Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center

English Speaking Counseling in Tokyo Japan

Tel: 03-3716-6624|Send E-mail|  Japanese version

Native English speaking bilingual American board-certified psychiatrist from New York, American cognitive-behavioral (CBT) therapist from Maine, and Japan-certified Tokyo psychologist staff provide caring and compassionate psychological counseling, psychotherapy, support & life coaching, marital/divorce and family counseling, and guidance on the use of psychiatric medications, at this psychology service and mental health care counseling service for the international community in the Shibuya-Ebisu area of Tokyo (Meguro-ku, Shibuya-ku, Setagaya-ku, Minato-ku areas; 12 minutes direct from Roppongi, 20 minutes direct from Ikebukuro and Saitama, and 25 minutes direct from Yokohama). Phone or Skype counseling is also available. Open weeknights until 11pm.


Center Overview

Welcome to the home page of the Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center.

The Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center is a counseling and psychology service in Tokyo that provides caring and compassionate professional English speaking psychotherapy by American therapists native to and professionally trained in the United States. The Center has provided counselling and psychological care in Tokyo for the international community, as well as counseling in Japanese for the local Japanese community, since 1992, and in New York City for many years before relocating to Tokyo. The therapists at the Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center provide individual counseling for children or adults, marriage and couples counseling, particularly Japanese-Western couples, family counseling, divorce counseling, life counseling, career counseling and coaching, and group psychotherapy services in English and Japanese. Corporate training and conflict resolution is also available, please inquire for details. Phone or Skype counseling is often provided for persons living in Kansai (Kobe, Osaka, and Kyoto) and other areas of Japan.

Some of the more common problems that the therapists at the Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center have experience treating include self-confidence problems, relationship/family problems, depression and manic depression, anxiety (GAD) and panic disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) phobias, social anxiety disorder (SAD), alcohol and substance abuse, ADD and ADHD treatment, traumatic experiences (PTSD)/child abuse, feelings of unreality, sleep disturbances, psychosomatic (mind/body) disorders, women's issues, gay, lesbian and transgender issues, sex addiction, and child and adolescent disturbances. The Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center therapists have considerable experience in the treatment of anxiety and depression in Tokyo. See an article on Depession in the Tokyo Families Magazine.

Clients who entrust the Meguro Counseling Center with their counseling needs are treated kindly and professionally, and the work at hand in the care of these persons and their issues is taken extremely seriously.

Approach


Approach and Activities

Counseling & Psychotherapy. The first step in determining the appropriate approach is to perform a thorough evaluation. The result of this evaluation and a provisional plan is presented to the client at the end of the first session, although the plan may need to be modified over the first few sessions. The Meguro Counseling Center feels that it is imperative that clients become fully educated about how the therapy will work and are active players in this endeavor. The home page here aims to be part of the educational process. One of our educational videos, Major Problems & Treatment Methods, desribes the treatment approaches most commonly used in counseling, and serves as a primer to understand the way your therapist will think about and approach your issues.

Insight-oriented psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT (cognitive behavioral psychotherapy), supportive psychology counseling, and other forms of psychotherapy and mental health care are practiced at The Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center. Each individual's needs are into account in the process of determining the best combination of treatments to undertake. Please see the Counseling Approach page for further details.

Marriage Counseling & Divorce. The Meguro Counseling Center sees many couples in crisis and has considerable experience with marriage and couples counseling. The pattern of trouble between the partners needs to be elicited and presented clearly to the couple so that they can work on resolving what is usually a negative cycle. Marital conflict sometimes leads to the painful conclusion of divorce. The Meguro Counseling Center works closely with a Japan and U.S. barred divorce Lawyer in Tokyo, and can provide advice and counseling on child custody, child abduction, and divorce counseling for international couples. See an article on International Divorce in the Tokyo Families Magazine.

Child and Adolescent Counseling. The Meguro Counseling Center sees many children and adolescents who have developmental, academic, behavioral, and peer-relationship issues. See our related site the Tokyo Child and Adolescent Counseling Service. Articles written by the Center on Student's Self Esteem, ADD/ADHD, and Friendships and Parental Resentment, can be see in the Tokyo Families Magazine.

Psychological/Psychiatric Testing. The Meguro Counseling Center can provide psychiatric testing and evaluation of intellectual functioning, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, depression, etc. and give an official letter from an American Board-Certified psychiatrist related to the result of this evaluation. These evaluations are based on a medical model and provide diagnostic information similar to visiting a medical doctor. Reports based on testing are usually acceptable to schools, workplaces, insurance companies, legal proceedings, etc., and are done at a small fraction of the cost of psychological testing. See an article on Psychological/Psychiatric testing in the Tokyo Families Magazine.

