English Counselling Kansai

Psychotherapeutic Counseling · Family Support · Training · Consultation



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About Psychotherapeutic Counselling

counselling and child therapy in English in Kobe, Kansai, Japan

You have probably found this site because you, or someone you know, want to find help for a difficulty which is too much to handle alone. Counselling or Psychotherapy offers a professional counselling relationship for as long (or as short) as you need it to enable you to get through this and change your life for the better.

About Counseling

My Counseling Approach

Therapeutic Play

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Counselling?

A psychotherapist or counsellor is a qualified mental health professional with skills and techniques to help with both psychological difficulties/mental health and life problems, and with the theoretical knowledge to understand complicated relationships and psycho-social issues. They also offer a safe collaborative relationship through difficult times, with someone you can trust to discuss confidential problems you cannot talk about with friends or family. Research suggests it is the relationship with the counsellor which has most effect in therapy.

A counselor or psychotherapist will not tell you what to do, but they willl help you to understand your difficulties much more, enable you to begin to use the parts of your personality which are currently not effective, and bring new ways of seeing and acting into reach. People of all ages with serious or minor problems can benefit from counseling, including children. Getting support can stop issues becoming worse, improve relationships and avoid damaging your hopes for your life. To provide security and effective treatment, counselling usually takes place in a regular framework of one hour appointments, but the real 'work' also happens in between, as you reflect on or put into action thoughts which have ocurred during therapy.

'Psychotherapy' and 'Counseling' are terms which overlap and are sometimes nearly interchangeable. Psychotherapy sometimes means a longer-term intensive or 'deeper' treatment taking into account many issues simultaneously, while counselling may mean a shorter-term process which might forcus on specific problems. I do both kinds of work, and many clients combine both, so I sometimes describe what I do as 'psychotherapeutic counselling'. (However I do not work with severely disabling mental health problems which require a team approach or access to in-patient treatement as backup).. The term 'therapy' can mean a huge range of different practices, but is often used as a convenient word for psychotherapy, counselling, play therapy, etc. Family Therapy and Systemic Therapy are also somewhat interchangeable terms, often used to describe work with 2 or more people together. .

Medication. Psychotherapists and counsellors do not prescribe medication, this requires a medically qualified psychiatrist or a doctor. If it appears that medication may be needed, it is usual to see a psychiatrist or your medical doctor while continuing counselling. Alternatively you may already be taking medication when you start therapy. Psychiatrists rarely provide talking therapy themselves (particularly in Japan), but they do recommend it. If you are already in the care of a mental health professional it is best to mention your intention to try counselling – an exception to this is if you are concerned about their treatment of you and want to discuss this confidentially.

There are many forms of counselling, although they share some aspects in common. Click here for information about my Counselling Approach

Click here for infomation about Therapeutic Play

Click here for information about counselling for Children, Parents and Families

What difficulties can be helped by counseling?

People seek help for all kinds of difficulties brought on by stressful situations such as relationship problems, work stress, bereavement, difficulties with children or memories from childhood or a traumatic experience. Some people suffer from anxiety or depression without knowing the cause, but you do not need to have a 'mental health problem' to find counselling useful. Others simply want space and help to find a new direction for their lives or just someone to talk to who will not judge them and keep what is shared private. Not everyone knows at first exactly why they want counselling or what changes they want to make. Some people go to psychotherapy or counselling simply for personal growth not for any particular 'problem'. You may gradually understand deeper patterns in your life and the connection between events which happen to you and psychological issues.

Some issues I provide counselling about include:

Relationship problems (including violent relationships)
• Depression
• Work problems
• Lack of direction or satisfaction in life
• Difficulty forming or keeping relationships

• Recovery from tra
umatic experiences
Rape or Sexual Assault
• Physical, Sexual or Emotional Abuse as a child
• Self-harming
• Gender and sexuality issues
• Cultural adjustment and migration
• Children and teenagers' problems and parenting
• Insecurity and social fears
• Loss or Bereavement
• Emotional outbursts
• Nightmares and flashbacks
• Obsessions and compulsive behaviours
• Agoraphobia
(fear of going out)
• Drug or Alcohol problems
(Note I am not a specialist drug or alcohol counsellor, but I may be able to give support, especially with the underlying issues)

If you do not see the issue you are concerned about in this list, do not worry, the list is not complete. Please contact me to talk about anything you like.

Choosing a Therapist

It is important to find a therapist who will respond to your needs and personality, rather than adopting a ‘one theory fits all’ approach. Experience in your area of difficulty is good, but also different clients and issues benefit from different therapeutic approaches – for example a more counsellor-led teaching approach versus a more collaborative, relationship-based approach (Although trying something which challenges your normal mode of thought can sometimes be exactly what you need!). To some extent you can judge a counsellor from a website, but there is no substitute for talking to a few different therapists and getting a feel for how they approach you and whether you are comfortable working with them.

Unfortunately, very few English-speaking therapists are available in Kansai. Counselling by video link is possible, but doesn’t suit everyone. As a result I have expanded my areas of specialism and experience as far as possible to suit most clients. However, if I feel your difficulty does not fall within my area of expertise I would do my best to recommend a specialist who can help you.

Therapists should be willing to answer questions before you make an appointment, and happy to show you evidence of qualifications. They should be an accredited/licenced member of a reputable professional association, preferably both in their country of qualification and in Japan. Professional associations operate credentials-checking, codes of ethics and complaints procedures as well as counsellor training and networking (in some countries they are state-run and in others they are independent professional associations such as BACP). In Japan, the majority of English-language therapists are members of International Mental Health Professionals Japan (IMHPJ) and are listed on www.imhpj.org

In rare cases people are exploited by therapists or those posing as therapists, if a therapist does not seem professional, or you feel you are being harassed to pay unreasonable amounts, have more services than you need or do anything you are uncomfortable with, it is best to avoid that practitioner and if necessary report them to the appropriate association.

Information about my Counselling Approach

Infomation about Therapeutic Play

Information for Children, Parents and Families



Home Background & Qualifications Counseling  Children, Parents & Families Info for Organisations Other Resources Contact, Access & Prices 日本語
Please contact me if you have further questions or wish to arrange an initial meeting


Telephone no: 0081-(0)78-453-1030
email: englishcounselling@gmail.com