schuberg, M. (2018). Exploring attachment and spirituality among Christians in China. Asian Journal of Social Science Studies, 3(3), 1-16. DOI: 10.20849/ajsss.v3i3.410

Pak, J. (2017). Cultural psychology of religion and qualitative inquiry. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 28, 163-187. DOI:

Kim, J., Pak, J., and Eltiti, S. (2017). Cultural differences in family affection and coping abilities for missionary kids. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 45(2), 79-91. DOI: 0091-6471/410-730

Sklar, Q. T., Pak, J. and Eltiti, S. (2016). Parent-child closeness and acculturation in predicting racial preference in mate selection among Asian Americans. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 7(4), 265-273. DOI: 10.1037/aap00000059

Kim, H. J., and Pak, J. (2013). Journeys toward spiritual maturity among Korean immigrant women in midlife. Journal of Psychology & Christianity, 32 (1), 3-19.

Recent Presentations

Pak, J. (2019, June). The neurodevelopmental disorders in Korean cultural context and challenges faced by Korean missionary children. Paper presented at the Fifth Global Mission Leaders Forum, Sokcho, Korea.

Pak, J., & Double, K. (2018, April). Campus sexual violence: The impact of disclosure on mental health. Seminar presentation at the Annual Christian Association of Psychological Services, Norfolk, Virginia.

Scott, A., & Pak, J. (2018, April). Considering historical trauma in clinical work with African American women. Seminar presentation at the Annual Christian Association of Psychological Services, Norfolk, Virginia.

Pak, J., Brown, J., Crommett, N., & Sidhom, N. (2016, March). Impact and recovery of traumatic life events amongst diverse populations. Symposium presented at the meeting of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Pasadena, California.


Pak Lab

Faculty and Principal investigator

jenny pak

Jenny Pak

Associate Professor of Psychology


Canvas Portfolio
On Integration
On Motherhood, the Academy, and Ministry


Audrey Lee

Audrey Sangeun Lee. Audrey is a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology and currently pursuing her pre-doctoral internship at RAMS Inc. in San Francisco. She earned her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology prior to entering the doctoral program. Through her abundant cross-cultural experiences in Korean and American clinical settings, she has grown her interest in developing a deeper cultural understanding of psychotherapy. In addition, appreciating the value of integrating research and clinical work, she has been committed to honing her skills and knowledge particularly in the area of psychotherapy process research. Her specific research topics involve examining therapeutic change mechanisms and developing processing models of emotional memory which account for culture-specific psychological processes and dynamics.

Angela Dupont

Angela Dupont. Angela is a sixth-year PhD student.  She is currently providing therapy for Spanish-speaking clients at Fuller Psychological and Family Services, as well as doing neuropsychological assessment with movement disorder patients at USC-Keck School of Medicine and with Spanish-speaking patients at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center.  She is deeply fascinated by the intersection of culture and psychology, and seeks to be attuned to how cultural factors impact her clients.  Her current research focuses on the factors (e.g., culture, religion, education, attachment) influencing differences in optimism between French and American nationals.

Ruina Tu

Ruina Tu. The present study attempts to adopt an emic approach by using concepts endorsed in Chinese culture to delineate the landscape of traditional Chinese parenting from an indigenous standpoint. Specifically, the current research tries to explore the relevant social, cultural and historical factors that have shaped the development and manifestation of Chinese parenting. 


Michael Reda.

Michael is a 4th year Psy D student and pre-intern practicum student at Pepperdine University Counseling Center. During his time at Fuller, Michael has had the opportunity to provide evidence-based, culturally sensitive care to various clinically vulnerable populations in the greater Los Angeles area. From counseling in the inner city to providing assessment to our Veterans, Michael strives to aid his clients explore meaning within and behind their symptoms and to develop a greater connection to the person they wish to become. Through his dissertation project, he hopes to offer a critique of traditional understandings of attachment so as to maintain their cultural relevance when applied to East Asian clinical populations.

