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Faculty Profiles

Tao Liu Headshot

Tao Liu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology


630.752.7272
BGH M261

tao.liu@wheaton.edu

Dr. Tao Liu is a core faculty member in the Psy.D. program and teaches research and statistics, clinical interviewing skills, and practicum seminar classes. She earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University, after obtaining a M.S. in Child and Family Studies from The University of Tennessee and a M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College.

 Dr. Tao Liu is passionate about research on the mental health impact of experiences of privilege and oppression based on multiple social identities. She also studies Asian American mental health and how Asian American cultural beliefs shapes people’s understanding of mental health and helping seeking attitudes. Her current work explores how COVID-19 pandemic stressors predicts the changes in social attitudes and mental health outcomes. Dr. Tao Liu uses both qualitative and quantitative methods in her research.

 As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Tao Liu provides therapy to clients from various social and cultural backgrounds. Prior to her current practice, she has practiced psychotherapy in both English and Mandarin in settings of departmental clinic, community counseling center, community mental health centers, domestic violence shelters, and university counseling centers. She is specialized in using Emotion Focused Therapy to transform shame, depression, anxiety, grief, anger and other painful, maladaptive emotions into adaptive ones.  

 Dr. Liu enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling, painting and drawing. She considers herself a full-time academic, part-time clinician, and amateur artist. Tao loves painting nature scenes, especially landscapes and plants.

Indiana University
Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, 2017

Boston College
M.A., Mental Health Counseling, 2011

University of Tennessee
M.S., Child and Family Studies, 2008

Lanzhou University
B.A., Education, 2006

Chang, Y. J., Liu, T., Brown, E., Yeboah, M., Huang, Y. (2021, July). Intra-ethnic Othering among Asian Americans. Poster presentation at 2021 APA Division 45 Research Conference (virtual conference).

Zhou, X., Xu, M., & Liu, T. (2021, August). Adult-Child’s Path of Forgiveness Following Parental Infidelity in Chinese Context. Poster presentation at annual convention of American Psychological Association (virtual conference).

Liu, C., Noh, R., & Liu, T. (2021, March). Race, Religiosity, or Politics? Predictors of COVID-19 Attitudes. Paper presentation at the Conference on Medicine and Religion (virtual conference).

Liu, T. & Liu, C. (2020, October). “Asians Are to Blame for the Coronavirus”: Racial Scapegoating During COVID 19. Poster presented at the 2020 annual convention of the Asian American Psychological Association (virtual conference). This presentation has won the Best Poster Award at the conference.

Yang, A., Liu, C., & Liu, T. (2020, October). Examining Emotional and Instrumental Support as Moderators on the Relationship Between COVID-related anti-Asian Racism and Mental Health Symptoms. Poster presented at the 2020 annual convention of the Asian American Psychological Association (virtual conference).

Chang, Y. J., Fu, R., Liu, T., & Liu, C. (2020, October). COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racism and Mental Health. Poster presented at the 2020 annual convention of the Asian American Psychological Association (virtual conference).

Huang Y., Koh, A, Liu, C, & Liu, T. (2020, October). Examining the Impact of Vicarious and Direct Experiences of COVID-19 Related Anti-Asian Racism on Mental Health Symptoms of Asian Americans/Asians. Poster presented at the 2020 annual convention of the Asian American Psychological Association (virtual conference).

Liu, T. (2019, October). Asian and Asian American professors teaching multicultural classes in counseling and psychology programs: Unique challenges. In T. Liu (Chair). Asian and Asian American as Authorities: Overcoming Stereotypes, Invisibility, and Bamboo Ceilings in Academy and Clinical Training. Symposium conducted at the 2019 annual convention of the Asian American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.

 Liu, T., Chang, J., Liu, C., & Godon-Decoteau, D. (2019, October). Internalized Racism and        Intra-Ethnic Othering among Asian Americans: From Victim-Blaming to Solidarity       Building. Interactive session presented at the 2019 annual convention of the Asian           American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.

Liu, T. (2018, April). Intersectionality: A New Paradigm of Understanding Diversity and Training Cultural Competence. In J. M. McConnell (Chair), Salt and light: Season with justice, shine for peace. Chaired symposium presented at the 2018 Annual Christian Association for Psychological Studies Conference, Norfolk, VA.

Liu, T., Goodrich, N., Maffini, C., Iwamoto, D., & Wong, Y. J. (2016, August). Gendered Racism Scales for Asian American Men: Scale development and validation. In Y. J. Wong (Chair), Advances in the application of the intersectionality framework to men of color. Symposium conducted at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Denver, CO. 

