Looking for Help?


If you are looking for help, I highly recommend Anthony Cox at http://tokyolifecoaching.com/.

I'm currently working on continuing education in the field of Logotherapy. Due to time constraints, I am only able to schedule ongoing and former clients at present. If this is you, then please get in touch.

If you are a new client, please contact Anthony. Anthony has been able to help people who have not been able to get results from other forms of therapy and/or their own work in personal development. I have referred many clients to him over the years. He speaks English and Japanese.

There are also many therapists at Tokyo English Life Line and IMHPJ who offer counseling services in a variety of languages. See Resources at right for links to their sites.

Best wishes,

Psychotherapy vs Hypnotherapy

In the years that I have been practicing hypnotherapy, I have sometimes been contacted by people who would like to work on issues that fall outside my scope of practice. 

Some examples of issues not suited to hypnotherapy are:

  • eating disorders
  • depression
  • domestic violence
  • cutting or self-harming
  • recovering from affairs
  • rape and sexual trauma
  • 'lost' childhood memories 
  • addictions to alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, iphone, etc.

I understand that psychotherapy (counseling) can take longer to produce results than hypnotherapy and can therefore become expensive over time, but the two fields are not interchangeable. If you are seeking help for one of the issues above, please contact TELL or IMHPJ.

TELL is a non-profit organization that offers counseling on a sliding scale. IMHPJ is a consortium of private practice psychologists and social workers. Links to their websites are in the side bar under Resources. 


Smoking Smoking in One Hour!

Most people know that stopping smoking would save them a substantial amount of money over their lifetimes. Most people know that by stopping they could add years to their lives. And most people know that if they stop smoking right now, they could save their health before it's too late. So why do people continue to smoke? 

The answer is FEAR. 

  • Fear that you'll lose your crutch or pleasure
  • Fear that you won't be able to enjoy life or handle stress
  • Fear that you'll gain weight
  • Fear that you'll have to struggle to get free and stay free
  • Fear that the craving will never be completely gone

These are all part of one overriding fear:

The fear it is going to be too painful and too difficult!

Hypnosis makes it easy to access and release this fear so you can stop smoking quickly and easily-- in just one hour!

Karen Mattison is certified in the Smokefree International 
'Stop Smoking in One Hour' program that has helped hundreds of thousands of people quit smoking and start living a smoke-free life. 

Contact Karen today at tokyohypno [at] gmail [dot] com.


What are the big rocks in your life?

One of the recurring issues in my own life is managing priorities. Even when I am interested in doing something, such as reading a new book, I often put it off for some time because of various other 'urgent' matters. I use quotes on the word 'urgent' because I know that we can always make time for the things that are most important to us if we organize our priorities. Not only can we, but we must.

When I was a child, my father told me the story of a motivational seminar he had attended at work. The speaker brought in a large empty jar and a few containers of materials-- sand, pebbles, small rocks, and big rocks. The speaker poured the sand into the jar to demonstrate how the sand took up so much space that fitting the other items in the jar would be impossible.

He then emptied the jar, putting the sand aside, and talked about how to organize the materials. He said that the big rocks must go in the jar first, then the smaller rocks, then the pebbles, and lastly, the sand. As he spoke, he put the various items in the jar. The big rocks took up a large amount of space, but the small rocks and pebbles easily fit around them. The sand, which had taken up so much space in an empty jar that the big rocks could not fit, was able to fill in all the space around the large rocks, small rocks, and pebbles when it was put in the jar last. The jar was full, but all of the materials fit inside of it.

The speaker said this was a metaphor for life. He said that we must decide what our big rocks are and put them into our jar (life) first. These might be family, work, a favorite sport or hobby, etc. Next are the small rocks, which might be details related to the big rocks. Next are the pebbles, things that matter but not so much as the rocks. Finally is the sand-- all the little items that seem to consume so much of our time and mental space. But the sand must be last; otherwise it will crowd out the larger, more important items.

Although I didn't see the demonstration, the way my father spoke about it, the awareness it brought to him, had a big impression on me. Shortly after that, he started coming home earlier from work and began coaching my brother’s little league baseball team. I could see that it wasn't just an interesting story about something that happened at work, but was instead an important message.

From time to time, I have to take stock and remind myself what my big rocks are. Sometimes it’s an effort to put the sand last but I make an effort to prioritize. How about you? What are the big rocks in your life? Are you putting them in your life first?


Playing to Your Strengths

All of us have characteristic strengths and weaknesses. It's important to have a good idea of what yours are so that you can make the most of your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. The problem is that many of us do not have a clear idea of what our strengths or weaknesses are. How can you find out?

