The J’Expat Network
Counselling and Coaching Services in English for foreign and Japanese women in Japan.
Greetings, and welcome to the J’Expat Network. The “J” in J’Expat stands for Japan, a country I have lived and worked in for twenty years. I created the J’Expat Network when I realised that there were distinct needs within the community of English-speaking foreign women residents in Nagoya that weren’t being met.
Everyone’s experience overseas will be different, but I was recognising certain common threads in the stories that were being shared with me by foreign women living here, as well as from the Japanese women I would meet who were returning home to Japan after lengthy stays overseas. Issues concerning homesickness, culture shock, not fitting in, a lack of direction, loneliness, boredom, and job-burnout were among the many concerns that were surfacing to contribute to a less-than-perfect experience in Japan. As a Canadian long-term resident, I could relate to many of these troubles that these women were facing. I realised that with my years of experience in Japan and a background in coaching and counselling, I was in a unique position to help English-speaking foreign and Japanese women who were having difficulties transitioning or finding focus to move ahead in their lives.
The primary function of The J’Expat Network is that of coaching and counselling services for foreign or Japanese English-speaking women. Coaching is provided by assisting clients in identifying and following through on personal goals, no matter how big or small, in order to create a more meaningful and comfortable life. Counselling services are provided in conjunction with coaching in order to assist clients in recognising personal issues that may be impeding them in achieving their goals. Counselling is not psychotherapy, nor is it a form of psychiatry. It is provided as guidance, not as a professional service to diagnose more serious issues such as major depressive disorders or addiction. If such forms of professional care are needed, the J’Expat Network will ensure you are provided with the proper channels to seek the assistance that is needed.
J’Expat offers coaching and counselling services in a variety of ways, including one-on-one appointments in our office in Shinsakae, or through Skype for clients who are not in the immediate Nagoya area. The J’Expat Network also leads workshops on various life issues to small groups, either in our Shinsakae office, or at another convenient Nagoya location depending on the size of the group.
How will you know if The J’Expat Network is for you? Below are some of the issues and concerns that foreign women have shared with me over the years, or that I myself have come up against.
Many women were feeling a certain loneliness, finding it difficult to make and maintain friendships or romantic connections. Others felt frustrated at not being able to do even the most basic and mundane things like grocery shopping or paying bills without the help of a Japanese-speaking assistant. And still others found themselves with a whole lot of time on their hands while their husbands, their reason for moving to Japan, worked 10 to 12 hours a day. These women often went from a full-time, respectable career of their own in their home country, to spending days on end alone in a city where they could neither read nor speak the language.
And while on the surface, Japan is considered a 1st World country and a leading competitor in the world economy, foreign women are quick to realize that a patriarchal system is firmly entrenched in the fabric of day-to-day life. For some women, it may feel more like they’ve stepped into a time machine set to 1950 rather than having crossed the ocean to what they thought was going to be a high-tech futuristic mecca.
Finally, the issue of culture shock, and its effect on both mind and body cannot be ignored. As a heterogeneous society that is both constrained and fueled by an unfamiliar set of socially and politically entrenched rules, Japan at times feels not just like a foreign country to some ex-pats, but rather more like a world quite of its own. The daily onslaught of the unknown takes its toll, and for some women it can be overwhelming and disheartening. Focus is lost, and the desire to hop on a plane back home can at times be all-consuming.
If any of these scenarios resonate with you, then the J’Expat Network may be just the fix you need to get back that initial excitement you had when you first realized you would be coming to Japan. Contact us today to discuss your needs. The J’Expat Network’s main purpose is for you to find focus, set achievable goals, and, most importantly, enjoy this very special time in your life.