About Dr. Chavez

Dr. Chavez

I've lived in West Hawaii since 1989 and have dual licensure as a psychologist and marriage and family therapist. I conduct psychotherapy, consultations, and evaluations (both psychological and socio-educational).

Viewing client's problems through the lens of positive psychology, I believe we have the opportunity to function at our optimal level. Rather than fixing your problems, I offer practical tools to help work through life challenges.

During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, ballroom dancing, and ocean sports.

The following describes my educational credentials and work expertise:


  • Doctor of Philosophy - Clinical Psychology Specialization. Capella University Harold Abel School of Psychology, Minnesota.
    • Scholarship Recipient: Barbara Alice Mowers Women's Memorial Scholarship
    • Honors: Outcome & Program Research Evaluation; Embodiment of Scholar-Practitioner Ideals
  • Masters of Arts - Human Development. Saint Mary's College, Winona, Minnesota.


  • Private Practice Psychologist -Kailua-Kona Hawaii.
  • School Counselor - Hualalai Academy, Kailua-Kona Hawaii.
  • Clinical Care Coordinator - Kapiolani Child Protection Center, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
  • Executive Director - Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children, St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Therapist - Child & Family Services, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
  • Lecturer - University of Phoenix, Honolulu, Hawaii; Hawaii Community College, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
  • Outreach Therapist - Parents Anonymous, Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
  • Program Supervisor - Family Support Services of West Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
  • Community Services Coordinator - YWCA Sexual Assault Services, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
  • Assistant Director - Midway Hospital for Domestic Abuse, St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Children's Advocate - Harriet Tubman Women's Shelter, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Scholarly Book Chapter:
Manley, J., & Chavez, D. (2008). Child maltreatment parental assessments. In Hall, H.V. (Ed.), Forensic psychology and neuropsychology for criminal and civil cases.

NonScholarly Book:
Chavez, D. (1997). Fallen feather: A spiritual odyssey.

NonScholarly Book Chapter:
Chavez, D., (1990). Mother earth spirituality: Native American paths to healing ourselves and our world. (pp. 137-148).

PRESENTATIONS – A sample of types of trainings & workshops I've conducted:

  • Resilience in these troubled times.
  • Positive Psychology: Tools for mental health providers
  • If you're happy and you know it: Positive psychology applications
  • Transformative growth: Practical tools for our achieving our highest potential
  • Thriving in languishing environments
  • Depression - Perinatal and Postnatal
  • "How to say goodbye" - termination model - clientele transition
  • PTSD treatment for severely mentally ill population
  • Employees conflict management
  • Working with difficult adolescents
  • Boundaries & working with clients
  • ADHD among children
  • Dealing with difficult clients