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Counseling and Support

Drawing by a child cancer patient

Shine On! Kids’ flagship program in Tokyo (since April, 2007) and Osaka (since April, 2010). Designed by Shine On! Kids chief clinical psychologist, the program follows and supports patients throughout the treatment process, from diagnosis through discharge, and as they transition back to normal life.

Counseling Program

  • Bedside counseling for parents and children – Shine On! Kids clinical psychologist makes daily bedside rounds. Consultation in a private room is also available.
  • Group therapy for families – Shine On! Kids holds regular group educational talks and tea parties for families. Parents can meet other families and exchange information or just enjoy some relaxation time with others.

Support Program

Shine On! Kids holds regular events and large festivals which empower patients by improving quality of life and approach to treatment. These include: the Shine On! Book Club, Shine On! English Club, celebrity visits, and mini events and activities at the Shine On! House (Tokyo).

The Placing of Medical Staff – Clinical Psychologists

The treatment of childhood cancer is accompanied by many types of psycho-social stress. Hence, access to a clinical psychologist in the pediatric cancer ward can be of critical importance.

Easy access to counseling is standard in most western hospitals in the form of clinical psychologists, social workers, ministers, chaplains, etc. However, this is not the usual case in Japan. Even if patients seek counseling support, systems are not in place to give them easy access to such services. Furthermore, most Japanese hospitals do not have the budget to hire such professionals. So, the Shine On! Kids bears this cost and dispatches clinical psychologist to the hospitals. And also, by having TF staff in place in the hospital, theShine On! Kids can ensure its programs are implemented according to its carefully crafted and researched goals.

Shine On! Kids has pioneered the creation of a position of a clinical psychologist specializing in pediatric cancer patient and family support. Based on 3 years of working experience and research at the National Center for Child Health and Development (NCCHD) in Setagaya, Tokyo, Shine On! Kids has implemented a training system to dispatch these specialized medical care professionals to other hospitals.

Program Summary

Goal : To maximize quality of life for pediatric oncology patients and their families throughout the entire cancer treatment process.
Need : Treatment of childhood cancer is accompanied by many types of psycho-social stress, but there is no system whereby patients can seek counseling support in Japan.
Description : Shine On! Kids clinical psychologists work bedside with patients and their families.
Program Leader : Kazuko Matsumoto (Osaka)
Term : National Center for Child Health and Development, Tokyo: since April 2007
Osaka City General Hospital, Osaka: since April 2010


For any inquiries regarding this program, please do not contact the above-mentioned hospitals directly. Please first contact Shine On! Kids via info@sokids.org.