Wisdom on Women Post #2: Dr. Reiko Homma True

As you may already know She Is Splendid is dedicated to ALL Women of Color. As the month of May has now arrived, we have also made it to Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month. May is also known as Mental Health Awareness Month. With that said, I would like to kick it off by honoring Dr. Reiko Homma True, a splendid WOC who also happens to be a native of Japan and also a practicing Psychologist.


Throughout the history of Psychology white men have often been overrepresented. Even today this overrepresentation with white men in Psychology as the dominating group is still a commonality. Thus, a lot of men of color, and women in general are severely underrepresented. This lack of representation can lead to a lack of trust from those in the general public who seek to find mental health services. Also, a plethora of individuals who come from non-white backgrounds tend to shun the idea of Western Mental Health practices.

Therefore, when women such as Dr. True come along, it is key to be informed about who they are and what they have done. That way young women of color can feel, and see themselves represented which in turn can help provide them with the necessary courage to excel above the norms. Overall, we must highlight the accomplishments of courageous individuals who go into fields such as Psychology, without fitting the stereotypical idea of what a Mental Health Care Professional is supposed to resemble.


Five Splendid Facts You Should Know About Dr. Reiko True

1. Dr. True Is a Japanese Native

Reiko Homma True, was born in Japan in 1930. Prior to migrating to the U.S., True attended a university in Tokyo. While enrolled in university, she made history as being one of the only 3 women in a class total of 80 students. Thus, proving that even in her earlier days she served as a champion for her fellow women. Dr. True later attended the California School of Professional Psychology in Berkley.


2. She Is an Activist

In her own words, True has previously admitted that “Activism was quite foreign to…” her. Dr. True’s early career life is what eventually propelled her into the world of activism for other minorities and especially for other Asian-Americans. True was inspired by her peers, friends and mentor, Mary Goulding, who were all heavily involved in the progressive movement during the 60s. Although she considered herself to simply be a more reserved Asian woman, True later admitted that becoming an activist was “…quite empowering.”

3. True Is an Advocate for the Asian Community

One of her missions as a Psychologist has been to help her fellow Asian-Americans have the ability to better navigate the American society within the realms of their native culture. So it is no surprise that she has served as a strong advocate for other Asian-American women. Dr. True has specifically been known for mentoring Asian women in areas of life such as “struggling with their husband’s expectations that they be subservient.” Overall, her career has been in service of uplifting minorities. Thanks to her dedication to her community, Dr. True’s career took off nationally and internationally as well.


4. She Is a Founder

In 1995 the Kobe region of Japan suffered a severe earthquake. After this natural disaster Dr. True traveled to Japan and eventually developed a program that helped to offer mental health services to victims of natural disasters. Later on down the line, she also played an integral part in the establishment of the Asian-American Community Mental Health Program which is located in Oakland, California. This community center was a first of its kind to offer mental health services primarily centered on the specific needs of a designated minority population.

5. She Is a Winner

Dr. True has been honored with a plethora of awards all throughout her very lengthy career. A few awards bestowed upon her include the 2003 Lifetime Award from the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), and has even been accredited as an Outstanding Alumna by the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley of the California Alumni Association. Furthermore, she has also been a winner of the first title, take for example her recognition as the first woman and first minority to become the director of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Forensic Services.


Currently Dr. True is still a practicing Clinical Psychologist in the San Francisco area of California. She continues to be of service to her community by aiding them with personal and professional circumstances. Dr. True has expressed that she understands how significant mental health issues can be when it comes to minorities due to their “…unique struggle at various levels-whether they are first, second, third or fourth generation.” Is is with great pleasure that I honor Dr. True as the second featured splendid woman for Wisdom on Women Wednesday’s.

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Author: Sophonie

Sophonie is a Creative Writer, the founder and content provider of She Is Splendid Blog, the S'ak Pase With Sophonie Podcast and the CEO of Splendid Writing Services. She obtained a B.A. in Psychology from Montclair State University with a minor in Creative Writing and African-American Studies. Further, she is finding the beauty in everyday life while making mogul moves to become a full time creative.

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