Couples Counseling

Tokyo Mental Health is here to support you and provide you with the help you need.

Couples Counseling

Do you feel like your relationship or marriage has hit a breaking point?

Has romance been replaced by arguments?

Every couple has problems, misunderstandings and hard times; this is the reality of human relations. Often, these problems can be greater, and even endanger a relationship, when a couple is from different cultures or living abroad far from home and familiarity.

Handling a relationship requires commitment and effort on both part of partners, which are encompassed by couples counseling. Issues that drive the couple apart can be jointly coped with, if couples put equal effort into counseling. Endless arguments, disinterest, anger and resentment can all be effectively dealt with by sitting together with a certified Couples and Marriage Counselor.

Couples Counseling is based on providing support to improve communication between two parties, while teaching strategies to change ineffective repetitive patterns of thoughts and behaviors. It is a space where a couple can talk, not fight, with each other, with the assurance that both will be heard and reach a solution together.

The therapist helps the couple to tackle immediate problems and prevent further damage to the relationship, while simultaneously working to strengthen the partners’ bond for the future. Although the therapist will be a mediator, it is usually difficult to reach a satisfactory resolution without the support of both parties.

Couples and Marriage Counseling Techniques

There is a wide variety of  couples counseling techniques. Some of the most common are:

  • Narrative Therapy: Helps with the externalization of problems and communication issues through the techniques developed by Michael White. In this approach, “people are not the problem, the problem is the problem”.
  • Internal Family System: This approach works under the assumption that the person cannot be understood outside the Family unit. Because of this, during therapy, the couple will get to know each other better and find the origin of their problems by understanding each other’s ‘parts’.
  • Positive Psychology: This is based in the importance of the here and now, and how to appreciate the good and happy experiences in the present, instead of just looking at past experiences.
  • Gottman Method: This combines individual and couples sessions. It is focused on strengthening the relationship in three areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning.
  • Imago Therapy: Helping couples uncover and keep the love they began with.

Cultural Differences In Cross-Cultural Couples​

In a relationships where both members come from the same country, communication problems are common. The meanings of words and their use are not always the same for everyone, even within the same community. Likewise, the new couple must get used to differences in ideas, customs, and lifestyles when they begin to live together. This process is difficult for couples from the same culture, but it is a very different challenge for couples who come from different cultures and countries.

At Tokyo Mental Health, we provide special attention to cross-cultural couples, where a trained therapist will support the couple in the development of better communication strategies, respect, and tolerance techniques. In a cross-cultural relationship, it is especially important to take into account what the couple has in common, while respecting the differences.

Tokyo Mental Health Couples Counselors

Yoriko is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). Yoriko worked as a Lead Clinical Supervisor at the Community Mental Health Center in the USA seeing clients and training licensed and unlicensed clinicians before she relocated to Japan. Yoriko has experience working with individuals of all ages, from young children to older adults, with depression, trauma, ADD/ADHD, PTSD, adjustment disorders, general anxiety, social anxiety, behavioral problems, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and many other conditions. Her treatment approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, object relations, seeking safety, interpersonal therapy, play/art therapy, and solution focused therapy.

Counselor Counseling and Psychotherapy at Shintomi Office

JouAn Chen, also known as Anne, holds a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology in Taiwan. She completed her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family therapy and also received Certificate of Advanced Study in Child Therapy from Syracuse University. Anne provides services, in English and Mandarin, to individuals, couples, and families. Her theoretical orientation includes training in systemic theory, narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy, emotionally focused therapy, and CBT.

CounselorCounseling and Psychotherapy at Shintomi Office

Ryota Sakurai is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT), and Licensed Industrial Counselor working toward getting an MFT license. He has worked with clients with depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, behavioral problems, PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and substance abuse. He uses cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, object relations, and seeking safety. He also has experience working with couples and families.

Counselor Counseling and Psychotherapy at Shintomi Office

Kyoko completed her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling in Kentucky, U.S. She has worked in both individual and group settings, mainly with college-age students and young adults. She has experience working with individuals with various issues such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adjustment disorder, deliberate self harm, identity issues, and cross-cultural issues. Kyoko`s theoretical orientation is mainly a combination of family-system, cognitive behavioural, and psychodynamic theory.