About Dr. Ohnogi

About Dr. Akiko J. Ohnogi

Dr. Ohnogi has been in private practice in Minato-ku, Tokyo since 2000. Trained working with various age ranges and populations, from parents with infants to geriatrics, Dr. Ohnogi specializes in working with children (from infancy to adolescence) and their families, play therapy for all ages (including adults), parent education, trauma work (natural disasters, human-made disasters, interpersonal traumas), and multicultural issues. Dr. Ohnogi conducts treatment based on current neuropsychotherapeutic research, targeting the whole brain functioning. Psychotherapy is conducted in individual, couples, or family sessions. She also trains, educates, and supervises psychology graduate students and other mental health professionals in child psychotherapy, play therapy, parent education, child & adolescent development, raising multicultural children, trauma experiences (natural disasters and human-made victimizations), eating disorders, self-mutilation, and psychotherapy, through various lectures and workshops conducted at government run child care centers, prefectural psychiatric hospitals, private junior and high schools, local universities and graduate schools, international schools, churches, conferences, companies, and through her association (see below).

Dr. Ohnogi is co-founder and Board Director of the Japan Association for Play Therapy (JAPT), founded in 2006. JAPT provides training and education to mental health professionals in use of play therapy, as well as conducting workshops on importance of play, therapeutic play, trauma support, parenting, and child development, to mental health professionals, mental health graduate students, and other professionals supporting children and their families. Dr. Ohnogi has been invited annually since 2002 to attend the International Play Therapy Study Group, a mini conference by invitation only, for leading play therapists around the world, run by Dr. Charles Schaefer (known as the ‘father of play therapy’) held in England, Ireland and Denmark.

Dr. Ohnogi was adjunct faculty at International Christian University psychology graduate school teaching play therapy to Doctoral and Masters psychology graduate students from 2005-2016. Dr. Ohnogi was also adjunct faculty mentoring Masters thesis students at California School of Professional Psychology Japan campus. She was the head clinical child psychologist at the Institute of Psychoanalytic Systems Psychotherapy in Tokyo, and a psychotherapist at Tokyo English Life Line Counseling Community, before starting private practice. She was also the school counselor at Nishimachi International School in Tokyo, her alma mater.

Dr. Ohnogi received her Psy.D. (Doctorate in clinical psychology) at California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego campus, California, after having obtained her BA in psychology at International Christian University in Tokyo, and her MA in clinical psychology at CSPP, San Diego. She has had extensive clinical training in California at Kaiser Permanente Hospital (psychiatric outpatient, ER, chemical dependency unit), Children’s Outpatient Psychiatry (psychiatric outpatient for children & adolescents), Loma Portal Hospital (psychiatric inpatient & outpatient for children & adolescents), New Alternatives 16 (psychiatric residential treatment center for adolescents), and South Bay Guidance Center (psychiatric outpatient).

Colors stimulate emotions.

Her association, JAPT, had been collaborating with UNICEF Japan since March 2011 until 2017, providing direct support to children and adult survivors of the 2011 Great East Earthquake tsunami and nuclear reactor disaster, as well as to the professional supporters of these survivors. She has supervised mental health workers in Niigata prefecture regarding the Chuetsu earthquake series of Oct. & Nov. 2004, as well as, provided direct psychological assistance to the Sri Lankan children and adult survivors of the Pacific Rim earthquake tsunami in Dec. 2004, through Operation USA and Association for Play Therapy USA. Dr. Ohnogi was invited to present on play therapy and trauma at the 7th International Congress of Psychic Trauma and Traumatic Stress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2007, and at the 2nd International Play Therapy conference in Duboyne, Ireland in 2012.

Dr. Ohnogi also conducts various workshops and seminars on therapeutic play, stress management, trauma response, child development, parenting skills, relationships, etc., at companies, educational institutions, and conferences.

Dr. Ohnogi is fluently bilingual in English and Japanese, having been brought up, as well as educated in both the US and Japan. She also attended international schools as a student when living in Japan.


  • Japan Association for Play Therapy (JAPT), Co-founder and Board Director
  • International Mental Health Professionals Japan (IMHPJ), Former Board Member
  • Nana’s Children’s Mental Health Foundation, Former Board Advisor

  • Japan Association for Play Therapy (JAPT) Co-founder and Association Director
  • American Psychological Association (APA) International Full Fledged Clinical Member
  • Association for Play Therapy (APT) International Clinical Member
  • International Mental Health Professionals Japan (IMHPJ) Clinical Member


  • Ohnogi, A. (2019). My First Play Therapy:Foundations and Techniques for Effective Support. Tokyo: Seishin Shobo. (In Japanese only) (大野木嗣子。 (2019)。はじめてのプレイセラピー:効果的な支援のための基礎と技法。誠信書房)
  • Schaefer, C., Kelly-Zion, P., McCormick, J. & Ohnogi, A. (Eds.). (2008). Play Therapy with Very Young Children. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Schaefer, C., McCormick, J. & Ohnogi, A. (Eds.). (2005). International Handbook of Play Therapy. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.


  • Ohnogi, A. (2017). Play-Based Interventions for Children Traumatized by Natural and Human-Made Disasters. In A. Drewes & C. Schaefer (Eds.). Childhood Anxieties, Fears, and Phobias: Use of Play-Based Interventions and Techniques (pp. 223-243). N.Y.: Guilford Publications.
  • Ohnogi, A., & Drewes, A. (2016). Play therapy to help school-aged children deal with natural and human-made disasters. In A. Drewes & C. Schaefer (Eds.), Play therapy in middle childhood> (pp. 33–52). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Ohnogi, A. (2013). Creating Safe Space in Play Therapy with Children. In H. Kotani & F. Bonds-White, Eds. Creating Safe Space through Individual and Group Psychotherapy (pp. 41-61).  Tokyo, Japan: Institute of Psychoanalytic Systems Psychotherapy Press.
  • Ohnogi, A. (2010). Using play to support children traumatized by natural disasters: Chuetsu earthquake series in Japan. In A. Kalayjian & D. Eugene (Eds.), Mass trauma and emotional healing around the world: Rituals and practices for resilience and meaning-making: Natural disasters (pp. 37–54). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.


  • Ohnogi, A. (2013), Creating a Psychologically Safe and Accepting Space through Limit Setting in Play Therapy. International Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 10-11 combined, 75-80.
  • Ohnogi, A. (2007), Play Therapy and Safe Space. International Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 5,
  • Ohnogi, A. (2006), Play based psychological interventions with traumatized children: Work with tsunami orphaned Sri Lankan children. International Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 4, 17–36.
  • Ohnogi, A. (1998), Understanding and Dealing with Children Who Have Difficulty Staying Still: a Psychological Perspective (落ち着きのない子供の心理的な要因の理解と対応). Child Study (児童心理), 706,


  • Japan Association for Play Therapy. (2014). Emotional support for children through use of play: Support manual for infants and toddlers post trauma (2nd ed.). Tokyo, Japan. Japan Association for Play Therapy and UNICEF Japan.(in Japanese only) (遊びを通した子どもの心の安心サポート~辛い体験後の未就学児【乳幼児】のためのマニュアル~ 第2刷(2014).日本プレイセラピー協会 、ユニセフジャパン)


  • Bi-monthly column providing advice to parents in “Shinro Shingaku Tsuushin” parent magazine (out of print) by Shinken-Zemi, Benesse Jan. – Dec. 2005. (ベネッセ出版進研ゼミ講座シリーズ保護者向け雑誌「進路進学通信」雑誌絶版)

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