Nadine Sidhom

Nadine Sidhom. Nadine completed her PsyD degree in June 2020. She will continue working at WestCoast Children’s Clinic in Oakland for her postdoctoral residency. There she serves children, adolescents, and families who have been impacted by the foster care system and/or adoption. Her previous clinical experience has ranged from college counseling, to community mental health clinics, to inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. Nadine’s clinical and research interests include the impact of systemic trauma on children and families, cultural expressions and forms of healing regarding grief, and the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy with minority and vulnerable populations.

Mary Schuberg

Mary Schuberg. Mary is a PsyD candidate in clinical psychology and is currently a pre-doctoral intern at Shared Vision Psychological Services, Inc. in Illinois. She is interested in exploring religious identity and formation with a psychological lens. Specifically, her research examines the lived experience of holding religious doubt alongside faith and church commitment. She is invigorated by the pursuit of deeply understanding and embodying what it means to be human. Mary holds the view that a healthy relationship with oneself will have a ripple effect for all other forms of relationship, both personal and transcendent.

Karissa Burnett

Karissa Burnett. Karissa graduated with her PhD and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at BU’s Danielsen Institute, where she provides depth-oriented, relational, and trauma-informed therapy. She strives to create spaces where authenticity and the truest parts of the self can emerge in a safe and meaningful way. She is deeply committed to providing empowerment, validating her clients’ intuition, and attending to symbolism in the therapy room. Karissa has received specialized training in trauma, and her dissertation focused on understanding how survivors heal from covert manipulation and narcissistic abuse.

sarah mahtani

Sarah Mahtani. Sarah is a PhD candidate in clinical psychology and extern at UCLA where she provides neuropsychological assessments focusing on neurodegenerative disorders. She is committed to clinical work with underrepresented populations and trained with comorbid diagnoses and high need patients. Her research interests include complex trauma, moral injury, and liberation psychology. She believes the experiences of the disempowered are vital, can be empowered by the field, and are essential to integration in research. Her previous project utilized attachment theory to investigate relational tendencies and experiences of male survivors of intimate partner emotional abuse. Her current research focuses on experiences of conflict, trauma, and support among vulnerable groups during disaster.

Rachel Middendorf

Rachel Middendorf. Rachel is a 3rd year PsyD student currently seeing therapy clients at Fuller Psychological and Family Services, as well as providing psychological assessments to children and adolescents at Psychology Resource Consultants. Her research and clinical interests include the impact of childhood maltreatment on individuals into adulthood, post-traumatic growth, and moral injury. Rachel’s dissertation project focuses on adapting a group therapy intervention to reduce moral injury and spiritual distress in adult survivors of childhood abuse.

Eleanor Baylon

Eleanor Baylon. Eleanor is a third-year doctoral student in clinical psychology. She is the proud daughter of parents who immigrated from the Philippines. This year, she is excited to work at Loma Linda Veterans Hospital, which is near her hometown of San Bernardino. Eleanor's clinical interests include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Narrative Therapy. Her research interests include exploring the negative psychological effects of internalized racism on identity development during emerging adulthood, especially for Filipino Americans.

Miriam Kang

Miriam Kang.

Miriam is a second-year in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program and is currently providing therapy to emerging adults at Vanguard University Counseling Center. Her research interests include the emic experience of trauma, moral injury, and posttraumatic growth, especially in the Korean American context. Further, her current project focuses on the use of qualitative inquiry in the field of psychology of religion, and she hopes to contribute to furthering its use in revealing complexities found in the intersectionality of human experience, culture, and spirituality. 

Hannah Che

Hannah Che.Hannah is a second-year PsyD student and is interested in working with Korean and Korean-American ministry leaders and missionaries, and seeks to understand their spiritual and psychological struggles including trauma. She is a Practicum I student at Fuller Psychological and Family Services.

Daniel Kim

Daniel Kim. Daniel is a student in the PsyD program. His interests are in research of the recovery process for survivors of sexual trauma and research in the process of how individuals develop their sense of belonging within their ethnic group.

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Jim Cummings, MDiv, MA
Research Administrator

Office Hours

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Room 326
180 N. Oakland Ave

Pasadena, CA 91182