Hello Blog. How do you feel this time of year? Not too dusty, I hope. But I have to admit, I hate spending the Xmas-New Year Holidays in Japan. No semblance of a real Christmas atmosphere, absolutely boring nenmatsu-nenshi (TV’s Kouhaku is the pits), and no way for a Hokkaidoite like myself to get to a warmer clime unless we pay the minimum RT 50,000 yen airline connection “tax” to get to a bigger international airport.
Not that I’m blaming Japan (or Hokkaido–we have to do pennance somehow for our magical summers)–that’s just the way it is, and part of the dues of choosing to live and be a part of this society. But I still don’t like it.
I have my own strategies for dealing with it (writing, DVDs, trashy magazines, and pizza). For those who aren’t confident about their strategies and need some professional help, here’s information about a group in Japan called “International Mental Health Professionals Japan” which offers psychological services to an international clientele. Heard about it at a recent speech in Tokyo from Dr Jim McRae, President.
Given the state of mental health services in this country (generally pretty lousy; most Japanese quasi-“counselors” will probably unhelpfully attribute any mental issue involving a NJ to a matter of “cultural differences”, and Japan doesn’t even have certifications for clinical psychologists), this group is a boon. Some friends and I have had horrible experiences trying to check friends (who were acting mentally erratically to the point of presenting a clear and present danger to others) into mental clinics in Japan. Many clinics/mental hospitals simply won’t take foreigners (claiming, again, cultural or language barriers), advising us to “send them home” for treatment.
It’s nice to see professionals in Japan in the form of the IMHPJ below trying to help out. Spread the word.
Happy Holidays–or as happy as you can make them. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
INTERNATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS JAPAN
What is IMHPJ?
(taken from their website and from a flyer I received from Dr Jim McRae)
IMHPJ is a multidisciplinary professional association of therapists who provide mental health services to the international communities in Japan. Members are working in private practices or mental health related organizations worldwide.
Founded in 1997, IMHPJ’s goals are to improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of mental health services available to the international communities in Japan by:
–maintaining an up-to-date database of professional therapists, where you can find the professional profile of the therapist of your choice.
–providing a forum for discussing and making co-ordinated joint efforts related to important issues or events.
–encouraging a high standard of ethical and professional performance for mental health professionals.
–providing opportunities for continuing education for members.
–facilitating peer support and networking among members and with related Japanese mental health organizations.
Clinical Members hold a Masters Degree or higher and have supervised postgraduate clinical experience. Assocate Members work in fields related to mental health or are students or therapists not yet eligible for clinical membership.
IMHPJ is multidisiplinary, including Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Family Therapists, and Child Psychologists etc.
IMHPJ members offer a range of recognized theraputic approaches for the treatment of relationship issues, stress, anxiety, depression, abuse, cross-cultural issues, children’s emotional and educational problems, and many other issues. Many of our members also offer phone counseling.
Native speakers offer therapy in English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Polish. Some members are bilingual.
For more information, consult our website at: