Maria Hu

Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Maria Hu is a clinical associate professor of field education. She has spent most of her career as a clinician and a faculty member for the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Hu has 16 years of experience in the mental health field, working in program development, therapy, assessments and supervision. Within this capacity, she has extensive experience providing individual, group and family counseling services that use culturally sensitive evidence-based practices and trauma-informed interventions focused on resiliency. Dr. Hu has specialized in coordinating programs, crisis/threat response and intervention, suicide prevention, trauma recovery and resilience throughout her career.

She has applied her skills in a variety of settings, including hospitals, K-12 schools and higher education, and is well versed in an array of evidence-based interventions: Motivational Interviewing Therapy, Problem Solving Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Feedback Informed Treatment, Solution Focused Therapy, Managing Adaptive Practices (MAP), Trauma-Informed Practices and Exposure Therapy. Her main area of expertise is CBT, and is now involved in training other clinicians on the delivery and integration of this evidence-based practice. Dr. Hu has served as a consultant on the implementation of CBT practice within various settings.

Dr. Hu currently works within the telehealth clinic at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work as a supervisor. The clinic provides clients with “face-to-face,” online counseling and psychotherapy services provided in English and Spanish, and offered as weekly 50-minute appointments over the course of 8 to 12 weeks. She provides supervision for some of the telehealth partners to develop an integrative health care plan that includes research-based interventions to help improve life functioning for clients with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. Dr. Hu assists the clinical director of the telehealth clinic to provide training that is centered on biopsychosocial assessment and trauma-informed care with motivational interviewing. She has taught others how to integrate CBT with mindfulness practices, and worked diligently in fostering an understanding of the mind-body connection.

Given that health and wellness is her overall mission, Dr. Hu has implemented a series of workshops for staff on reducing stigma and responding to common mental health and substance use issues that can arise from high-stress environments. She has taught self-care techniques for staying well, and has helped adults seek social support networks and resources for recovery within their communities. Overall, she is truly passionate about empowering clients to develop a great sense of self-compassion.