“Picture Book Healing: Make the Flower of Smiles Bloom,” a project based on clinical psychology

Project Leader: MASUDA, Rika (Graduate School for Science for Human Services Professor )span: 2013/04 - 2023/03

Until now, I have used picture books to conduct research, with “relaxation effects” and “alleviation of stress” that are based on clinical psychology as the research themes. One of the findings obtained so far, for example, was that, from physiological indices, the “reading together of picture books” and the “rhythm of jazz” exerted positive influence on the right and left sides of the brain, and effectively alleviated stress as well. I therefore decided to use these “reading together of picture books” and “jazz music,” which are scientifically proven to be effective for mental health and stress management, to reinvigorate regional communities even further, while using clinical psychology as the basis.

The Graduate School of Science for Human Studies, to which I belong, is working to create a new field of academic studies called the Science for Human Services, with “Collaboration and fusion of various sciences” as the slogan. The “Picture Book Healing: Make the Flower of Smiles Bloom” project aims at carrying out activities, based on clinical psychology, to provide healing and relaxation effects to the participants through experience-type events featuring the collaboration of reading picture books together and music (performance of jazz, Japanese drum, and folk musical instruments from around the world) that appeal to the five senses. The Science for Human Services, which is our goal, demands that we actively commit ourselves, as needed, not only to Japan but to places all over the world. It also calls for an approach to respond to the needs not only of individual people, but also of society. I hope to make use of the power that picture books and music have, and plan and implement events that draw everyone—men and women, young and old, and interracially as well—and allow the flowers of smiles bloom inside their hearts. In particular, I hope to incorporate these events as part of the activities to assist the reconstruction of areas devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and continue carrying out these programs semi-permanently into the future.

Events



A scene of a picture book and Japanese drum collaboration event held at a disaster-affected site (temporary housing in Ozashi in Miyagi Prefecture): Groups of parents and children listening to the author reading a picture book, and a live performance by a jazz band

Inside a gymnasium at Ohkaido Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture: A collaboration of picture books and Japanese drum. Pupils being amazed with the power of Japanese drum.

Project members

Achievements

  • Human Development and Clinical Psychology 3. “Clinical Psychology of School-Age Children” (Surugadai Shuppansha): co-author.
  • Developmental Psychology: For people aiming to become childcare providers (Jurinbo): co-author.
  • A study on clinical psychology interview techniques using picture books: Based on face-to-face interviews with absentee students (Nakanishiya Shuppan): sole author
  • Using picture books to connect people with the “here and now,” based on face-to-face interviews with absentee students, Theory Edition. Liaison Booklet No. 2 (Hokuriku Gakuin University Clinical Developmental Psychology Workshop Publishing Group): sole author
  • Using picture books to connect people with the “here and now,” based on face-to-face interviews with absentee students, Practice Edition. Liaison Booklet No. 4 (Hokuriku Gakuin University Clinical Developmental Psychology Workshop Publishing Group): sole author
  • Rika Masuda, Ph.D.: “Using picture books to connect people with the ‘here and now’―based on face-to-face interviews with absentee students―Hokuriku Gakuin University Clinical Developmental Psychology Workshop Liaison Booklet 08 Produced by Infinity Co, Ltd.: sole author
  • The effects of picture book reading therapy (Psychotherapy Vol. 31, No. 4): sole author and others.

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