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Project 4.

Study on current psychotherapy - Building a responsive relationship between clinical practice and research

We’ve integrated various practices in the fields covered by the other 3 projects, such as treatment for traumatic stress, supporting of victims, education of perpetrators, support for child rearing, treatment for “parent-child”, and support for independence, as well as the field of arts therapy from the viewpoints of psychotherapy and reevaluation of the essences of psychotherapy by looking back at the outcomes and problematic points of psychotherapy  methods developed to this date. In order to deal with new clinical issues arising not only in medical fields but also in communities, education, welfare, and others, we aim to conduct methodological evaluations based on accumulated practical experiences at Konan Institute of Human Sciences and the Counseling Center of Konan University.

The role of this study project is to transform recognition of the status of modern society into practical responses by incorporating individual projects on other themes in a comprehensive manner.

〈Overview of Project〉

Currently, psychotherapy and clinical psychological support are provided by “practicing institutions” (such as hospital, child consultation centers, and counseling at schools and companies) in the form of support services to citizens, and by “research institutions” of universities, etc. where theories are generated based on clinical knowledge. Although there are many “practicing institutions”, much of the knowledge acquired there on a daily basis is limited to knowledge obtained through practice of interviews conducted individually while the task to socialize the knowledge by means of verbal presentation or in the form of a thesis is left to individual practitioners.

Under the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the certification of clinical psychotherapist was institutionalized and the number of clinical psychotherapists has increased today. Thus, the promotion of mutual relationships under which “research institutions” develop interview techniques and theories while feedback is given to “practicing institutions”, so that effects are examined, is desirable. In this study project, taking advantage of the fact that Konan Institute of Human Sciences is constituted of facilities that serve both as a “practicing institution” and “research institution” and its members serve in both capacities of practitioner and researcher, we can effectively take into account knowledge and expertise accumulated at “practicing institutions” in a quick and sufficient manner, make analyses on the current status of psychotherapy methods, and build responsive relationships to reemploy such knowledge in the practices of the “practicing institutions”, and through these processes we attempt to confirm a common foundation on psychotherapy.

IIn practical studies related to Projects 1 to 3, we shall implement clinical practices associated with each theme at affiliated facilities of Konan University including the Counseling Room and student counseling rooms, as well as at related facilities in the community, on a continual basis. We strive to transform these supporting activities into the establishment of a network capable of interactive functions 〈between specialists and ordinary citizens〉 and 〈between research institutions and practicing institutions〉. Supporting methods for this purpose not limited to verbal techniques but also techniques that use nonverbal expressions, such as art, sand play, horticulture and dance, shall be actively incorporated, and through these comprehensive supporting activities we shall study “processes” in which networks between individual practitioners and related institutions are created. It is a tradition of clinical psychology at this university to attempt to employ the mediums of nonverbal expression in psychotherapy and we conduct evaluations taking into account comparison with “clinical knowledge” that has been accumulated since before the establishment of the Konan Institute of Human Sciences.

In the last year of this study project, we shall carry out an interdisciplinary and comprehensive study to identify issues in the areas of psychotherapy and clinical psychological support and we plan to offer opinions for the near future regarding the crisis of the mind of people in modern society.

How can we further understand and improve the level of current conditions of the supporting base for each of those practices? In Japan, psychotherapy widely varies in terms of the way people see a case example as well as in terms of the method used for practice, depending on the nature of each school or institution. However, in an ordinary study meeting on case examples, discussions on case examples are usually made in a manner that participants may share to some degree their own positions and methodologies. Therefore, in this study project, we shall hold a new form of “case study meeting” where we integrate surveys and outcomes of case studies in order to understand the various ways of seeing case examples as well as various current methodologies adopted at clinical institutions today as an effort to establish a common foundation. Concretely, we plan to present specific case examples mainly to young psychotherapists (about 30 people) and hold discussions based on the results. Through this process, we shall attempt to grasp the young practitioners’ sense of clinical practices arising from state-of-the-art activities. Studies focusing on further development of psychotherapists fresh out of graduate schools have been left untouched and we concurrently aim at gaining knowledge regarding development of specialists in the future. Also, by conducting analyses on the process of study meetings itself, we shall continue to demonstrate the potential as well as challenges in establishing common understandings.