Charts & Graphs. The Meguro Counseling Center often uses charts and graphs in order to conceptualize clinical issues in visual form. These are some examples of the many files used with clients at the Center (the graphs require individual discussion in order to make sense in context of each unique situation):

  • Core Issues & Defenses; a flow chart of the core psychological issues people have and the adaptive and maladaptive defenses people use. This chart is used to help people understand the fundamental working of, and the weakness and strengths, in their personality makeup.
  • Mood Effects on Psychology; a diagram of how abnormal mood can lead to negative self conclusions which then promote feelings and behaviors that are not optimal.
  • Self Esteem Needs in Relationships; an illustration of how the mechanics of intimate relationships can lead to crashes in self esteem. This graph is useful to help persons who are suffering a break-up in an important relationship.
  • Obedience & Defiance Cycle; how a cycle between obedience and defiance can lead to resentment, guilt and fear, secondary depression, anxiety, conflict, and decreased self-assertion. This graph is also used in this case illustration video.

Psychopharmacology-Integrated Psychotherapy. The Meguro Counseling Center usually favors an approach that is integrated with psychotherapy when it is necessary to use medication. The therapists at the Meguro Counseling Center have considerable experience in treating psychiatric conditions with psychotherapy integrated with medication, and your therapist can provide you with information and make specific recommendations to you for psychiatric medication that can be received via referral to a local physician affiliated with the Center. This is an educational video made by the Meguro Counseling Center on Psychopharmacology-Integrated Marriage Counseling for ADHD that shows an example of how this kind of treatment can work.

The Center is intimately familiar with the effects and possible side-effects of these medications and has a strict set of policies and procedures to insure a minimal chance of harm from using psychotropic agents. Please refer to the psychiatric medication page for more details.

Psychiatric medication may be used in cases of severe depression or other significant psychiatric illness. For mild or moderate depression, psychotherapy and other non-medical interventions may be of benefit. These interventions may include using certain supplements, special exercises, and biorhythm therapies. The Meguro Counseling Center staff is familiar with these interventions and uses them in appropriate cases.

Further information on the indications for psychiatric medication and the integration and interface of using medications along with psychotherapy:

  • Psychopharmacology-Integrated Psychotherapy. This page describes some of the uses of medication, how the Meguro Counseling Center can arrange prescriptions for you, and details on the cautions one needs to keep in mind when taking psychiatric medications. It is important to read this page thoroughly if you receive psychopharmacology integrated with psychotherapy.
  • Depression & Anxiety Specialists. This page has further information on the types of anxiety and depression seen at the Meguro Counseling Center, the psychological and biological basis of the different types of these conditions, and when psychotherapy and/or medication might be helpful.
  • Illness vs. Personality Symptoms. This chart illustrates examples of primary and secondary symptoms seen in psychiatric illness vs. those seen in personality problems. It is helpful to see the difference between these two types of symptoms and disorders in order to understand when therapy and/or medication may be used to treat them.

Research Activities. The therapists at the Meguro Counseling Center in Tokyo have published a number of research papers on topics including expatriate adaptation to living in Japan, eating disorders, dissociative disorders and child abuse, parental bonding, personality disorders, schizophrenia, cross-cultural issues related to Japan, suicide in medical patients, psychiatric drug development in Japan, virtual reality for panic disorder and phobias, virtual reality treatment and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), antidepressant clinical trial methodology and development in Japan, and others. They have also given a number of presentations on these and other topics at various international conferences.

This page lists the Center Director Dr. Douglas Berger's research activity, and this page lists the Associate Director Dr. Eames' research projects. Dr. Berger also sponsors The Douglas M. Berger Psychopharmacology Research Fellowship in Japan, and the Meguro Counseling Center contributes a portion of counseling proceeds to research work at the Rockefeller University Department of Neuroscience.

Community Education. The Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center has been providing community education on a volunteer basis on a number of psychosocial topics relevant to living in Japan, and children and families in particular, through the Tokyo Families Magazine that can be read on the articles archive page. Community articles in other publications can be read here. Topics published include child and adolescent issues, relationship issues, personality issues, culture & emotional issues, isolation in Japan, depression, efficacy of psychotherapy, ADD/ADHD, etc. Click this link to read these articles.

Educational Videos.The Meguro Counseling Center has community education videos posted on-line that can be viewed on the left column on this page or through these links:

Community Speaking. The Center also conducts educational speaking engagements at various support groups, schools, and community organizations on counseling and psychiatric issues (i.e., how psychotherapy works, post-partum depression, child and adolescent issues, etc.), and addresses a number of mental health topics of relevance to the international community in Japan through the media of the Center's home page and related websites (refer to the links on the left margin and page bottom). Please contact the Center if you wish to have the Meguro Counseling Center speak at one of your group or organizational functions.

Professional Education. The Center highly values the professional standards set by the American Psychiatric Association and the therapists maintain Continuing Medical Education (or other Center-approved continuing education for non-psychiatric staff) in order to provide the highest-quality of care possible. Journal articles are circulated monthly, and the Center conducts in-house educational meetings and seminars for the therapy staff who attend and present research reports at numerous local and international mental-health conferences and symposia. Educational topics focus on the pressing needs of persons seen at the Center (i.e., treatment resistant depression, suicidality, relationship and job crises, etc.). Please refer to the Meguro Counseling Center Code of Ethics page for further details on our professional standards.


