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Psychology jobs in Nihon

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Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby BrianM » Fri 01.04.2008 12:47 am

i was wondering who knows the climate of psychology in japan, particularly clinical psychology. My dream is to work in a hospital as a clinical psychologist in japan but i haven't been able to find too much info on it. Can anyone offer any insight, sites, anything?
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby keatonatron » Fri 01.04.2008 3:32 am

I don't mean to sound harsh, but...

How can you treat patients with mental problems if you can't understand the small nuances in the ways they explain how they are feeling and/or without being able to relate to growing up in Japanese society?

Can you really be effective if you can't give advice, from personal experience, on the pressures of the social structure that are imposed since childhood?
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby BrianM » Fri 01.04.2008 9:41 pm

keatonatron wrote:
I don't mean to sound harsh, but...

How can you treat patients with mental problems if you can't understand the small nuances in the ways they explain how they are feeling and/or without being able to relate to growing up in Japanese society?

Can you really be effective if you can't give advice, from personal experience, on the pressures of the social structure that are imposed since childhood?


There are culture classes that teach things like this. And of course I'm not going there blindly just looking for a job. I will visit Japan this year and of course I will inform myself and hopefully with other Japanese psychologists about problems in the country.
Thats why i want to find out what the climate of psychology is there.
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby gfunk » Fri 01.04.2008 10:07 pm

As any first world nation with individualistic ideals, clinical psychology is something common in Japan. Now finding jobs as a foreigner doing that... I'm not saying it's impossible, but you're in for a tough one man.

Out of curiosity, I suppose you're not in college right now, right? For a psychology major there aren't any undergraduate "japanese way of thinking" kind of courses. Like keatonatron said, that's just too subtle to "learn"... You'd only find that sort of classes in medical school if you're going towards psychiatry. And even that's near impossible to find.

But yeah going to japan and investigating the atmosphere is the right move if you still wanna go ahead with it.
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby BrianM » Fri 01.04.2008 11:14 pm

Yea I'm in college and I'm looking into anything and everything, health care, the politics, everything. Hell, I'm writing a paper on the history of Clinical Psych in Japan right now. I was looking at 中京大学 because it was the first professional school all about psych. I know its a long way till I actually start my practice but I would love to work there. I think I would need some advising from Japanese psychologists though which would be ideal.
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby inuinu » Fri 01.04.2008 11:30 pm

http://syuaniki.blog33.fc2.com/blog-entry-326.html
ここでも述べられていますが、人手が足りない職種なのでチャンスはあると思いますよ。
強い意欲があれば可狽セと思います。

http://campus.nikkei.co.jp/c1/6822012.html
詳しくは読んでいないので、確かなことは言えませんが
このページには「一般学生はもとより、社会人・外国人留学生も積極的に受け入れています」とあります。他の大学でも留学生を受けいれる臨床心理学科はいくつかあると思います。

「臨床心理士」や「臨床心理学科」をメインにして、「留学」「英語」「外国人」などと組み合わせて検索してみてください。
参考になるサイトが見つかると思います。
http://www.jsccp.jp/whatscp/index.html#4
または下記のような、日本人向けの心理学英語学習教材も参考になるでしょうか。
http://homepage1.nifty.com/inshi/psycho/index.html?gclid=CISDg9uO3pACFQ4gewodgmF6PA
どちらにしても、あなたのやる気次第で、入り口の扉は見つかると思いますよ。
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby BrianM » Sat 01.05.2008 12:24 am

doesnt help me, all in japanese:( Im not that advanced
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 01.05.2008 12:51 am

Precisely why I didn't take this query seriously in the first place.
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby BrianM » Sat 01.05.2008 1:48 am

Mike Cash wrote:
Precisely why I didn't take this query seriously in the first place.


Do you think that I will just move to japan this year and expect to open up a practice without learning full japanese and psychology? You know for moderators or someone whose advanced, most you guys are pretty mean towards anyone who just wants a simple answer or who asks a question that may be stupid to you.
Last edited by BrianM on Sat 01.05.2008 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 01.05.2008 2:03 am

I'm a pragmatist who has spent a long time watching a never-ending parade of people such as yourself go wandering by.

So if you want a frank answer to your question....

No, I don't think that at all. I think that you will not go on to learn Japanese, certainly not to the level that you are going to be able to practice psychology in Japan. I further think that you will likely never live and work here under any circumstances whatsoever, unless it is an an Eikaiwa dancing bear for a year or two.

I'm from the pre-Oprah generation; I don't feel obliged to couch my opinions in touch-feely language that tells people what they want to hear rather than what they need to know.

The notion that while outside Japan you're likely to learn the language, the culture, and the minds of the people of this country to a degree to effectively and responsibly provide them with psychological care is beyond ludicrous. Doing it inside of a couple of decades in Japan would be somewhere just short of Herculean.

