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July 18, 2021 Volume 11 Number 7

Masaki Kakitani Is the First Person from Japan to Learn Choice Theory

Masaki Kakitani learned the meaning of hardship and hard work early in life. His father was drafted into military service and deployed when Masaki was two years of age. He never returned from the battlefront. Masaki’s mother, at age 28, was left to raise four children alone. Masaki, the third child, was able to go to high school due to a special fund for the children of single mothers. He passed the exam for government employees, and began supporting himself. Working in the day and attending night school, he completed a B.A. degree in English literature after six years at Chuo University. Then he found a job at the University, continued working, and completed the M.A. in English literature. After that he was awarded scholarships to study in the US: first for a Wheaton College Graduate School M.Div., and then a Trinity Graduate School Th.M. He then completed an M.Ed. in Christian Counseling, in a special program at Georgia State University.
Masaki returned to Japan and Chuo University in 1978. He was already a highly qualified counselor and pastor, and he was writing articles on relationships for Japanese newspapers. In 1985, his writing drew the attention of USAF Chaplain Matsumoto at Yokota Air Base near Chuo University. The Chaplain called and asked Masaki to give a presentation about couples counseling resources in Japan. Masaki agreed and gave the presentation, meeting Chaplain Rhon Carleton in the process. Rhon was a new Basic Instructor in Reality Therapy stationed at Yokota. Masaki expressed an interest in Reality Therapy to Rhon, so Rhon offered to teach him Reality Therapy. They began to meet weekly at Yokota Air Base on Masaki’s teaching day at Chuo University.
By 1986, Rhon and Masaki’s meetings had grown into Japan’s first Basic Intensive Week, with Rhon as Instructor. There were twelve students in that first group--half Japanese and half English speaking. Masaki translated for Rhon and the entire group. It went so well that Rhon did a second training in Japan in 1987. Notably, Satoshi Aoki was a part of that training group, and he created Achievement Corporation after that training.
Continuing to study Reality Therapy, Masaki went to Hawaii for an Advanced Training with Dr. Wubbolding, He was able to complete CT/RT Certification in late 1987. Masaki then began the process of faculty training and endorsement as the first Japanese CT/RT practicum supervisor. Because he also translated several of Dr. Glasser’s books into Japanese, the CT/RT ideas began to spread in Japan. Between 1978 and 1998 Masaki traveled all around Japan teaching Choice Theory, while maintaining his appointment as Instructor in English literature at Chuo University. He progressed in his choice theory studies, and became a member of the Senior Faculty.
In the thirty six years since the first Basic Intensive, the William Glasser Institute Japan was formed; and Glasser International training programs are still being offered in Japan. There are now 9 Instructors and 16 Practicum Supervisors in the Institute, and 5,790 people have taken the Basic Intensive Training as of February, 2021. In addition, Satoshi Aoki’s Achievement Corp. management seminars have reached about 300,000 people, spreading Choice Theory ideas and generating referrals to the William Glasser Institute Japan.
The year 2003 brought the beginning of a big change, because Rissho University was in the process of establishing a Clinical Counseling program within their Psychology Department. The person in charge of the new counseling program was interested in Masaki’s work, since his presentation and role play demonstrations were outstanding. There were several positions for professors in the new department. Based on his credentials and his presentation to the faculty, Masaki qualified to teach at the graduate level from his first year on the Rissho faculty. (Continued below)

