Tokyo Mental Health is delighted to welcome Hikari Sakai, M.A., a new addition to our growing international team of therapists.

Hikari Sakai is an UK-trained psychotherapist and counsellor who has been practising as a qualified therapist for about 10 years. She is originally from Japan but moved to the UK to study Psychology and Counselling at age 18. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Counselling, she went on to complete her Masters in Psychotherapy and Counselling and then obtained her Advanced Diploma in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling in Regent’s College in London. 

Work Experience

Throughout her training and employment, Hikari has worked within the mental health system of the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom. While this was mainly in primary care, it gave her a wealth of experience in terms of diversity of clients and range of issues. During her time there she offered therapy for depression, anxiety, personality disorder, trauma, and for those who suffered from multiple social deprivation and major life challenges, including bereavement, offering management and support for work-related stress, relationship issues and physical illness.

Hikari’s last job was a senior counsellor and bereavement coordinator at the Royal Trinity Hospice in London where she developed a speciality working with people struggling with complex bereavement and grief, as well as patients confronting terminal illness and long-term conditions (including working with the carers of these physical conditions). She also supervised the work of other therapists in this area. 

Therapeutic Approach

Hikari at a Japanese temple

Hikari employs a humanistic approach and in particular, existential therapy with some influence  from other modalities, such as person-centred therapy and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). She has also completed the first level in Eye Movement and Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR).  

Hikari facilitates a therapeutic space for each client to gently and safely explore what makes them feel troubled or trapped and how they can find their own responses and answers to these personal issues, through examining different perspectives, their limitations and possibilities. 

Therapy is a personal journey for each client to find what makes their world more meaningful and to become more truthful to themselves and others so that they can make deeper connections  with themselves, others and the world.