Our Therapists

Rikke Jencel

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Psychologist

 

 

  • Rikke, fluent in French, English, and Norwegian, is a BCBA who primarily offers supervision of LUCREA’s therapists in English along with therapy for clients in French. She has been working with LUCREA from February of 2019 to now.

 

  • Rikke has been working in various multidisciplinary settings for over 15+ years. Rikke’s educational background started in Norway and continued in Sydney, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She subsequently received her Master’s degree in Child & Adolescent Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis in France. After her Master’s, Rikke worked at a Parent’s Association for Kids with Autism, after which she helped open a new center in France. Rikke worked as a center-based ABA there, specializing in early intervention. After working for several years as a behavioral analyst and then acquiring her BCBA certification, Rikke began to work at her own company as a BCBA. After that, she moved to Tokyo and has been working with LUCREA as a consultant, supervisor, and therapist.  She deals with staff supervision and training of therapists, intake meetings, and consultations, along with occasional one-to-one sessions with clients.

  • Rikke is very passionate about her ‘giving’ role in peoples’ lives, and as such she finds being a therapist as very rewarding. She has worked with children, adolescents, and young adults in a broad spectrum of unique cases, from clients with Asperger’s to ones with severe Autism. She has years of experience with clients in center, school, and home-based settings, even going to leisure activities or job locations. Rikke enjoys working with children because she believes that more early intervention allows for less need for therapy later on in life, and so this makes the biggest change in not only the client’s life, but also in their families and communities as a whole. What Rikke really loves about being a BCBA is that she can enjoy seeing not only the children progress, but also the progression of therapists, and ensuring that the limited therapists currently practicing are properly trained to better help the most people. 

 

  • Rikke’s strongest philosophy about therapy is that any behavior can be changed, so it is up to therapists to make sure to choose to change behaviors that are the most meaningful to clients, and also that this can be applied in one’s own daily life, not just in work. ​​

  • Quote from Rikke

 

“I'm proud of being part of LUCREA and helping change clients' behavior one at a time to help them become the best of their potential.”​

 

Mai Funahira

Speech-Language-Hearing-Therapist

 

 

  • Mai is a speech-language-hearing therapist who primarily offers therapy in Japanese. She has been working with LUCREA, Inc. from 2016 to now.

 

  • Mai has been a licensed therapist for 6 years. She first graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in the Japanese language at Musashi University (武蔵大学). She then further studied her specialty of the Japanese language in Shukutoku University (淑徳大学大学院) where she attained her Master’s degree. Mai started working in an office after she graduated, but with Speech Therapy always on the back of her mind. After having a child, Mai decided to shift her career and started attending a school that specializes in Speech Therapy. She then worked as a Japanese language teacher and as a Speech Therapist in other clinics. Mai is always interested in observing how children learn and she is eager to help these children that are in need of help. Mai also is ambitious towards seeing the progress for children regardless of their level.

 

  •  Certifications and Skills

    • Board Certified Japanese Speech-Language-Hearing Therapist

    • Japanese Teaching License

  • Quote from Mai

 

“I am always thrilled to see children learning and improving in all areas of their lives, and for this reason, I strive to provide diligent, effective guidance.”​

Michael Lara

Occupational Therapist (OT)

 

 

  • Michael, fluent in English and Tagalog, is an Occupational Therapist who primarily offers therapy in English. He has been working with LUCREA, Inc. from 2017 to now. 

 

  • Michael has been an Occupational Therapist (OT) for 20 years. He first graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in the Philippines, where he practiced as a Board Certified OT for 15  years. During this time, Mike focused on center-based therapy, primarily specializing in early intervention. He handled children with various developmental and learning disabilities, while also training in specialized programs such as ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children), and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). After working as an OT in the Philippines for 15 years, Michael was interested in seeing what it was like to work abroad and took an opportunity to work at an international school in Tokyo in 2015. Here, he first worked as a learning support teacher for two years, where he met Yoko Sato and subsequently began working with her at LUCREA. With LUCREA, Michael works as an OT in center-based, home-based, and school-based settings. 

  • Michael enjoys working with children because he believes that early intervention is the foundation for healthy learning and an integral part of development. Starting to guide children from an early age and witness their growth and progression through time is fulfilling for him to see. Michael’s strongest philosophy about his role is that patience and perseverance are the essential foundations of a good teacher or therapist. 

  • Quote from Michael

 

“Everyone is capable of learning...in their own unique way, at their own unique pace...Nurture this with patience, understanding, and perseverance, and wondrous things are bound to happen.”​

 

Ami Choung

Senior Therapist

SpEd Supervisor/Coordinator

 

 

  • Ami, fluent in English and Japanese, is a senior therapist who primarily offers ABA-based therapy and speech/language therapy in both Japanese and English. She has been working with LUCREA, Inc. from 2018 to now. She was born and raised in Japan.

 

  • Ami has been a therapist for over 10 years. She first graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Psychology in the United States. She then went to graduate school where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Special Ed. and Disability Studies. During this time, she worked as a care worker/helper for children with special needs, supervised ABA-based therapy in Tokyo for 8 years, and also worked at an agency in Chiba. Ami always wanted to work with children with special needs and was inspired ever since doing a volunteer cookie baking activity with autistic kids. 

 

  •  Certification 

    • M.A. in Special Ed. and Disability Studies​

  • Quote from Ami

“Every kid has their own potential to learn. It’s in the therapist’s hands to find the best way for each child to glow.  It might may not come that easily, but there is always a way.  And when we are able to find the way, that is the true joy as a therapist.”

 

 

Ryo Mike Morita

Assistant Therapist

 

  • Mike, fluent in English and proficient in Japanese, is an assistant therapist who offers therapy only in English. He has been working with LUCREA, Inc. from 2020. He was born in Japan, then moved to the U.S. for most of his early years. Mike has a bi-lingual and bi-cultural background, for most of his childhood, he lived in the United States, and then came back to Japan for high school and university.

  • Mike graduated from Temple University Japan (TUJ) Campus with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He has been teaching private English lessons and developing lesson plans for 4 years, and has 2 years of experience assisting the Academic English Program in TUJ as a Teaching Assistant. Mike is currently training to become an RBT (Registered Behavioral Technician) to pursue his dreams even further.

 

  • Mike engages with the children in a very approachable and friendly manner. Mike believes in patience and encouragement when it comes to the progress of his client's progress, his aim is for the children to enjoy learning and attain meaningful lessons that will positively impact their social skills and life progress.

  • Quote from Mike

 

"Just as much as I want to contribute to their learning and growth, I also want to make sure that they smile and have fun throughout the whole process."​

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Photos by Akiko Takata