chapter  3
28 Pages

Self-Help Groups in Japan: Trends and Traditions

In this chapter, the authors discuss the issue of the conceptualization of worldview. Building on Jerome Frank's worldview concept, they assert that in order to understand the importance of mutual help groups in the lives of their members it is necessary to understand the role of worldview. The worldview of a mutual help group develops over time. The original members begin to record their experiences as a group. The currently dominant conceptualization of mutual help groups is as an alternative form of treatment or human services. Worldview in mutual help is more likely to be evident in research using the naturalistic paradigm rather than the traditional positivist paradigm. The authors propose that within the broad construct of worldview change, key domains of change need to be identified for the specific groups under study. Cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural work is needed to further develop the possible domains of concern in mutual help groups.