About Dr Helena




Helena Jia Hershel Ph.D. MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist practicing in Oakland and Orinda.  For over 25 years, Helena has helped people deal with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, parenting problems and life transitions.  Her expertise is  multicultural.

Helena began her work with a strong psychodynamic foundation and expanded to include perspectives that proved effective and complemented her practice.

With her background in sociology, anthropology and psychology;  she has a wide perspective as a psychotherapist.  Her special interest in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural issues enlightens her work with people.

Helena received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.  She continued her education through National Institute of Mental Health  via postdoctoral fellowships at the School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu and at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Helena was an Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College and she was a Clinical Professor at the Center For Psychological Studies for many years.  She has authored scholarly articles and been an invited speaker at national and international conferences.  She is fluent in English and French.


Some publications:

“The Influence of Gender and Race Status on Self-Esteem During Childhood and Adolescence.” in Race/Sex: Their Sameness, Difference and Interplay. (ed.) Naomi Zack, Routledge, New York 1997, pp. 109-116.

“Therapeutic Perspectives on Biracial Identity Formation and Internalized Oppression” in  American Mixed Race: The Culture of Microdiversity. (ed.) Naomi Zack, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc. Lanham, Maryland 1995, pp. 169-181.

“Psychiatric Institutions: Rules and the Accommodation of Structure and Autonomy in France and America,” in Ethnopsychiatry: The Cultural Construction of Professional and Folk Psychiatries. (ed.) Atwood Gaines, State University of New York Press. Albany: New York 1992, pp. 307-326.

Review of Malcolm Bush, Families in Distress: Public, Private and Civic Responses, for Contemporary Sociology: An International Journal of Reviews vol. 17, no. 6, November 1988, pp. 808-809.

“Colonialism Reconsidered: An Analysis of Socioeconomic and Cultural Factors Affecting the Mental Health of Hawaiians,”  Humanity & Society – special issue on “Cross-Cultural Issues in Health and Medical Care:  A Critical Perspective.” vol. 10, no. 4, November 1986, pp. 448-468.

Review of Leith Mullings, Therapy, Ideology and Social Change for University Publishing, University of California Press, 1985.

Review of Richard Stivers, Evil in Modern Myth and Ritual, University of Georgia, Press, for Social Forces, December 1984:  Vol. 63, pp. 594-595.


Featured as interviewed psychotherapist in “Crossing The Line: Multiracial Comedians.”  2009 PBS award winning documentary by Teja Arboleda, M.Ed. & Darby Lipo Price, Ph.D.

Columnist, “The Other Forum” I-Pride Newsletter.  Fall 2002-Summer 2003.

Interviewed  & photographed, “Census Profile” by Sandy Kleffman Contra Costa Times, March 11, 2001.

Contributor, Serving Children in Biracial/Bi-Ethnic Families, The Childcare Health Program, Oakland, California. September 25, 2000.

Photographic subject, “Mixgeneration,” La Repubblica delle Donna, supplementoal numero odierno. Da vendersi esclusivamente con quotidiano La Repubblica, 1999 by Stephen Shames.

*A complete list of publications,  conference papers, workshops, invited speaking engagements and research is available upon request.