Liu, T. & Wong, Y. J. (2015, August). Dialecticism: Toward a yin-yang vision of well-being. In Y. J. Wong (Chair), Beyond collectivism: The interface of culture and well-being. Symposium conducted at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

Liu, T. (2014, August). Female Asian international students’ experience of sexism, racism, and national discrimination. In Y. J. Wong (Chair), Asian international students’ mental health: New directions, new paradigms. Symposium conducted at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Wang, Y. J., Wei, M., Tsai, P., Liu, T., & Zhu, Q. (2014, August). Male Asian international students’ psychological distress: Racial and gendered influences. In Y. J. Wong (Chair), Asian international students' mental health: New directions, new paradigms. Symposium conducted at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Chang, T. K., Liu, T., & Wong, Y. J. (2014, August). Asian American female college students’ subjective femininity perceptions: Utilizing a mixed methods approach. Poster session presented at the Annual Conference of the Asian American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Tran, K., Horn, A., Liu, T., & Wong, Y. J. (2014, August). In their own words: A qualitative study of suicidal Asian American college students’ perceptions of protective factors. In Y. J. Wong (Chair), Asian Americans’ suicide-related outcomes: New paradigms, new directions. Symposium conducted at the Annual Convention of the Asian American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Fiorini, S., Liu, T., Shepard, L., & Ouimet, J. A. (2014, May). Using NSSE to understand student success: A multi-year analysis. Paper presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Institutional Research, Orlando, FL.

Liu, T., Wright, L., Chang, T. K., Evans, L., M., & Maffini, C. (2014, April). Outreach, support, and advocacy for diverse populations on university campuses. Roundtable presentation at the Great Lakes Regional Counseling Psychology Conference, Cleveland, OH.

Liu, T. (2014, April). Asian female international students’ perceived discrimination and mental health. Poster session presented at the Great Lakes Regional Counseling Psychology Conference, Cleveland, OH.

Fiorini, S., Liu, T., Shepard, L., & Ouimet, J. A. (2014, March). Using NSSE to understand student success: A multi-year analysis. Paper presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Indiana Association for Institutional Research, Indianapolis, IN.

Chang, T., & Liu, T. (2013, May). Asian Americans’ proportion of life in the United States and suicide ideation: The moderating effects of ethnicity. Poster session presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Liu, T., Tummala-Narra, P., & Li, Z. (2011, October). Gender and ethnic differences in exposure to violence and its impact on emotional well-being of adolescents. Poster session presentation at the Diversity Challenge Conference: Intersections of Race or Ethnic Culture with Gender or Sexual Orientation, Boston, MA.

Sathasivam-Rueckert, N., Dancy, B., Liu, T., Popat, A., & Tummala-Narra, P. (2011, October). Does gender matter? Depression & anxiety among Asian immigrant youth. Individual presentation at the Diversity Challenge Conference: Intersections of Race or Ethnic Culture with Gender or Sexual Orientation, Boston, MA.

Liu, T. (2008, February). Gender and ethnicity as moderators of relations between parenting and adolescent depression in impoverished families. Poster session presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Symposium on Child & Family Development, Auburn, AL.

Liu, T. & Liu, C. (under review). Asian American Mental Health amidst COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racism: Internalized Racism and Generational Status as Moderators. Manuscript submitted to Asian American Journal of Psychology.

Liu, T., Brown, E., Yeboah, M., Chang, Y. J., Braka, M., Fu, R., Fang, T., Huang, L., Wong, S., & Jones, D. (Under review). Counterstories of Multiculturalism and Social Justice: Lived Experience of Asian and Black Faculty Teaching Multicultural Classes. Manuscript submitted to Teaching of Psychology.

Brown, E., Liu, T., Baraka, M., Yeboah, M., Fang, T., Chang, Y. J., Lucinda, H., Fu, R., Wong, S., & Jones, D. (under review). Protective Strategies of Faculty of Color Who Teach Multicultural Competence Courses. Manuscript submitted to Teaching of Psychology.

McConnell, J. M., Liu, T., Brown, E., M., Fort, C., J., Azcuna, D. R., Tabiolo, C. A. M., Kibble, C. D. M., & Winslow, A. B. (2021). The Multicultural Peace and Justice Collaborative:Critical peace education in a research training environment. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 49(1), 5–21.

Snyder, J. D., Boan, D., Aten, J. D., Davis, E. B., Grinsven, L. V., Liu, T., & Worthington, E. L. (2020). Resource loss and stress outcomes in a setting of chronic conflict: The conservation of resources theory in the eastern Congo. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 00, 1-11.

