About Mio Yamashita


I was born and raised in Japan and graduated from art University in 90fs. A couple years before graduation, I experienced goutsiderfs arth exhibition. Outsiderfs art is any form of art (painting, scripture, printing, sawing, architect, etc) made by non-professionals especially among mental patients. Their creations were part of their healing process and were born from necessity and had strong raw energies. I was very impressed by their power and felt IT is the art I was looking for. As an art student, I was confused because I did not have strong desire to be a professional artist. I was tired of thinking how other people criticize my art piece. I was exited to find that my real reason for using art, which has been releasing my inner emotions to outside. My art was not for other people. It was more private process. I was painting for healing myself.


(Outsider art- http://www.rawvision.com/outsiderart/whatisoa.html)


I learned from exhibition catalog that the outside art was born from the process of art therapy. gArt therapy?h I had only image about that art therapy is still in Art field and related to psychology at the time. (Later, I understand it is more like therapeutic technique using artc)


I decided to study art therapy but there was no class or school to teach art therapy program in Japan at the time. It seemed there were two choices for studying art therapy at the time. Either going to England or USA . I decided to go to the US for blue sky.


Since I had no psychology background, I started undergrad for psychology degree and then, I went to Art therapy master program. My 5 years of practicum & internship started in CHAC (Community Health Awareness Council) in Mountain View. CHAC is a non-profit organization providing counseling service for the community. They are most well known by Los Altos & Mountain View School District for providing on-campus counseling for elementary, middle and high school students.


I also worked as on-campus counselor intern at Theuerkauf, Almond, Santa Rita & Castro elementary schools. It was very precious experience working with children and their families. Most of childrenfs issues were signs of family problems. I worked with these children, families, teachers, school staff and doctors together to provide support for them. It was very difficult but rewarding experience and I learned a lot form them. I also had teenagers, adults, and senior clients in house (in CHAC office).


During the 5 years, I also worked in Franklin-McKinley School district as on-campus school counselor intern for 2 years. This experience taught me many different sides of Bay area, which is more multi social, ethnic, racial & cultural patchwork.


I got Art therapy credential (#06-148) and Marriage and Family Therapist license (#45670) in 2008 and started my private practice in Mountain View.


I have wide variety of experience with from 5 years old child to 81 years old senior clients.


The issues I help are:

  • Depression
  • Anger Management
  • Trauma
  • Culture issue
  • Child therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Generational difficulties
  • Grieving
  • Couple therapy

And morec


I, myself, was an immigrant and experienced culture shock and reverse culture shock. I know the difference between American School systems and Japanese one. I had worked with Japanese families and local school in the US to communicate & understand each other. I want to continue to help to create a bridge between them.