Tokyo Mental Health volunteers and interns come from many walks of life and varying disciplines. They’ve had opportunities to create material for the TMH Blog, perform research on topics of interest, observe therapy sessions run by experienced providers, and participate in training events alongside staff, among other tasks. We welcome volunteers and interns at many educational levels, who bring with them a variety of interests and the common goal of learning more about psychotherapy and related fields!
During my 1.5 months summer volunteering at Tokyo Mental Health, I mainly worked with Nicole Gordon and Mike Nevans to create social media content, such as filming and editing videos to post on social media. I also wrote a blog post about the LGBT community in Japan and made an LGBT resource list. I was fortunate to be able to sit in a group supervision session and attended a staff training session on psychiatry. The experience was precious to me because as a high school student, it is hard to do any internships at all and especially on something you’re interested in. I didn’t have a chance to study psychology in high school. Therefore, this program gave me insights into how therapists or psychologists use their knowledge to help patients improve their mental health, which is why I wish to study psychology at university. I want to thank everyone in TMH, who were very welcoming and friendly, and I truly enjoyed my time here. Through this experience, I was able to develop further interest in psychology, and I wish to pursue it further in my higher education. For anyone interested in psychology or curious about mental health counselling, I would recommend this volunteer program. If you have any questions or are curious about my experience, feel free to email me at [email protected]
I’m a student at the University of Luxembourg majoring in psychological science with an interest in data analysis, health psychology and burnout prevention. In March 2019 I approached Tokyo Mental Health as I was looking for an internship opportunity in Tokyo which would not require Japanese language skills. Finding internships in Japan was already difficult enough as most institutions are not even familiar with the concept of internship as it is not part of the traditional education in Japanese universities. My internship involved research on existing datasets which are continuously expanding and provide many variables to research on information from the Psynary mental health assessment system. A clinical internship is not possible with Tokyo Mental Health, however this is also the case for most other institutions in Japan (especially without perfect command of Japanese) as most patients would not agree on having an intern participate in the sessions anyway.
My internship was mainly home-office which gave me the freedom to choose my own time schedule, and I also had the possibility to choose my own topics to research on. However, I would always get feedback on my research if needed. Dr Kissane and Dr Tranter both are extremely knowledgeable in psychiatry, data analysis, publishing procedures, etc. and always knew how to help me out. Discussions with them and my research on medication prescription helped me to get a different point of view on medications than the one taught by psychological professors at the universities I studied at so far. I also loved the appreciation and trust the team at Tokyo Mental Health gave me during my internship. My opinion was always valued and I received a lot of feedback to help me improve my skill set. The people I worked with are also just very fun to be with and their motivated working style is very contagious! The freedom this internship provided me also gave me enough opportunities to experience Japan as a tourist which is an amazing perk to have compared to regular internships where I would work normal working hours. I definitely recommend interning with them if you are motivated enough to produce a lot of research output with great supervision, but a lot of flexibility regarding your time-management.
If you have any questions or are curious about my experience, you are welcome to email me at [email protected]
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