Liu, T., Wong, Y. J., Maffini, C. S., Mitts, N. G., & Iwamoto, E. K. (2018). Gendered Racism Scales for Asian American Men: Scale Development and Psychometric Properties. Journal of Counseling Psychology

Liu, T., Fiorini, S., & Shepard, L. (2018). GPA, Retention, and Graduation in Learning Communities: A Multi-Method Study. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Liu, T., & Wong, Y. J. (2018). The intersection of race and gender: Asian American men’s experience of discrimination. Psychology of Men and Masculinity. Advanced Online Publication.

Wong, Y. J., & Liu, T. (2018). Dialecticism and mental health: Toward a yin-yang vision of well-being. In J. Spencer-Rodgers & K. Peng. (Eds.), Psychological and cultural foundations of dialectical thinking. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chang, T. K., Wong, Y. J., Liu, T., & Tran, K. (2017). Asian American female college students’ subjective femininity perceptions: Utilizing a mixed-methods approach. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 45, 260-275. 

Wong, Y. J., Liu, T., & Klann, E. (2017). The intersection of race, ethnicity, and masculinities: Progress, problems, and prospects. In R. F. Levant & Y. J. Wong (Eds.), Psychology of men and masculinities (pp. 261-288). Washington DC: APA.

Liu, T., Wong, Y. J., & Tsai, P. C. (2016). Intersections of perceived discrimination, social identities, loneliness, and life satisfaction among female Asian international students: Testing a conditional mediation model. The Counseling Psychologist, 44, 411-441. 

Wong, Y. J., Tsai, P., Liu, T., Zhu, Q., & Wei, M. (2014). Male Asian international students' perceived racial discrimination, masculinity identity, and subjective masculinity stress: A moderated mediation model. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 61, 560-569. 

Wong, Y. J., Vaughan, E. L., Liu, T., & Chang, T. K. (2014). Asian Americans’ proportion of life in the United States and suicide ideation: The moderating effects of ethnic subgroups. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 5, 237-242.

Tummala-Narra, P., Li, Z., Liu, T., & Wang, Y. (2014). Violence exposure and mental health among adolescents: The role of ethnic identity and help seeking. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 6(1)8-24. 

Dr. Tao Liu co-directs The Multicultural Peace and Justice Collaborative (The MultiPJC). Students can register with Dr. Liu’s specific lab section if interested in working on the following projects or having similar research interests.

  • Mental health and experience of privilege and oppression based on race, gender, class and other social identities
  • Internalized racism and its impact on in interracial and interracial behaviors  
  • COVID-19 pandemic related racism, social attitudes, and mental health outcomes
  • Asian American mental health

 Dr. Liu’s current research projects include:

  • Social and Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic. This large-scale longitudinal study explores how COVID-19 pandemic stressors predict social and mental health outcomes. The investigation is two-fold: we try to understand 1) how non-Asian Americans develop specific COVID-related stereotypes and prejudices towards Asian Americans; and 2) how Asian Americans’ experiences of both direct and indirect COVID-specific racism impact their internalized racism attitudes and mental health outcomes.
  • Investigating the perceived stress among people of color and minority professors teaching multicultural/diversity classes in psychology and counseling programs. Currently, this project is a qualitative study, but it will be expanded to a mixed-method study by adding surveys to include professors and students more broadly. 
  • Intra-ethnic othering project. This project studies the behavior of minority individuals' behavior of distancing themselves from others from similar minority backgrounds due to internalized racism and other types of discrimination. Currently this project focuses on Asian Americans’ experiences, but it can be expanded to other minority groups. Both qualitative and quantitative methods (and potentially experimental design) are to be used.  

 

 

Liu, T. (2021, January). Practices in Statistical Analysis in Psychology Studies and Mental Health Research. Invited presentation at University of Illinois Chicago Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computing Science, Chicago, IL.

Liu, T. (2018, April). Mental Health in Asian International Student Communities. Invited presentation at Break the Silence: Asian American Mental Health Conference at University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Liu, T. (2017, October). Gendered Racism Scales for Asian American Men: Scale development and validation. Invited presentation as the Dissertation Grant receiver conducted at the Annual Convention of the Asian American Psychological Association, Las Vegas, NV. 

  • Intersectionality of gender, race, class and other social identities
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Internalized racism and racial identity
  • Scale development
  • Social justice
  • Psychotherapy
  • Emotion-focused therapy
  • Christian Association for Psychological Studies
  • International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy
  • American Psychological Association and its Division 17, 35 & 45
  • Asian American Psychological Association