As a qualified clinical psychologist, qualified and registered (Certification No: 4572) as a Certified Clinical Psychologist by the Foundation of the Japanese Certification Board for Clinical Psychologists (Nihonrinshoushinrishininteikyoukai), as well as doing group and support group work in English and Japanese I also do individual, couples and family counseling work with clients who have social, emotional or mental problems. About half of my individual counseling clients are Japanese and I also work with clients of many other nationalities who have a variety of multicultural and international backgrounds and who come for counseling for a wide range of different reasons needs such as assistance with personal relationships, emotional, multicultural, social and psychological problems or conflicts.
To qualify to become a qualified clinical psychologist involved in counseling in Japan there were until recently two 'paths' by which a person (sometimes known as the 'A' and 'B' paths).
Now you would have to hold a relevant post graduate Psychology/Counseling Masters level degree or Ph.D. from an accredited and recognized university and meet other criteria and standards as set by the Japanese Society of Certified Clinical Psychologists approvals board (The Foundation of the Japanese Certification Board for Clinical Psychologists) which is made up of leading Japanese psychiatrists and psychologists. (This is path A). In addition to having at least a masters level qualification it is also necessary, in the case of graduates from Japanese universities, to complete a one year period of practical experience in a relevant counseling related environment in order to then be eligible to sit for the examination to qualify as a C. P. Candidates who graduate from universities abroad are required to gain two years practical experience.
Until April 1996 it was also possible to qualify through the JSCCP masters equivalency program if a practicing counselor had a minimum of at least five years clinical and counseling experience in Japan, had graduated with a first degree (two year college diplomas/certificates being not acceptable) in a relevant subject from an accredited and recognized university and met various other strict criteria with regards to supervised workshops, supervised study and training in psychology and counseling and professional counseling supervision by a government licensed psychiatrist. In addition it was also necessary to submit a thesis in the form of a supervised client case study in Japanese for approval by the same Japanese Society of Certified Clinical Psychologists Approvals Board. (This was path B).
Both paths led to the same qualification and certification as a Clinical Psychologist know here as a "Nihonrinshoushinrishi" (Japan Clinical Psychologist or CP). Once approved as a qualified clinical psychologist it is necessary to gain at least 15 continuing education/professional development points during every five year period following qualification in order to maintain JSCCP board certification in order to remain registered as a qualified Clinical Psychologist.
For further details to qualifying and become a clinical psychologist in Japan plus a lot of other useful information on professional counseling here I would recommend those of you who have a browser that can read Japanese to see:
Hiroyuki Koumi's Clinical Psychologist's Homepage
Most important point:
No matter how many setbacks you experience trying to train, qualify and establish yourself as a qualified clinical psychologist within Japan don't give up! Good luck to you and if I can be of help in any way just let me know how.