Activity Report from Human Care Association, Japan

Human Care Association Intensive Peer-Counseling Course in 2007

Human Care Association (HCA) organized peer-counseling intensive course from Sep 30 to Oct 2 in 2007 at Tokyo Tama Sports Center for the Disabled. Nine persons with disabilities including not only persons with physical disabilities but also persons with intellectual or psychiatric disabilities participated into the course.

Since some participants had never taken peer-counseling, we were careful to help them understand the meaning of peer-counseling through actual practice.

We started the course with relation building for ice-breaking. Participants and course leaders took a time to know each other and tried to make cozy atmosphere for next two days. We spent rest of the day for themes such as “purpose and agreement of peer-counseling” and “roles of counselor and client”.

On the second day, we conducted “nature of human beings,” “discharge of emotion,” and “meaning of disability.” Each participant closely looked into his/her own feeling through sessions and Think and Listen about each significant theme. Participants had opportunities to speak about bitter experiences in the society. They listened each other and shared feelings as “peers.”

In the evening, we had a party, which is indispensable part of the course for further communication among participants and course leaders. We made some groups and give performance, such as, skit, game and quiz.

On the last day, we conducted “relation between ILP and peer-counseling” and “role-playing” for understanding concrete methods to support independent living of persons with disabilities.

At the beginning of the course, we worried of our health conditions because we had to bear 3 days at different living environment. However, each of us could maintain good health condition with mutual support and communication of necessary information about own disabilities and illness for participation into the course.

We wish experiences and relationship gained through the course will be meaningful for participants’ daily life.
(Yoshihiro Mitsuoka)

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