Ken Hirano (LMFT)

Psychotherapist— Ken Hirano is a licensed psychotherapist from California with an MFT

Ken Hirano is a licensed psychotherapist from California with an MFT.

Ken’s main therapeutic approach is psychodynamic and client-centered, though he will supplement this with other modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Internal Family Systems. He also has several years of experience with play therapy and has conducted parent workshops on topics such as Positive Discipline.

He sees therapy as a joint journey with the client where the goal is to remove the obstacles to growth and healing. Therapy is about working with the invisible but powerful things that people experience inside of them such as grief, anger, intrusive thoughts, lack of motivation, identity issues, and cultural identity. In a safe, therapeutic relationship, the client can make these invisible experiences visible with the use of words and help make sense of these painful experiences.

He completed his master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies after a 10+ year corporate career. He also worked for three years at an international school in Shanghai, China as a counselor and has 5 years of counseling experience in schools and social service agencies in California. He grew up in a Japanese immigrant family in San Francisco during the 1970s.

In his spare time, he likes to explore the bike paths in the west part of Tokyo on his bicycle and play badminton (when he feels the need to smash something). Rainy days are typically spent reading a book or watching international and classic movies. He also enjoys exploring Tokyo’s neighborhoods on foot and discovering that tiny restaurant tucked away in an obscure alley.

Key words: psychodynamic, client-centered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Internal Family Systems, play therapy, Positive Discipline, grief, anger, intrusive thoughts, lack of motivation, identity issues, cultural identity.

o Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): a type of psychotherapy (talk therapy) that has a solution-oriented approach and aims to help process patient struggles from both a cognitive and behavioral perspective. The goal of CBT is to address negative thoughts (cognitive) or behaviors (behavioral) that are causing distress and focus on encouraging practical steps toward solving the problem at hand while tackling the anxiety that it may be causing. The basis of CBT rests on the idea that thoughts and feelings are what influence behaviors.

o Internal Family Systems: a type of therapy that can be used with individuals, couples, or families. This therapy holds that there are different parts that make up the whole system of our personality, and at times these parts can come into conflict, or otherwise generally not work well together. Thus, by working with these parts, it becomes possible to better the system as a whole.

o Play therapy: a type of therapy typically used for children who struggle with communicating emotional needs or feelings. The goal is to allow the child to express themselves through play, and for the play therapist to help process what the child may be having difficulty articulating verbally. Play therapy can be either nondirective—during which children are able to freely play, or directive—during which the play therapist may guide or assist play.

o Positive Discipline: an approach that teaches parents and others that work with children how best to interact and teach children in order for the child to develop skills to foster healthy relationships later in life.