NichiBei CAT

NichiBei CAT is a group of creative arts therapists in Japan and United States who came together to engage in post 3.11 community services through NichiBei Care. Our members are trained in modalities such as art therapy, drama therapy, music therapy and expressive arts therapy. We are offer direct service, consultation and trainings in the application of creative arts modalities.


Aya Kasai, M.A., MFT 
Expressive Arts Therapist
Aya holds a Masters of Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy from California Institute of Integral Studies. She has also completed trauma training at Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. She works as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, schools and hospitals, and conducts workshops and teaches expressive arts therapy. Having lived, studied and worked in multiple countries she has special interests in cross-cultural issues. Committed to promoting personal and social healing, she collaborates with therapists, educators, artists and peace workers and uses creative arts to facilitate therapeutic groups that enhance community building and dialogue.

Manami Yamamoto, M.A., MFT
Expressive Arts Therapist,
Clinical Counselor

Manami holds a Masters of Counseling
Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy from the California
Institute of Integral Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a licensed counselor in Japan. Manami combines various therapeutic modalities to provide a holistic and integrative approach to trauma. She has worked with culturally diverse populations in a range of settings including schools and hospitals. She currently works in her private practice as well as hospital in San Francisco Bay Area. Since 2011, she has regularly offered Expressive Arts Therapy and mental health training in Fukushima, Japan to the survivors of the tsunami and the nuclear reactor accident.

Masako Iguchi, M.A., RDT, CCLS
Masako is a registered drama therapist and a child life specialist, also a founder of  Japan Drama Therapy Institute and APCONCEPT in Japan. Using drama and play as a tool of well-being, she has been working with children and their families in a variety of settings such as pediatrics, counseling centers, community and in-home therapy. She also organizes and conducts workshops and lectures on drama therapy to those who want to expand their knowledge and deepen understanding of self. Having a belief that creative arts  enhances healing and spiritual growth of individuals and society, she continues to provide supports and services.

Mio Yamashita, M.A., MFT, ATR
Mio holds a Marriage and Family Therapist license in CA and is a Registered Art Therapist  with the American Art Therapy Association.  After working for non profit organizations and being a school counselor, she currently has a private practice in the Bay Area working with multi-cultural clients. Her speciality is in assisting clients in the process of acculturation and trauma treatment through individual, couple and family therapy using art therapy and EMDR. In June, 2011, Mio was the first NichiBei CAT member to join the disaster relief effort in Northern Japan. Since then, she has provided art therapy training to the first responders, as well as support groups for parents and children in Fukushima.

Akiko Kuraishi, M.A.,
Art Therapist
Licensed Clinical Psychologist (Japan)

Akiko holds a Masters of Marital and Family Therapy with a concentration in Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University. After earning her degree, she completed her studies and intern for licensed clinical psychologist in Japan. For over 10 years, she has done therapy with a variety of individuals in a wide range of psychiatric and educational settings.  She is founder and director of APCONCEPT where she leads therapy groups,workshops and lectures. Akiko also has maintained a private practice in Tokyo.
After 3.11disaster, she has been collaborating with Save the Children  Japan “Active Play project” offering play programs that promote positive child development of living  in temporary housing, where she conducts play group of children, parents and caregivers.

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