Therapists and Locations

Therapist Staff. The counseling staff includes Doug Berger, M.D., Ph.D, a fully bilingual American Board-Certified Psychiatrist and graduate of New York Medical College who also has a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo Department of Psychosomatic Medicine; Douglas Eames, Ph.D., an American trained in Cognitive-Behavioral therapy; and Ms. Akiko Owada, a Japan-Certified Psychologist in Tokyo. Dr. Berger and Dr. Eames have many years of psychotherapy experience in Japan and have published a number of mental-health research studies in professional journals, and Ms. Owada has written both undergraduate and graduate dissertations in psychology. See the Therapist Profiles page for more details.

Locations & Access. There are three therapy offices conveniently located in the Shibuya-Ebisu area of central Tokyo, in addition, phone or Skype sessions may be conducted if it is inconvenient to travel directly to our offices. Dr. Berger is near Yutenji Station in Meguro-ku (8-minutes direct from Ebisu or Shibuya, 12-minutes direct from Roppongi, and 25-minutes direct from Yokohama on the Toyoko and Hibiya lines, and 20-minutes direct from Ikebukuro and Saitama on the Fukutoshin line), Dr. Eames is near Komazawa Daigaku Station in Setagaya-ku (7-minutes from Shibuya), and Ms. Owada is near Nakameguro Station (3-minutes from Ebisu or Shibuya), also in Meguro-ku. Sessions are carried out in English with native English speaking clients, and in Japanese with native Japanese speaking clients.

Costs & Insurance. The Meguro Counseling Center strives to maintain therapy costs as low as possible. Overhead costs are kept to a minimum, and clients are seen as infrequently as optimal care will allow (usually once or twice a month). There is no business office to maintain, and there are no administrative, secretarial, or reception staff that could know that you attended a counseling session.

Although the Japanese national health insurance does not cover counseling services, fees can often be partially or fully reimbursed to you if you have an international insurance plan (such as Cigna International, InterGlobal, ProtExPlan, U.S. military, etc.). Please inquire with us about the current fee structure.

Please see the Practice Details page and the Location and Therapy Hours page for more details.

We would be pleased to lend you a helping hand. Please feel free to contact the Center for further information on this counseling service in Tokyo Japan (open weeknights until 11pm).



HomeJapanese (日本語)Emergency InformationCounseling ApproachPsychodynamic PsychotherapyCognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy (CBT)Group PsychotherapyMarriage, Family, & Divorce CounselingChild & Adolescent TherapyADD/ADHD TreatmentEnglish Speaking PsychotherapyCore Issue-Defense ParadigmDepression Symptom ChecklistDepression & AnxietyAlcohol Treatment in JapanPsychiatric MedicationClinical Case ExamplesTokyo Families ArticlesMental Health Search/LinksJapan LinksMental-Health BooksSkype TherapyCorporate ServicesTherapist ProfilesPsychologist in TokyoEnglish Speaking Doctor in TokyoPractice InformationCode of EthicsLocation & Therapy HoursContact

The MCC logo is similar to Euclid's proof of constructing an equilateral triangle with 2 circles drawn from opposite sides of one straight line as the radius. It is the MCC credo to strive to make each side of a person equally robust. Logo design by Burt Berger, AIA Emeritus, October 2008.

Counseling Links

Contact Us

The Meguro Counseling Center consists of Western-trained therapists able to provide face-to-face mental-health care for the international community in Tokyo. With extensive experience in Japan, these therapists have a deep understanding of the stresses of living in Japan.


Meguro Counseling Center Community Education:

Tokyo Families

The Meguro Counseling Center provides community education on mental health topics through the Tokyo Families Magazine. Click the link or image to see the articles archive.


Tokyo Pregnancy Group

The Meguro Counseling Center has presented on the topic of post-partum depression to the Tokyo Pregnancy Group. Click the image to see information on Post-Partum Depression.

Community articles in other publications can be read here.


Meguro Counseling Center Educational Videos:

First Visit Evaluation

Common Issues and Their Treatments

Interview, Evaluation, and Treatment Example: Obedience-Defiance Cycle

Psychopharmacology-Integrated Marriage Counseling for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Meguro Counseling Center Research Activity:

Research Projects

This is a link to Dr. Berger's Research Projects.

This is a link to Dr. Eames's Research Projects.


RockefellerUniversity The Meguro Counseling Center contributes counseling proceeds to research work at the Rockefeller University Department of Neuroscience.


Meguro Counseling Center on Twitter (in Japanese)

Meguro Counseling Center on Twitter (in English & Japanese).


Meguro Counseling Center on FB

Meguro Counseling Center on Facebook.