NLP for Japanese workers’ mental well-being: pilot study

Yasuhiro Kotera (University of Derby, Derby, UK)
David Sheffield (University of Derby, Derby, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Publication date: 29 August 2019



Although numerous national and organisational level approaches have taken to improve their mental health, Japanese workers still suffer from high rates of mental health problems. Despite its worldwide application, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) has not been evaluated for these problems in-depth. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of NLP training for mental health among Japanese workers.


A pre-post test design with repeated measurements was used with 30 Japanese workers, who were undertaking NLP Practitioner Certification training. The effects on mental health were assessed with the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale at pre-training, post-training and a three-month follow-up.


The mean scores of depression and stress decreased significantly, and mental well-being increased significantly between pre-training and post-training and between pre-training and follow-up. There was no significant difference between post-training and the follow-up for any of the measures.

Practical implications

The results suggest this training was effective for mental health of Japanese workers, and the positive effects on mental well-being were sustained.


This is the first ever study to empirically evaluate the effects of the regulated NLP training on the mental health of Japanese workers, conducted by researchers well-versed in NLP. This training might be conducive to improving the mental health of the Japanese workforce. Larger scale and/or controlled studies are needed.



Kotera, Y. and Sheffield, D. (2019), "NLP for Japanese workers’ mental well-being: pilot study", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 183-194.

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