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4 stages of Morita Therapy

The First Stage: Isolation and Bed-Rest

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The patients, in principle, spend a week in isolation. While they rest for a week many thoughts and feelings may come up in their minds, and they are advised not to act on eliminating them but to take them as they are. During the first stage, a doctor makes a brief visit to their rooms everyday to see how they are.

The Second Stage: Light Occupational Work

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The patients go out of their rooms into the fresh air after the Isolation and Bed-Rest Stage and spend most of their time making observations on the environment and being involved in light individual work (such as wood-carving and ceramic art) for five days. They are advised to do what they need to do without being swept away by their moods and symptoms.

The Third Stage: Intensive Occupational Work

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The patients work and cooperate with other members of the inpatient unit in doing chores and taking care of animals, plants, and flowers. Every month they also have events such as excursions, sports, and summer and Christmas parties. Patients are the ones who do the planning and take leadership of these events, and in doing so, they get opportunities to learn to cooperate with others and take leadership roles. In the Third Stage, it is important to get actively involved in what they need to do in their daily activities and chores no matter how they are bothered by their anxiety and symptoms. By concentrating on what they are doing, they can leave their fixations on their uncomfortable feelings and symptoms, and realize their desires to live good lives that they have in their inner selves in more constructive and realistic ways.

The Fourth Stage: Preparation for Going Back to their own Daily Life

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The patients take a week to a few weeks for preparation to get back to their society. During the Fourth Stage, they can go home, spend a day to a few days at home, visit their work and make necessary arrangements if needed, to see how they are back at home and work and how they can manage the anxiety and worries they had prior to starting the inpatient treatment. This process enables them to return to their own living environments as smoothly and adaptively as possible.

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