Naikan Therapy, which has crossed the sea from Japan to China, has developed into a unique psychological therapy in the 21st century. It is accepted by many people with different needs, such as for eliminating social pressure and for treating drug dependence. Compared with pure theory, the most important part of Naikan Therapy is its practice. Yet in order to convey the essence of Naikan Therapy to members of the younger generation who are used to Internet surfing and ‘big data,’ I suggest that it is necessary to explore it through modern theories of brain science and to explain it with objective indicators.
As the qualification system of Naikan therapists has been established, it is necessary to develop an education program in which Naikan therapists can learn thier craft. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five mid-career Naikan therapists, all of whom had been practicing for less than ten years, to learn of their concerns as practicing Naikan therapists. As a result, six categories of difficulties were explored: ‘becoming a Naikan therapist,‘ ’the structure of Naikan,‘ ’practicing as a Naikan therapist,‘ ’experience as a Naikan therapist,‘ ’experience as a clinical psychologist,’ and ‘correspondence with Naikan clients.’ Based on the findings of these interviews, it is suggested that the following topics should be included in such Naikan education programs: describing the aptitudes of a Naikan therapist and devising criteria for measuring such aptitudes; clarifying the reasons for Naikan’s structure; establishing a clear and common understanding of the essence of Naikan’s therapeutic action; understanding the fear and risks involved in Naikan therapy which can lead to constant reflection upon oneself; and presenting concrete models for corresponding with Naikan clients, including flexible ways of dealing with various situations. While these should be adopted in a program as the first step to become a Naikan therapist, an ongoing education system of supervision or consultation should also be established to reinforce practitioners’ understanding of these important topics.
Ibusuki Takemoto Hospital has been conducting two sequential courses of concentrated Naikan （‘two-course Naikan’） in an inpatient treatment program for patients with addiction. Previous studies of Naikan therapy have shown that two-course Naikan deepened patients’ experience of Naikan and effected improvements in gambling disorder for between 6 to 30 months but have not shown long-term （2 to 5 years） effects in patients with gambling disorder. Therefore, we investigated the 2 to 5 years prognosis of 273 inpatients with addictions who completed two-course Naikan therapy. The results were as follows: in alcohol-use disorder, abstinence was 26.4% to 43.3%, partial recovery was 5.8% to 9.4%, relapse was 47.2% to 67.8%; in gambling disorders, abstinence was 36.4% to 59.3%, partial recovery was 6.8% to 11.1%, relapse was 29.6% to 56.8%. Recovering from alcohol-use disorder was associated with initial hospitalization, employment, continuation of outpatient treatment, and cohabitation. It is further suggested that good social engagement is important for maintaining recovery. Although the effects of two-course Naikan therapy have not been greatly clarified, it is presumed that Naikan therapy improved psychological characteristics related to addiction such as egocentricity and denial, and also affected the maintenance of social ties.
In China, the practice and application of Naikan therapy has been mainly concentrated in the medical field in recent years. Studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Naikan therapy for clinical populations with mental disorders. In the current study, however, non-clinical Chinese college students were selected to practice the Naikan approach, and its effect was evaluated. As for indicators of effect evaluation, in addition to mental health indicators such as depression, psychological indicators such as happiness, mood, self-esteem, interpersonal relationships and other cognitive indicators were also measured. For 14 consecutive days, the experimental group conducted one hour of Naikan each day and communicated with the instructor via the Internet. The results showed that: ⑴ There were significant differences in total happiness scores, emotion scores and life satisfaction; ⑵ The total score of interpersonal relationships and the score of the lower scale did not get effective results; ⑶ There were significant differences in positive emotions, but non-significant differences in negative emotions; ⑷ There were significant differences in the overall score of ‘depression’ and ‘relaxation and anxiety’; ⑸ Significant differences were obtained for the self-esteem indicators.
The author, a Jungian Analyst, discusses Naikan Therapy from the Jungian point of view through his experience of having undergone intensive Naikan Therapy.
First, I point out the difference of the therapeutic structure between the Naikan Institute room and the analytical practice room. Mainly, this is that Naikan is undergone within the frame, while Analysis is undergone outside of the frame. As it were, Analysis is undergone like the picture ‘Mutus liber’（1667）. The Naikan frame, I suggest, might contain the whole of the Naikan rooms and the Naikan institute itself as a larger frame, and might originate in Buddhist religious ideation.
Second, I discuss how Naikan Therapy might function as a Self-Help Group because of the above therapeutic structure. The unfolding of therapy within the frame promotes participation more effectively. I suggest that the patient’s participation might be one of the healing mechanisms and a source of empowerment within Naikan Therapy.
Third, I analyze the dreams witnessed while undergoing Naikan Therapy—and the harmony felt afterwards—from a Jungian point of view, using the story of ‘The Rainmaker of Kiao Tchou.’ I conclude that Naikan Therapy might function in a way similar to Family Therapy through the Naikan participant’s having committed to his/her family constellation, and thus restoring the possibility of harmony.
This is an exploration of the meaning of Naikan for a psychotherapist, who has been practicing Naikan as a way to know oneself. This study was carried out using the methodology of ‘TAE’（Thinking At the Edge）. TAE was found by E. T. Gendline, an American psychotherapist and philosopher who advocated ‘first-person science.’ TAE is a way to express in new words something which needs to be said but is at first only an inchoate ‘bodily sense.’ In this study, such bodily felt sensations elicited during Naikan practice were noted and listened to. As a result, it emerged that by exploring oneself through Naikan practice, one can recover an experience of a deeper lying, ‘empty’ sense of self. For the author, this was experienced as an ‘opening up’ of the self, which prompted her to give something back to the world with joy, which in turn supported the therapeutic relationship.
This report is a follow-up study regarding the training programs for Naikan interviewers. The first report dealt with qualitative research, focusing on the instructional content from supervisors and on trainees’ awakening during blind interviews or when sitting with their supervisor. As a result, it was found that trainees were cultivating the specialty of interpersonal support. In the second report, our focus was on the process of trainees reflecting on their awakening and feelings from the Single Interview. We considered the training of Naikan interviewers through the trainees’ reflections by means of process records. The finding was that training programs led to the development of interviewers capable of creating an environment in which clients could focus on Naikan.