Have you looked into the issues of visa eligibility, professional licensing, employability, demand, etc?
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby BrianM » Sat 01.05.2008 2:12 am

Mike Cash wrote:
I'm a pragmatist who has spent a long time watching a never-ending parade of people such as yourself go wandering by.

So if you want a frank answer to your question....

No, I don't think that at all. I think that you will not go on to learn Japanese, certainly not to the level that you are going to be able to practice psychology in Japan. I further think that you will likely never live and work here under any circumstances whatsoever, unless it is an an Eikaiwa dancing bear for a year or two.

I'm from the pre-Oprah generation; I don't feel obliged to couch my opinions in touch-feely language that tells people what they want to hear rather than what they need to know.

The notion that while outside Japan you're likely to learn the language, the culture, and the minds of the people of this country to a degree to effectively and responsibly provide them with psychological care is beyond ludicrous. Doing it inside of a couple of decades in Japan would be somewhere just short of Herculean.

Have you looked into the issues of visa eligibility, professional licensing, employability, demand, etc?



That is why I posted here. I have searched high and low, even through japanese schools dealing only with psychology and still found nothing. I know what it takes to work in America with what degree, but I still cant find anything for japan. I emailed the only person who might have any insight, my Japanese teacher. I know she might not know but she is from that country
And what makes you say that I will not finish learning Japanese? Do you think it is a phase or have u seen a growing pattern with people who have "grandiose" ideas not go through with them?
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby Shirasagi » Sat 01.05.2008 2:50 am

I gotta agree with Mike here. There are certainly opportunities for living in Japan when it comes to research psychology, but clinical psychology runs into a whole lotta problems. 1) Clinical psychology is not widespread in Japan -- couples don't go to therapy, and AFAIK not many (if any) Japanese psychologists and psychiatrists can support themselves on a private practice. 2) The language issue is HUGE. Even people who make Japanese their primary focus of study, and live and work here for years have moments of miscommunication. Now consider that you yourself will have your attention taken by your (very important) clinical psych studies. 3) The cultural issue. Very few Japanese will expect to be truly understood by a non-Japanese psychologist, even if you theoretically could understand the language and culture like a native. 4) The academic-professional system. Hospitals don't hold open searches for their staff. Without the necessary connections to grease your way into a position, it will be very hard to find a job in a hospital, even if you have the language and culture down cold and somehow also manage to pass the licensing process.

So, as far as a clinical psych job in Japan, you're shooting for the moon. My advice is, if you are absolutely set on clinical psych in Japan, you have to get out of the States. You have to get level 1 on the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam, and you have to go to Grad School in Japan. Only there will you get the necessary skill in the culture and language, and the connections to enter the Japanese clinical psych world. This is by no means an easy proposition, and will require a lot of money and all of your free time.

By far the best path is to go into research in (Cross-)Cultural Psychology. It's still a young field, with lots of work to be done. Learning the language will still be important, but certainly not to the stratospheric levels clinical psych would require. Getting a position in a Japanese university would not be at all impossible if you distinguish yourself as a researcher, particularly as you develop connections in Japan during your graduate and post-graduate work, and through cultural psych research you could still contribute to the Japanese clinical psych field.
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby BrianM » Sat 01.05.2008 2:54 am

Shirasagi wrote:
I gotta agree with Mike here. There are certainly opportunities for living in Japan when it comes to research psychology, but clinical psychology runs into a whole lotta problems. 1) Clinical psychology is not widespread in Japan -- couples don't go to therapy, and AFAIK not many (if any) Japanese psychologists and psychiatrists can support themselves on a private practice. 2) The language issue is HUGE. Even people who make Japanese their primary focus of study, and live and work here for years have moments of miscommunication. Now consider that you yourself will have your attention taken by your (very important) clinical psych studies. 3) The cultural issue. Very few Japanese will expect to be truly understood by a non-Japanese psychologist, even if you theoretically could understand the language and culture like a native. 4) The academic-professional system. Hospitals don't hold open searches for their staff. Without the necessary connections to grease your way into a position, it will be very hard to find a job in a hospital, even if you have the language and culture down cold and somehow also manage to pass the licensing process.

So, as far as a clinical psych job in Japan, you're shooting for the moon. My advice is, if you are absolutely set on clinical psych in Japan, you have to get out of the States. You have to get level 1 on the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam, and you have to go to Grad School in Japan. Only there will you get the necessary skill in the culture and language, and the connections to enter the Japanese clinical psych world. This is by no means an easy proposition, and will require a lot of money and all of your free time.

