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Expat Exchange - Mental Health Care in Japan
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Omotesando in Tokyo


Mental Health Care in Japan

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: Living abroad as an expat comes with its own set of challenges and stressors. Being familiar with the mental healthcare support services available in Japan is important.

Moving to a new country can be an exciting adventure, but it also comes with its own set of challenges, including taking care of your mental health. For expats and digital nomads in Japan, understanding the available mental health services and the cultural attitudes towards mental health is crucial for a smooth transition and maintaining well-being.

Finding a Mental Health Care Provider in Japan

Finding an English-speaking mental health care provider in Japan can be challenging but not impossible. Major cities like Tokyo and Osaka have more options, with clinics and therapists catering to the expat community. However, in rural areas, the availability of English-speaking professionals may be limited. It's advisable to seek recommendations from expat communities or use online directories that list English-speaking mental health services in Japan.

Mental Health Care Services in Japan

The mental health care services in Japan may differ from what expats are accustomed to in English-speaking countries. While Japan has modern medical facilities, the approach to mental health can be more conservative, and the availability of certain services may vary. It's important to research and understand the Japanese health care system, including insurance coverage and the referral process, to ensure that the services provided meet your expectations.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Japan

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is recognized and practiced in Japan, but it may not be as prevalent as in Western countries. Japanese mental health professionals employ a variety of therapeutic approaches, and while CBT is available, it's essential to confirm with individual providers. Expats should inquire directly with clinics and therapists about their methods to find a suitable match for their needs.

Online Mental Health Services for Expats and Nomads

Online mental health services are becoming increasingly popular among expats and digital nomads in Japan, offering convenience and accessibility, especially for those who live far from city centers. Technological barriers are minimal, as Japan has a robust internet infrastructure. However, it's important to ensure that the online services comply with privacy laws and are provided by licensed professionals.

Other Considerations for Mental Health Care in Japan

Expats and nomads should be aware of the cultural nuances related to mental health in Japan. There is often a stigma associated with mental health issues, which can affect how people seek and receive help. Additionally, Japan's work culture can be intense, and understanding local work-life balance norms is crucial. It's also important to stay connected with a support network, whether through local communities or online, to navigate the challenges of living in a new environment.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Omotesando in Tokyo

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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