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Professional Doctorate

in Counselling Psychology (DPsych)

A Personal and Professional Journey to

Identifying the Role of Counselling

Psychology for the Japanese

City University, London

Department of Psychology

Ryota Kishi
June 2015

Page 96


Namie appeared to talk very assuredly about professional psychological help-seeking

being something she will not require although she also said that she felt that it was

beneficial for those who might be facing a difficult challenge ahead of them or might

be very sensitive and struggle with stressful situations generally. However, this

comment was made with what appeared to be a nervous laugh. Together with her

strong reaction in agreement (“Yes! Yeah, yeah!”, Namie: 12, 5), following my

comment stating that her experience at the clinic may have felt quite alien, it can be

suggested that she herself struggled to relate herself to the circumstances in which

she was surrounded by mental health sufferers. Her need to make sure that she

appeared to be someone that should not require psychological help may have been a

result of her rather uncomfortable relationship with its notion.

Hitomi gave a similar statement to Namie’s upon being asked what made her want to

go to a psychological therapy session, as she had previously discussed her interest in

seeing a therapist.

So… Well, I’m not very kind of depressing… Getting easily depressed type of person, so I

never thought I’m gonna be seeing any counsellors like other people [laughs], yeah.

(Hitomi: 4, 26 – 30)

Despite her earlier explicit wish to see a therapist in the future, she seemed to believe

that a “non-depressive” person like herself did not require therapy, unlike some

others. However, her laugh upon making this statement perhaps implied that she

may not have been too certain about or comfortable with what she was verbalising

about herself or others. Nonetheless, it can be said that Hitomi would also like to

think that psychological therapy was something that might be perhaps more

significantly required by others compared to herself, in a similar manner to Namie.

For Reina, help and support within health care organisations and charities appeared to

be widely available in the United Kingdom and she felt this has resulted in a better

understanding of mental health amongst the general public over here. However,

when she was asked how that had impacted the way she felt about mental health and

psychological help-seeking, she quietly made the following statement.

I can’t really think if it’s helping or not…. Not sure [long pause]…

(Reina: 20, 11 – 13)

Page 97


Reina appeared to be able to observe, envision and appreciate the growing

relationship psychological help-seeking and other people might have had very well

even though it seemed far more challenging for her to describe the dynamic she had

experienced with the notion of seeking psychological help and her subsequent

perspectives on it.

Wakako’s comments on what she thought about counselling today perhaps signified

the difference in how her perception of the notion of seeking psychological help had

changed since when she used to reside in Japan and associated it with words such as


It is very helpful for people who are struggling, but [long pause] …

(Wakako: 7, 19 – 20)

She then stopped for a long while. In response to my question asking how she might

have come to this opinion, she made the following comments.

Because I took it for granted. I had my sister, mother, I had everything I needed in Japan. I

didn’t really think about it… I didn’t need it. But since I came here, lack of friends to talk

about my feelings to… I have a husband but it’s a totally different thing. When I got married

to him, I thought, “If I have a husband, I won’t need anything and I can get by.” But since I

came here, I became unhappy… I didn’t call Samaritan or did not go to someone to talk

about my feelings. It was not depression, I was not happy like I was in Japan. So, maybe

people who live in this country, who came from different countries, maybe they have

something they want to get from the sort of treatment when they arrive here. Because telling

someone or talking to someone about what you think or how you feel… You don’t even know

how big these things are…. I don’t know….

(Wakako: 7, 23 – 8, 19)

Wakako appears to have experienced personal struggles since she left her family and

friends in Japan and came to the United Kingdom to live with her new British

husband. Upon facing such difficulties and unhappiness without her family and

friends’ direct and immediate presence and support, it seems that she came to

recognising the presence of emotional support services such as Samaritans and now

acknowledges how other people may benefit from using them. Her struggle to

contextualise her own feelings in terms of if they are “worthy’” of professional

Page 191


Appendix 6: Master table of themes (cont.)

Themes Page / Line

Hitomi: … If I worry about study or school, maybe I go to a teacher or if I have some trouble with friends, I
talk to friends…


Page 192


Appendix 7: Debrief form

An interview study to explore how Japanese expatriates understand and
perceive the notion of seeking psychological help through living in Japan
and the United Kingdom

Many thanks for participating in the study. The purpose of this study is to gain an
in-depth understanding of perceptions, opinions and experience of counselling
amongst Japanese expatriates who reside in the United Kingdom. Your interview will
be transcribed and analysed to explore and identify any trends, common themes. It
is my hope to look into ways to help counselling become a more widely-utilised
treatment option within our society, using the obtained data.

If you are interested in learning more about this research study or have any
concerns, complaints or questions, please contact the researcher or research
supervisor using the contact details below:

Researcher: Ryota Kishi
Email Address: [email protected]
Telephone: 07968 351945

Research Supervisors:
Dr. Malcolm Cross
Email Address: [email protected]
Dr. Linda Finlay
Email Address: [email protected]

If you experienced any distress as a result of taking part in the research study and
would like to seek psychological support, you may wish to contact the following:

• Your GP

• Samaritans (English / Japanese): 020 7734 2800 / 020 7287 5493

• British Psychological Society for directory of chartered psychologists:

Once again, many thanks for sparing your time for the study!

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