By far the best path is to go into research in (Cross-)Cultural Psychology. It's still a young field, with lots of work to be done. Learning the language will still be important, but certainly not to the stratospheric levels clinical psych would require. Getting a position in a Japanese university would not be at all impossible if you distinguish yourself as a researcher, particularly as you develop connections in Japan during your graduate and post-graduate work, and through cultural psych research you could still contribute to the Japanese clinical psych field.


Thank you, thats what I wante to know. I'll see what works I mean im still a junior in college and will only finish my masters in about 6 or more years so i have plenty of time to think of what will happen
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 01.05.2008 3:06 am

That you didn't have enough Japanese ability to make a search for it yourself and very easily find information in under a minute was sufficient indication that your language abilities lag so far behind that bringing them up to speed in time to make this a realistic professional goal isn't likely. It's why I initially passed up responding to the thread.

All it takes is a J-Google on 臨床心理士 資格 ("clinical psychologist" and "qualifications") and there's more stuff than you can shake a stick at. That you were unable to find anything in English should be another clue as to the impracticality of this, in addition to the very valid points that Keats raised.

Here's a relevant sentence from the Wikipedia entry on clinical psychologists:

2006年には、指定校以外の大学院で心理学を専攻した人物の受け入れが終了し、2007年度以降は、資格認定協会の指定校修了者のみに受験資格が与えられる。

Unless you plan to graduate from one of the graduate schools listed in section 4 you will not even be able to sit the exams for acceptance by the professional board in Japan.

Fortunately for you, there is no national exam and if you otherwise meet visa requirements and can convince people to come to you, then I suppose you can practice here. But the likelihood of being hired by a hospital absent credentials from the Japanese accrediting body is a gamble....and I would take the under on that.

There may be options for working serving a mostly foreign client base. But if you're planning on working at a Japanese hospital doing one-on-one counseling for Japanese clients in Japanese....you're not being realistic.

And to answer your last question....learning Japanese is indeed a "phase" or a "fad" with most people I encounter in places like this. The vast majority just fade away after a while. And over the years I've observed inquiries from countless youth who despite never having been to Japan in their lives were sure it was where they were destined from birth to live forever-n-ever-ever-n-ever and they were burning with a white-hot oh-my-gosh-I'll-do-anything-I'll-die-if-I-don't-get-to-Japan fever. And I usually offer to take the day off work to pick them up at the airport when they get here.

I have yet to miss a day of work on account of them.

The more afire they are, the less likely they'll ever show up even as a tourist.

What on God's green earth gives you the idea you want to settle down and have a career in this country anyway? Have you lived here before? How do you know you could even tolerate it? Do you realize that among Western foreigners staying here beyond even such a short time as three years places you among a very tiny minority? Only a tiny sliver of those who come here manage to stay past that.

I know a few scattered foreigners who have stayed longer, 20+ years and no intention of going anywhere. And of them I don't know a single one who had it as their intent to do so prior to coming here. Let me recap that for you: People who come here intending to stay forever either never show up or they usually bail out in less than three years (or when they reach/approach 30 or their kids approach school age.....whichever comes first). People who stay here forever never really meant to; it just sort of worked out that way.
Last edited by Mike Cash on Sat 01.05.2008 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Psychology jobs in Nihon

Postby keatonatron » Sat 01.05.2008 8:35 am

One good indication of the types of people that you see a lot on these boards are the ones that say "I learned Hiragana two years ago, and then relearned it last year and got pretty good, but I'm still having problems."

These same people, who take 3 years or so to master Hiragana while I had it down 2 weeks after joining a site like this, are the same people who start threads about wanting to be manga artists, pop idols and ninjas in Japan. Forgive us for being skeptical whenever another "familiar face" from these forums tells us their requests to infiltrate Japanese society in a nearly impossible way while having not yet made noticeable headway with learning the language.

And I think the sad, horrible, yet very-true truth is that no Japanese person would trust you to be their doctor. It's horrible to say it, but it's absolutely true. Of course if they were forced to sit down with you for 2 hours a week for 3 months or so, I'm sure they would agree that you're a wonderful psychologist and there would be no problems, but there's no way it would get that far because every one one of your patients would stand up with a "Hell no!" the second you walked in the room and said "Hi, I'm your doctor."

We aren't crushing dreams here, we're just creating small disappointments to save people much bigger disappointments further down the road.

Edit: I figure I might as well explain WHY Japanese people would act as stated above. Japanese people as a whole have very bad self-images and are embarassed when compared with the west. It's the reason for the quick industrialization during the 19th century, it's the reason pornography is censored; heck, it's even the reason they entered the Russo-Japan war.

If a Japanese person were to think about talking to an American psychologist, they would think "Americans don't have nearly as many mental problems as Japanese people do... this guy is going to think I'm a total nut case! He might even overact and try to take drastic measures, even though I'm just this way because I'm Japanese."

Try to factor that into your studies... :|
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