‘My soul needs to be washed’: an exploration of the basic encounter group in Japan

Mikuni, Makiko (2011) ‘My soul needs to be washed’: an exploration of the basic encounter group in Japan. Doctoral thesis, School of Education and Lifelong Learning.

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In this thesis I explore through qualitative inquiry the development of the person-centred approach in Japan focussing on the encounter group movement. I look at how the approach was introduced to Japan after the Second World War, at how it became accepted and at the place it holds in Japanese life. The research began as I returned home to work as a counsellor after two years of counselling training in England. This thesis, therefore, tells the story of my process over eight years of inquiry, as a counsellor, facilitator and researcher. At the start of the research I wanted to look for ways of building bridges between the Japanese and the Western person-centred approach. This aim changed as I realised how difficult it was to be accepted by the Japanese person-centred world, because I had trained overseas, and how little I knew about the approach in Japan. So, as I began to facilitate and then to organise encounter groups, and to translate Western person-centred texts into Japanese, I collected data: from the Japanese person-centred literature; by interviews with counsellors, facilitators and members of encounter groups; through conversations with critical friends. In doing so I built the networks and bridges in Japan and beyond I had first hoped for. In the thesis I make links between how encounter groups were accepted by Japanese people and the way of being and concern for relations with others shown in Japanese culture, in the tea-ceremony and the Noh theatre. I show what characterises Japanese encounter groups, of the preference for traditional settings and the respect for hierarchy and seniority. I show how an encounter group is structured by the perceptions, experiences and theories of members and facilitators. In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 I explore how encounter groups might help in our recovery.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Stacey Armes
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2015 11:21
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2015 11:21
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/52579


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