W-DARE Research Associate Named New SDRC Director


Dr. Ma. Caridad H. Tarroja of the College of Liberal Arts Department of Psychology has been appointed Director of the Social Development Research Center for AY 2014-2015. A research associate of the AusAID/UNFPA-funded study “Women with Disability taking Action on Reproductive and sexual health (W-DARE),” Dr. Tarroja is a Registered Psychologist, and a PAP (Psychological Association of the Philippines) Certified Specialist in Assessment and Clinical Psychology.  She finished her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila University, where she also completed her MA in Counseling Psychology.  image 1

As a practicing Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Tarroja has done psychological assessment and psychotherapy with children, adults, and families.  She has likewise conducted workshops, seminars and talks on various psychological topics to professionals, parents, and students.  With regard to research, she has been actively pursuing studies on various topics in Assessment and Clinical Psychology, family studies, adoption issues, and play therapy, among others.  She has published her work in local and international journals, the most recent of which are “Advocating for play therapy: A challenge for an empirically based practice in the Philippines” in the International Journal of Play Therapy and“Providing psychological services for children of overseas Filipino workers: A Challenge for school psychologists in the Philippines” in the School Psychology International. She has also presented her research work both in local and international conferences.

Dr. Tarroja is a founding member of PsychConsult, a group of psychologists who are engaged in various clinical services, from psychological assessment to psychotherapy and giving workshops and seminars.  She is a founding member of William Glasser Institute, Philippines. Dr. Tarroja was the President of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) from 2010 to August 2012.  Currently, she is the Chair of the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC), Board Member of the Philippine Association of Child and Play Therapy (PhilPlay), Member of the CHED Technical Working Committee for Psychology, and President-Elect of the ASEAN Regional Union of Psychological Societies (ARUPS).

At SDRC, Dr. Tarroja heads the research team for the new project “World Health Organization Disability Assessment Survey (WHODAS) in Yolanda-Affected Areas in the Philippines,” which seeks to establish the percentage of the population that is functioning poorly and is likely to be in need of services, including those with severe or extreme difficulties in functioning in different aspects of day-to-day life.