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My  Japan experience began at The University of Okinawa with  Dr.  Kevin Flanagan, Clinical Psychologist and Professor. The language and culture were new to me, so I focused on the concept of sameness in all people. What did we need as human beings to connect and feel accepted? Kevin had his students visit his office for tea and conversation; bridges were built and gaps were seen as language challenges to overcome.

l carefully listened to the “Japanese English” spoken with rich metaphors that native English speakers do not create. The use of English was connected to Japanese culture and thought; a colorful depiction of feelings, ideas, and laughter emerged. Through laughter and curiosity, imperfect conversation took place, while Japanese students drank traditional tea and merged with Western culture. The perfect brew of a human tea blend came to fruition. We understood each other and felt how the language and culture came together…from the heart.

Tea pot and cups from Japan
Japanese bowl

Meet Sheryl Smith

I continued to observe the need for connection, communication and emotional understanding. First and foremost, I built trust which fueled and deepened relationships with the Japanese.


Emotions were encouraged in English which allowed the Japanese to express themselves in a culture that needed space to create emotional safety. I facilitated heartfelt conversations and built lasting relationships. 

I  joined The International, Publication, Education, and Communication Corporation in Tokyo.  IPEC afforded members to join educational groups regarding important issues.  l led these groups and implemented, cross-cultural dialogues that analyzed the gap between East West to encourage change.  I continually researched, analyzed, and implemented cross-cultural communication strategies/programs and coached individuals and couples on personal matters.  I collaborated with professionals from Asia, Europe and the United States.   

Japanese antique doll
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Sheryl Smith



  •  Master of Arts | Northwestern University | Clinical Mental Health Counseling | Psychotherapist

  •  Bachelor of Science | Northwestern University | Communication Studies

  • Certified Professional Mediator | Paralegal | The Center for Conflict Resolution

  • Eastern Psychology/Philosophy, Western Behavioral Psychology/Counseling certifications, trainings and professional licensure

  • Japanese language proficiency


 Employment Overview 

  • ​​​Illinois Group Psychotherapy Practices

  • ABCNEWS | New York | Los Angeles | Tokyo

  • International Publication, Education and Communication, Inc. 

  • Stanford University | The Northeast Asia United States Forum on International Policy

  • Northwestern University | Technology Transfer  Program| Kellogg  School of Management

  • Loyola University |  School of Law

  • US Japan companies

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