Military & SOFA Mental Health Service

Meguro Counseling Center, in Tokyo or by Skype

Tel: 03-3716-6624  Japanese version

The Meguro Counseling Center run by a U.S. psychiatrist provides psychological counseling and/or medication guidance in English for U.S. Military and SOFA-status civilians by phone or Skype, or by direct visit to our office in Tokyo. We are experienced in PTSD, TBI (traumatic brain injury), anxiety/Depression, ADD/ADHD, alcohol and substance abuse, and marriage counseling. We can have medication prescriptions posted to your home through our affiliated clinic.

English Speaking Counseling Service for Military/SOFA in Japan

Many persons in need of mental health care in the U.S. military prefer to receive private and confidential care off-base. The American therapists at the Meguro Counseling Center are available for either face-to-face counseling or phone/Skype psychotherapy, and psychological counseling, for U.S. military forces and SOFA-status civilians by Skype or direct-visit to our offices in Tokyo. We are also fluent in Japanese. We are experienced in individual mental health counseling, marriage and couples counseling; particularly Japanese-Western couples, child and adolescent counseling, family therapy, and group psychotherapy. Many American military and other civilian SOFA-status persons are stationed in Japan, and the therapists at the Meguro Counseling Center are very familiar with the psychological needs of Americans working on military bases in Japan.

We can give you receipts to be reimbursed by Tricare or other U.S. based insurance carriers. If you are a civilian and have "Tricare Select", or other insurance carrier, you will not need a referral from your PCP. If you have "Tricare Prime" (all active military have Prime), then you just need to call your PCP to get a referral to us for mental health care. We can also provide you a letter from a U.S. board-certified psychiatrist related to PTSD and other service-connected disability benefits, and all our services can be achieved remotely by Skype. If you need medications, our affiliated Japanese-licensed clinic can post you prescriptions you can receive from a Japanese drug store in your community.

Graphics & Tables We frequently often use visual aids to describe clinical issues:

  • Core Issues & Defenses; a flow chart of the core psychological issues people have and the adaptive and maladaptive defenses people use. This is a related paper on how defenses can be used in psychotherapy to help one understand and work-through maladaptive behavioral styles.

  • 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 in tandem to medication, and your therapist can provide you with information and make specific recommendations to you for psychiatric medication that can be received through our fully-integrated affiliated medical services, either directly or mailed to the convenience of your home. The Japanese National Health Insurance can be used for the medication part of our service. 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. While the Meguro Counseling Center is a community Tokyo counseling center and not a medical facility, the Meguro Counseling Center staff are very familiar with pharmacologic interventions and can recommend a regimen of care to our affiliated medical cinics for 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.
  • Psychopharmacology-Integrated CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy). This page is an example of integrating a medication-illness paradigm with a psychology-psychotherapy paradigm in order to boost treatment effects from both angles.
  • 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, 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. 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.

Many retired military personnel also have Japanese spouses and continue to live and work as civilians after retirement from the military. There are also many persons associated with DoD-related jobs on the base (teachers, technical staff, etc.), and persons connected to the base often seek counseling related to issues in their work and social lives that is common across persons at these bases in Japan.

Please feel free to contact the Center if you or a loved one is in need of help.

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Tokyo Meguro Counseling Center logo design by Burt Berger, AIA Emeritus, October 2008.


Counseling Links

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The Tokyo 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 The Center’s Research Projects.