The other day a friend recommended I check out the Authentic Happiness website to take a survey of characteristic strengths from a 240-question survey. Answering so many questions takes time, but the results might surprise you.

Law of Attraction

I have written about gratitude before. It is something we often forget to acknowledge when we see others with more than we have or when situations do not turn out the way we would have liked. It's easy to focus on the negative; it's so glaringly obvious. Positive things can be so much more subtle, like good health or a perfect train connection.

Perhaps you've heard of the Law of Attraction. The short version is this: energy flows where attention goes. If you focus on the negative, you get more of it. If you focus on the positive, you get more of that. It's important to recognize and be grateful for the good things so that the universe knows we want more of that.

I have a friend who puts the Law of Attraction to work for her by making a list of all the things she is grateful for every night. The list can include everything from a great cup of coffee to an abiding love for her husband. While I occasionally take stock, I don't remember to do this nightly. It's a good habit to take up.


New in 2014

In March, I participated in TEDxTokyo Teachers, presenting on how criticism in the classroom can affect students. Please see the talk below.

From January to June, I mentored a JMEC team. The team researched the feasibility of developing a yoga class reservation app, and we all learned a lot about yoga and social media marketing in the process. I also lectured on How to Write a Winning Business Plan in the JMEC lecture series. My advice for any writer is to start early and edit, edit, edit.


What Can You Achieve in 2013?

I participated in the Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC 18) during the first half of 2012. This meant that every weekend was given over to working on a project for the competition. Together with a team of six people, I put together a business plan and presentation for a mid-size company that wanted to know how to position and price their product in a competitive market. Our findings were presented to a panel of judges that voted on the best plan and presentation among eight teams. My team won first place in June and was recognized at The Entrepreneur Awards Japan at the US Ambassador's residence in November. Our prizes included membership to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and a HP Envy laptop. It was a great feeling to work together with a team of dedicated hard-working people from a variety of backgrounds and win first place.

As a hypnotherapist, I assist many people in achieving their goals, but working together with others to do so as a team was a new and different experience for me. I really enjoyed the camaraderie and the dynamics of the team. If you are working on a goal, I recommend you find a partner to support you in achieving it or work on the goal together. Enlist a friend, a colleague, your spouse or child, and make goal achievement a team effort.


Positive Changes for 2012!

Happy new year and welcome to a world of change!

I used to be afraid of change. I liked things to always be the same, consistent, predictable. I felt safe that way. I felt in control. Life is not about safety though; it is about growth. And safety is not always what it seems to be.

I've heard it said that A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are built for. The Tohoku earthquake and the ensuing tsunami proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that ships in harbor are not always safe. They can in fact be smashed to bits. The earthquake and the aftershocks showed us that safety is an illusion. We can never be perfectly safe, nor should we want to be.

Resisting change makes life harder than embracing it and choosing to go with the flow. This is easier said than done of course, but we can always change when we want to change. And we can endure anything for short periods of time. Humans always have.

In 2011, many changes were forced upon us, but now, at the start of 2012, we can choose what changes we want to make for ourselves, for our own betterment, this year. Do something new this year. Let the resistance wash away and free yourself. Check out the TED talk below for inspiration!


Grab a Book!

When I was in high-school or home on a college break, my mother would often catch me with my nose in the pantry or the fridge. When she did, she would say, "Stop that restless grazing! If you're bored, read a book!" I would dutifully close the door and go grab something from my mother's bookcase.

My brothers ate constantly because they played sports like football and wrestling, which required them to bulk up and maintain weight. I also played sports and burned off calories quickly, but I didn't need to eat like they did. I snacked because I saw them doing it, and my mother redirected this into more productive behavior. I am glad she did, as reading has never harmed anyone but overeating certainly has.

In the days after the earthquake, I found myself doing a lot of two things: sleeping and eating. The sleeping I saw as beneficial. I felt much calmer and clearer after a nap. The eating, not so much.

At first, the food was comforting. It was reassuring to know that I had access to food when so many people did not, and some foods, such as sweets, release dopamine. I also rationalized the eating as biologically driven: bulk up now to withstand impending scarcity. By the third or fourth day of one meal blending into the next (punctuated only by naps!), I recognized my behavior for what it was: restless grazing. I picked up a book and started to read.

Once I started reading, I felt a lot better, a lot calmer. The book took my mind off the news, the crisis, the emails and reports coming in from around Japan and the world, and the constant wondering what the best course of action was. Caught up in the story, the world of my book, I didn't have any desire to eat.

The hysteria is dying down now. The tension of the first few weeks has faded. I am not so wound up that I retreat into slumber, food, or books.

I learned a lot about myself from my reaction to the crisis. I sleep and I eat. Next time, I will sleep and read.