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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Yasuhiro Kotera and William Van Gordon

Though several work-related mental health training initiatives have been implemented in Japan, the effectiveness of such approaches remains unclear. Consequently, some…

Abstract

Purpose

Though several work-related mental health training initiatives have been implemented in Japan, the effectiveness of such approaches remains unclear. Consequently, some Japanese corporations prefer using interventions such as neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to improve employee mental health and wellbeing. This language-based development methodology has been the subject of debate in terms of the quality of the underlying empirical evidence. However, a perspective missing from this debate is an evidence-based understanding of the first-hand experiences of employees that have undertaken NLP training. The purpose of this paper is to inform this debate by conducting a rigorous qualitative examination of the experiences of Japanese senior managers who had recently received training in NLP.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews attended by 11 Japanese NLP master practitioners were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Four themes emerged from the data set: improving work-related mental health, NLP fosters a better understanding of the mind, NLP helps to reframe perspectives relating to work and mental health, and challenges of NLP training.

Originality/value

While managers found NLP training skills such as reframing and neuro-logical levels useful to their managerial practice and mental health more generally, they raised concerns about NLP’s reputation as well as the utility of some of the techniques employed in NLP.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Yasuhiro Kotera and David Sheffield

Although numerous national and organisational level approaches have taken to improve their mental health, Japanese workers still suffer from high rates of mental health…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 July 2020

Yasuhiro Kotera, Michelle Van Laethem and Remi Ohshima

The primary purpose of this descriptive study was to compare the levels of, and relationships among mental health problems, mental health shame, self-compassion, work…

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Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this descriptive study was to compare the levels of, and relationships among mental health problems, mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement and work motivation between workers in Japan (collectivistic and success-driven culture) and the Netherlands (individualistic and quality-oriented culture).

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional design, where convenience samples of 165 Japanese and 160 Dutch workers completed self-report measures about mental health problems, shame, self-compassion, engagement and motivation, was used. Welch t-tests, correlation and regression analyses were conducted to compare (1) the levels of these variables, (2) relationships among these variables and (3) predictors of mental health problems, between the two groups.

Findings

Dutch workers had higher levels of mental health problems, work engagement and intrinsic motivation, and lower levels of shame and amotivation than Japanese workers. Mental health problems were associated with shame in both samples. Mental health problems were negatively predicted by self-compassion in Japanese, and by work engagement in Dutch employees.

Originality/value

The novelty of this study relates to exploring differences in work mental health between those two culturally contrasting countries. Our findings highlight potential cultural differences such as survey responding (Japanese acquiescent responding vs Dutch self-enhancement) and cultural emphases (Japanese shame vs Dutch quality of life). Job crafting, mindfulness and enhancing ikigai (meaningfulness in life) may be helpful to protect mental health in these workers, relating to self-compassion and work engagement. Findings from this study would be particularly useful to employers, managers and staff in human resources who work with cross-cultural workforce.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

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