Today’s meeting was our once every three months case study meeting, and we had ten members, including Skype. After each of the recent updates, the dialogue proceeded with case studies. As usual, several cases of domestic violence and moral harassment in married couples were discussed. They also talked about the issue of separation, which is linked to domestic violence and moral harassment.

It is each participant’s experience that overlaps with the case and is talked about in this meeting, and this will be a unique conference scene of men’s counseling that is support of the person involved by the person involved in the problem. It will be an impossible situation for the ordinary supporter to analyze, treat or counsel the party from above as a professional.

There is a continuum between the hardships of the people involved in the case and the experiences of the study group participants themselves, and there are various social pathologies, such as the common sense of the families involved, the laws and judicial decisions that complicate the families, and the worsening problems of labor and income, rather than the problems of the people involved themselves.

The more we tinker with the person in the problem as a ‘support’, without making those social pathologies the problem, and seeing everything as the problem of the individual concerned, the more confusion and mutual distrust deepens for them and their families.

The problem does not lie with the individual, but with a society that excludes family functioning, as well as the family itself, where family functioning has broken down and people are unable to nurture, heal and share in each other’s dignity as human beings. As a result, problems such as domestic violence, moral harassment and abuse arise.

In that area, rather than trying to change the situation that you think is a problem, where the problem comes from, what is the problem, and why it is a problem…Men’s counseling is to help the person concerned rewrite the story of his or her life by reassessing the situation that he or she feels is a problem from a variety of perspectives and changing the meaning of it. By talking with your therapist about your own values and emotions, family values, and the state of society, which you are not even aware of, you will become aware of and learn from them.

Furthermore, in addition to one-on-one counseling, the workshop is a place where participants other than the therapist (veterans and volunteer staff who are concerned with the problem) and their families can talk about their various experiences and thoughts, accept each other’s feelings, and support each other, which magically creates a family function.

It is a family-like relationship where people with issues that have been hurt by family registers, blood and genealogy come together to share fun and joy, ending the hurt, and nurturing and healing each other.

In order to create such a place, it is necessary to have a kitchen, a dining room table, a stove, a piano, a garden, a porch, a shade, a field, and a walkable pathway between rice fields… and above all, instead of a power-controlling expert, there needs to be a facilitator who does not power-control the person in the problem, and a supportive person like a receptive and empathetic mother. Family function in therapy…. The one that embodies this is “Ten-Sho-An”, which represents “Everyone’s Family Home Project”.

Ten-Sho-An has just been launched, and is still just out of my imagination. The full operation is yet to come. Having said that, in the meantime, I would like to offer a course (group workshop) next month to help the person in the problem, as well as the support workers and social workers, understand what therapy is like at Ten-Sho-An, which incorporates family functioning into the therapy…Next month, we are offering a full 30-hour course (group workshop) from noon on Saturday, October 31 to evening on Sunday, November 1.

If you can’t normally attend group workshop or counseling due to a remote location or work commitments, you can experience six months worth of sessions at one time. The cost is 10,000 yen. The maximum number of participants is limited to 15, so please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested.

Originally posted on September 21, 2020

English text translated with DeepL (Japanese to English) and checked by Mina.

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