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Introduction of Morita Therapy

Morita Therapy is a form of psychotherapy which has been proven effective for Social Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Panic Attacks, and Chronic Depression.

Morita Therapy appeals to natural healing power that every human being has, and helps people to accept their anxiety and fears as part of their natural feelings as well as to utilize their characteristics and potentiais in more constructive and desire-actualizing ways in their daily living.

Shoma Morita, M.D. (1874-1938)


Brief History & Basic Tenets of Morita Therapy

Morita Therapy was created by Dr. Shoma Morita, the founding professor of the Department of Psychiatry at Jikei University School of Medicine, in Japan, around 1920, and has developed independently from other forms of psychotherapy in Europe and the U.S.

Morita Therapy is very unique in its understanding of the mechanism of anxiety and its treatment methods. Here are the basic tenets of Morita Therapy:

1) Morita Therapy sees anxiety as one of the natural feelings that every human being has.

2) When people are preoccupied with anxiety, there is a vicious circle of attention and sensation. 

3) Those who suffer from excessive anxiety are those who have a great deal of desire for their lives.

4) To leave behind the symptom-driven life and to live their own lives, they need to look into these patterns and their own characteristic tendencies, which have led to develop the symptoms. 

5) They need to put their efforts on the realization of what they want and desire for their lives.  Thus, paradoxically they could leave behind the symptom-driven life and their levels of life satisfaction and happiness increases.

In Morita Therapy, people are considered to become anxious because they desire to perform well and feel afraid of failing. The bigger the amount of your desire is, the bigger your anxiety turns out.  In Morita Therapy, anxiety and people’s desires to live good lives are considered as two sides of the same coin and they are both natural feelings for all human beings.  By understanding this mechanism, clients can get out of this vicious circle between attention and intensified feelings.

3) Consequently, people get better when they stop trying to eliminate anxiety and fears rooted in their symptoms and when they accept these feelings as their natural feelings.

With Morita Therapy, patients learn to accept anxiety as it is (this is called “Arugamama”), capitalize on their characteristics and potentials, and actualize their desires to live good lives in their actual personal and social lives. Total elimination of anxiety cannot be in people’s best interest as it can lead them to deny their desires to make as good a life as they can for themselves.

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