MVHS welcomes therapist Akiko Chung

Passionate school-based therapist joins MVHS’ student assistance team


Krish Dev

Akiko Chung works in her new office in room D204.

Krish Dev and Jami Lim

Born and raised in Japan, school-based therapist Akiko Chung recalls the early challenges of immigration and her need for support. When Chung moved to America alone as a 16-year-old, a language barrier, among other obstacles, forced Chung to rely heavily on the friends she made to navigate her new life. Chung says the support she received from the people around her eventually blossomed her passion for understanding the field of therapy.

While studying psychology in college and graduate school and attaining a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology, Chung says she was uncertain of what career path she wanted to follow. However, after being assigned to work with kids in the foster kid system and working at a school, she decided she wanted to “create a place where [students] can just stop by and just take a break from the world.”

“[My role is] to really support students and identify any immediate stress that is hindering them from reaching their full potential on the school campus [as well as] identifying the triggers, identifying the cause of the stress, and then finding the solution to overcome those.”

After working at CUSD as a therapist for Miller Middle School and Cupertino Middle School for four years, Chung changed jobs to work with high school students at Lynbrook High School because it offered maternity leave. Chung has experience working with all age levels, from infants to adults, though she enjoys high school students because they are fun to talk to, fulfilling to work with and have a better understanding of themselves than younger children. 

Chung was moved from LHS to MVHS in December after longtime school-based therapist Richard Prinz retired at the end of 2022. She says that during her short time at MVHS, she has already begun to observe a smooth transition from her students’ previous school-based therapist to herself and is pleased by the MVHS administration’s support for students’ emotional needs. As she grows into her new role, Chung reflects on some of her early goals and values.

“[On the day of] my first job interview, [I was] asked, ‘in five [to] ten years, where do you see yourself?'” Chung said. “The answer is still the same now: I hope I’m not focusing on promotion or gain. I hope I don’t lose that passion for growing as a therapist, so I can help anyone suffering to go through the healing journey. That is still true to me, and I’m still working towards that.”