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Mioi Forster-Nakayama

(Just in case you're wondering how my name is pronounced....it's mee-oi!

I am a dance movement psychotherapist registered at the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia (Prof. DMT Reg. No.220-03), PACFA (as a clinical registrant of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, No. 28712) and ANZACATA (The Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association, Professional Member, No. 59137275). My approach is psychodynamic, person-centred and integrative. I use movement and arts as a means to explore the unconscious, emotions and thoughts within. I am based in Adelaide, South Australia.

I am an accredited DTAA clinical supervisor. I supervise dance movement therapists, creative arts therapists, psychotherapists, counsellors, and other allied health professionals. If you would like to know more about it, please visit here

Belief

I believe movement can express more than words and is a way to connect body and mind. I provide you with a safe space to gently breathe, ground the body and explore movement. I move with you in empathy, witness your movement, and listen to you with non-judgemental views, regardless of your gender, sexuality, race or religion.

Specialisation 

I specialise in working with the following populations.

  • Neurodivergent (Autism, Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD)

  • Trauma (including preverbal trauma and complex traumas)

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Emotional and behavioural challenges

Clinical Experience

Before coming to Australia, I clinically worked in primary schools, special needs schools, a pupil referral unit, a prison, NHS mental health hospitals and charities in the United Kingdom and Japan. I mainly worked with children with Autistic Spectrum and adolescents with a psychotic episodes.  I also worked with women with post-natal depression and anxiety who could creatively explore movement and connect with other women with similar symptoms. 

In Adelaide, I am working at a clinic with children between 3 and 12 who are diagnosed with ASD (including Pathological Demand Avoidance), ADHD, trauma, global developmental delay, Down Syndrome and other disabilities. In my private practice, I work with women who are suffering from trauma, anxiety and depression. 

Psychotherapy Training 

I graduated with a master's degree in dance movement psychotherapy at Goldsmiths, University of London. I also completed the Somatic Body Mapping Mentorship under Annette Schwalbe (UKRDMP, UKCP) and became a somatic Body Mapping practitioner conducting body-arts combined workshops for women. Recently I have offered body mapping sessions to young refugees in England. In Adelaide, I am offering seasonal workshops four times a year. 

The Path to Psychotherapy Work

I was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan. At the age of 16, I moved to Germany with my parents. This was my first encounter with different cultures. I studied at a university in Tokyo, always travelling abroad to experience cultural diversities and expand my curiosity. At the age of 20, I went back to Germany to study and research Turkish immigrants. I travelled to Turkey as this country offered a blend of the West and the East. I met Kurdish Street children in Istanbul and felt emotional and helpless about these tiny workers. I went back to Tokyo and joined a non-profit organisation that works for child rights.

I learnt that India has the largest number of working children, therefore I visited India in 2002. I was very attracted to what India offered me - people, food, dance, music, colours, and just the way they are. I worked in India for 11 years; I co-founded an art school for street, working and bonded labour children, rescuing them from the streets, educating them in various art modalities, and putting them back to school (You can see my child labour photographs here). I discovered the strength and healing power of arts through this work and decided to become a movement-based therapist. Dance Movement Therapy is a perfect marriage of psychological help and dance. 

 

In 2013, I moved to London to be trained as a dance movement psychotherapist. Since then, I have worked with various populations such as young people with mental health issues, women with postnatal depression, adults with extremely socially withdrawn syndromes and so on.

My other interests

I am passionate about working creatively with young people from different cultures. I have a big dream to mobilise young people in Hiroshima or India or Australia to do a cultural exchange program to educate them on various topics such as a nuclear-free world, environmental issues, racism, gender equality and so on. I hope to continue to deliver my services to those who need them in Australia and Asia.