Dr. Glasser defined Quality World “pictures” as the center of an individual’s life. They consist of people, things, and beliefs. The beliefs are the most complex, and provide us with most of our interpersonal concerns. They can be described as good ideas, principles for living, and humanistic values. And, they are not always consistent with one another.
For example, please consider the American custom of Santa Claus at Christmas time. This custom is non-religious, and occurs in many American homes. Young children are told that Santa Claus flies from the North Pole and enters each home before the household awakens on Christmas morning. He leaves gifts for the children. There is a lot of excitement generated around this myth. Our national space agency even tracks Santa’s progress around the the world beginning on Christmas Eve! The intended result is general merriment for the entire family on Christmas morning.
Some time between the ages of 7 and 9 years, most children begin to suspect that Santa Claus is not real. They suddenly have a conflict involving different principles in their Quality World. For example, we are taught not to lie, and suddenly Santa is a falsehood. Or, storytelling is a wonderful way to understand the world, but now a favorite story is a fantasy. How can children learn to identify and confront reality?
This type of situation could be an opportunity for parents to assist children to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and there are multiple possible approaches. In discussion, some parents choose to emphasize the holiday enjoyment as the reason for Santa. Some take an opportunity to congratulate the child for readiness to abandon childish pursuits. Some parents tell the older children that they are now partners with the parents in making Santa enjoyable for younger children. The older ones join the parents to arrange the Santa festivities, and keep the secret until their younger sisters and brothers are ready to appreciate the value in the myth. Likely there are many other strategies not mentioned here.
In most cases, a person's Quality World beliefs such as truth vs falsehood, or fantasy vs reality, could be reconciled through trust in a good relationship. In this particular example, the child can keep Santa Claus in his or her Quality World, knowing Santa is a fantasy. In Choice Theory, this process is called reframing to the positive.
The Glasser Australia Conference is scheduled for 9/30 to 10/2 at Mantra Twin Towns, Gold Coast, Queensland.
Early bird registration is closing on 6/30. We are offering full refunds for anyone who needs to cancel their attendance due to Covid. If it’s Covid related, we’re happy to give a full refund – no questions asked. That way you can book your conference registration with confidence, knowing that if you have to cancel last minute, you can.
(Continued from above)  Masaki explains that in Japan, you can practice counseling and be called a clinical psychologist without a doctorate. The qualification requirements include earning a Master's degree from an accredited University and passing the Board examination. The Japanese Association of Counseling Science acknowledges Reality Therapy as a useful counseling theory, so it is possible to practice as a Reality Therapist.
In 2003, Masaki began developing the new program as Rissho University, and teaching counseling to graduate students. Although he taught other counseling theories, he was considered the specialist in CT/RT. Since one of his courses at the Graduate School was required for the degree, all of the students were acquainted with CT/RT before graduation. 
Some of these Rissho students wrote their Masters’ theses on CT/RT, and some of the theses were published in the Japanese Journal of Choice Theory Psychology. (Link is to abstracts. Unfortunately, this work is not available in English.) Masaki also estimates he taught about eighty students who became school counselors before his retirement. 
In 2020, Masaki was awarded his sixth degree: an honorary Doctorate in Literature from the Pacific International Theological Seminary, Tokyo. Now retired from regular employment, Masaki continues to translate choice theory materials, the latest of which is a translation of The Quality School Teacher. He is currently supporting the Japanese Institute and Achievement Corporation with plans for the International Conference in Tokyo almost one year from now.
 Masaki describes the upcoming Tokyo meetings as a perfect opportunity for English-speaking people to experience Japan. There will be simultaneous Japanese-English and English-Japanese translation in all the major sessions and breakout meetings. The Conference committee is planning to offer special experiences for sight-seeing as well as opportunities to learn about Japanese customs and history. Please reserve the following dates and plan to attend:
William Glasser International Conference 2022 Tokyo
Dates: Conference: 27-30 July 2022 [PD 31 July]
Board Meeting Dates: 24-26 July 2022
Most impressive of all, Masaki continues to work, and is still following his true calling to pastoral counseling. He is in the process of completing his Doctorate in Ministry from the Pacific International Theological Seminary Tokyo. As a lifelong learner, Masaki provides us with a great example of what an energetic, dedicated person can accomplish. We greatly admire him, and hope to see him in person in William Glasser International Conference 2022 in Tokyo.

Dr. Glasser respected Masaki Kakitani’s scholarly grasp of CT/RT ideas. He appreciated Masaki’s sense of humor and enjoyed the time they spent together, especially when Masaki did simultaneous and consecutive live translations of his talks and role plays. Dr. Glasser was also very impressed and grateful that Masaki translated eleven of his twenty-two books into Japanese, the most of his books ever translated into any other language.

The European Institute for Reality Therapy is planning for the Days of Leon Lojk in October 2021.
Watch this space for details.
The Get Happier Project has just released a new set of Open Roads Thoughts cards, designed to provide affirmations and processes for helping children learn the skills to solve their own problems, and at the same time, develop a growth mindset. Congratulations to Ivan Honey and his team!
in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy!
Currently scheduled for July 23 thru 25th. Please contact Nancy Herrick ( for further information.

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