Akiko is a bilingual psychotherapist in English and Japanese licensed in the UK and is a professionally registered member of the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK.
Akiko values the wisdom in the body and the body-mind connection. She focuses on holding a non-judgmental safe space where collaborative work with her clients can take place through creative processes to support their journeys of understanding themselves and their relationships better.
Akiko works with both adult and child clients with symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, personality disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and those who are struggling with interpersonal, attachment, cultural adjustment issues and self-esteem. Her work is trauma-informed, underpinned by psychodynamic theory, and also draws on Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP), among other theories. Clients are invited to reflect on their bodily experiences to deepen their curiosity. Body movement might also be used to explore both verbal and non-verbal aspects of their experiences to facilitate an integrated healing process.
Akiko received her master’s degree in Dance Movement Psychotherapy from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2017. Through her training and post-qualification years in the UK, the client groups she has worked with include adults with childhood trauma and various mental health conditions in NHS hospitals, unaccompanied refugee adolescents with trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms at the Refugee Council, and children with special needs in a primary school.
Prior to her time in the UK, she worked directly with refugees and asylum seekers from all over the world in Japan, who became her inspiration to pursue her current career as a therapist.
Key Concepts: body-mind connection, non-judgmental safe space, collaborative work, creative processes, trauma-informed, psychodynamic theory, Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP), verbal and non-verbal, integrated healing process, adults, children, individual, group, childhood trauma, mental health conditions, unaccompanied refugee adolescents, trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), children with special needs, refugees, asylum seekers
o Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP): DMP is one of the Arts Psychotherapies. It involves therapeutic use of body movement and works within psychotherapeutic relationships that are developed and nurtured between therapists and clients. The empathic, creative process that is encouraged assists integration of emotional, cognitive, physical, social and spiritual aspects of the clients, which contributes to recovery and healing. For the definition of DMP, see also the ADMP UK’s website at https://admp.org.uk.
o Laban Movement Analysis (LMA): A method and language for describing, visualizing, interpreting and documenting all varieties of human movement, originally developed by Rudolf Laban, a dancer, a choreographer and a dance / movement theoretician from Austro-Hungary.
o Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP): A movement analysis method and theory that was originally developed by Dr. Judith Kestenberg, a child psychiatrist, and her colleagues, based on their long-term movement observation of children and their relationships with their caregivers.
Illustrations by Kento Iida