The man responsible for the development of Naikan Therapy is Mr. Ishin Yoshimoto. Mr. Yoshimoto developed Naikan therapy as a short term structural treatment that is useful in treating marital and familial conflicts, interpersonal relationship issues, depression and anxiety, self-esteem issues, behavioral disorders, and addictive behaviors (Ramaswami & Sheikh, 1989, p. 106). Nakian translates to mean 'to look within one's self. The purpose of Naikan therapy is to increase awareness of oneself as well as acceptance without becoming judgmental (Walsh, 1989).
Naikan therapy was developed in the 1950's with its roots being maintained in Buddhist philosophy and practice. ...view middle of the document...
The therapist's role is to carefully guide the client on introspection and recollections the client's share with the therapists. These recollections focus on what was received from significant others in terms of services, gifts, kindness and other objects, what has been returned to significant others in life, and what troubles, inconveniences, deceits, pettiness and other selfish things that happened with these significant others (Ramaswami & Sheikh, 1989, p.108). Naikan therapy's main goal is to have clients recognize their responsibility to the people in their life as well as to the environment surrounding them.
The Naikan Therapeutic Process
Traditional Naikan therapy consists of two parts: immersion and counseling.
Immersion takes place where a person can be isolated. The client will sleep and eat alone and undergo training in meditation techniques. Meditation may last from 4:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Clients receive visits from their therapists and different times during the day that will typically last one to two hours. The purpose of these visits is to further instruct them on meditation and to hold dialogues with them concerning introspection and reoccurring life themes. For example, clients can explore desires that block constructive living, such as dishonesty, negativity, and blaming. It is important that therapists show honor and respect to their clients and consistently reinforce their ability to solve their own problems.
To show honor and respect and to offer empowerment to the client, the therapist will…"bow his or her head to the floor, open the folding screen, bow again, and ask what topic the client is focusing on for that current meditation. This ritualized format symbolizes the therapist's humility as he are she prepares to listen to the client's confession. The client's response is similarity in ritual form. He or she reports the person and time period of his or her recollections (Reynolds, 1982, p.47).
Approximately 20 percent of the time the client spends meditating are spent on what significant people in their lives have given them and what they have returned. 60 percent is spent on the trouble or inconveniences that they have caused to their significant others. The most common theme that occurs during meditation is the relationship between the client and his or her parents. Since a person's relationship base is strongly influenced by parents, this theme is often discusses early in therapy. One assumption of Naikan therapy is that people, as they grow up, often develop distorted personae and/or destructive patterns. Traumas and past failures cannot be forgotten or undone but it is possible to change a client's attitude. Naikan therapy tries to restructure the thinking patterns of clients. Naikan therapy also tries to give clients a moral structure for living based on the Buddhist principle of 'giving. Clients work from past to present, sharing their ideas about past events. During the first...