Mariko Foulk, L.M.S.W., L.C.S.W, received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan in 1978, with a Bachelor of Social Studies from Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan, in 1972. Practicing for over 30 years, Mariko is a certified social worker whose practice includes psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. Her clinical interests include mindfulness-based therapies for depression/anxiety and chronic pain, to cultivate forgiveness and to enhance a sense of well-being.
In the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at the University of Michigan, Mariko has been instrumental in starting a mindfulness research group with colleagues in geriatrics and psychiatry. She also supports community mindfulness efforts through the Ann Arbor Center for Mindfulness, where she is a teacher. Her UM School of Social Work continuing education course, “Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Older Adults” has always received high ratings. In addition, she started “Gently Guided Meditations” on Tuesday mornings, which is open to anyone from the East Ann Arbor Medical Campus. In addition to her mindfulness courses, she is currently a collaborating author on a mindfulness book that will first be published in Japan. We are all eagerly awaiting its translation to English!
Mariko has played a central role in establishing and leading training programs in Japan related to interdisciplinary care, understanding the differences in Health Care and Long Term Care in other cultures, different approaches to treating dementia, and effectively using volunteers to enhance and support care for older adults in the community. Under her guidance, many of her colleagues have had the privilege of experiencing this cross-cultural learning, both in Ann Arbor and some in Japan. At the April 27th Anthony V. DeVito II award luncheon, it was noted that Mariko is always teaching in subtle, yet effective ways in her day-to-day to work as well. For example, Mariko has always generously shared helpful insight or gentle guidance during social work team’s peer supervision meetings. She also has allowed others to shadow her as she leads various therapy groups. Most recently, in response to an identified need, she started a new educational-support group for our patients with arthritis, providing education not only for the patients, but training opportunities for interns as well.