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Kondo, A. (1953). Morita Therapy: A Japanese Therapy for Neurosis. Am. J. Psychoanal., 13(1):31-37.

(1953). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 13(1):31-37

Morita Therapy: A Japanese Therapy for Neurosis

Akihisa Kondo

Morita therapy, as it is called in Japanese psychiatry, was originated by the late Prof. Morita about thirty years ago and has been developed by his successor, Prof. Kora, of Jikei Medical School in Tokyo. It is now acknowledged by Japanese psychiatrists as one of the most effective therapies for neurosis.

According to Morita therapy, all neurotic symptoms are understood as the expression of the total process constituting the inner conflicts, or the sufferings from them due to the unsuccessful efforts of the patient to stop, deny or to escape from his anxiety. This anxiety is caused by his reaction to his unfavorable environment in a specific way. He feels his psychological as well as physiological reactions are special to him and abnormally different from those of others. In contrast, normal people usually show the same or similar reactions but never think or feel they are of special or abnormal nature.

For example, Morita says when we first meet a stranger or give a performance or speech before the public, we usually feel strained or upset to a certain degree. However, as we go on, we feel relaxed or have concentrated and become aware of the initial bewilderment. In the case of a neurotic, when he feels strained or upset, he cannot allow himself to feel that way, because he has a notion that to be a man, he should not be a sissy—that is, be afraid or upset. He is so sensitive about it, due to his ideal of manliness, that he feels it more strongly than another person and takes his reaction as a sign of weakness peculiar to himself.

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