About the EHON Therapist Association (ehon, “picture book”)

World peace through picture books

The EHON Therapist Association is a community where fellow members (EHON therapists®) can grow together and work toward “world peace through picture books”. A book on the subject, EHON therapy®, was published in Korea in 2018. People also come from abroad to learn EHON therapy®. By using picture books, one is able to experience connecting with others unbounded by race and culture. We believe that if we are able to connect many different people with EHON therapy®, it will be a power that can bring about world peace.

March 11, 2011

The first book to compile ideas on EHON therapy® was “Ehon wa Kokoro no Shohosen (Picture books, a prescription for the heart)”, published in 2011. The date the book went on sale was March 11, the same day as the Great East Japan Earthquake. Values were upheaved, what was “taken for granted” was “unexpectedly” swallowed up. Since that day, we always wondered. What could we do to help. Eventually we started by sending picture books to children in devastated areas, and with the efforts of many people, picture books collected from all over Japan made their way to children. They were told they could take any picture book they liked home with them, but many children chose books they had before the earthquake. Our impression was that the children connected through picture books, to the people who read the books to them and to family and friends who shared stories with them. With EHON therapy®, even adults meeting for the first time become friends easily. We noticed that picture books connected people. “Let’s connect people with picture books” — everything that we had done until then became expressed in words.

What is “EHON therapy®”

It was seen that “adults reading picture books can get a deeper message from them”, and things began when we started reading picture books to those adults around. However, there were many instances where people got a completely different message even from the same picture book. The impression and message a person gets provides a glimpse at their experience, values, and knowledge, and it was then that we saw picture books were exactly a mirror to the heart. We thought there was an opportunity for people to learn about themselves through what they felt from reading picture books, and the “EHON therapy®” program started in 2007. As a result of our activity since 2011 “using picture books to bring a smile to others” and “connecting people through picture books”, the community has grown and we have collected many different examples of this activity from around the country. That continued, and “EHON therapy®” gradually took shape. The significance of EHON therapy® not yet verbalized in 2011, and the meaning of group work (everyone talking together) came together in the publishing of “Ehon wa Kokoro no Kakehashi (Picture books, a bridge for the heart)” in 2016. The basic know-how of EHON therapy® became available with this book.

What is an “EHON therapist®”

EHON therapy® is a “skill” for connecting people. An EHON therapist® makes full use of that skill to connect people who may differ by age, sex, condition, values, and culture.
Being an EHON therapist® is not an occupation (business). It is a way of living by which one can contribute to society. Achieving qualifications is not a goal, and is only a start. We are looking for fellow members who are in empathy with this way of thinking who we can learn and grow together with.

EHON therapist® as a way of living

First is to enjoy this activity yourself (I have happiness), and to bring a smile to others (the other has happiness). Then, to show picture books to many people as appreciation to those who bring us picture books in the picture book industry (society has happiness). And then, to connect people with picture books, contributing to world peace in a way that is bright, cheerful, and positive (the world has happiness). It is the way of living as an EHON therapist® that brings these four kinds of happiness together, and it is their mission.

*Note 1

“Therapy” translates in Japanese as “ryoho”.
The name “EHON therapy®” can be interpreted as “psychological therapy using picture books”.
However, group counselling is closer to what is actually involved, and so the name “picture book counselling” might be more appropriate.
However, names in Japanese generally use the word “- serapi (therapy)”, and with a less weighty connotation than “kaunseringu (counselling)”, and “kaunseringu” actually has more the image of professional healthcare practice.
Taking into account these senses in Japanese, the name “EHON therapy®” is used instead of “EHON counselling”.
※“EHON therapy®” is a registered trademark of the EHON Therapist Association (Tatsunobu Okada).
Japan Patent Office Certificate of trademark registration Reg. no. 5768458

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