A Case of Hysteria Treated by Naikan Therapy Tomohisa SASANO 1 , Shosuke WATANABE 1 1Department of Psychiatry, Kawasaki Medical School Keyword: Naikan , Naikan therapy , Intensive Naikan therapy , Psychotherapy , Hysteria pp.1049-1056
Published Date 1994/10/15
DOI https://doi.org/10.11477/mf.1405903745
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 Naikan therapy, a method of psychotherapy developed out of the asceticism of Mahayana Buddhism in Japan, was introduced into the treatment of hysteria. The patient was a 23-year-old female who presented with hystrionic symptoms of visual disturbance, auditory disturbance and hypersomnia. When she felt displeasure she always ran away from the hospital ward without notice. After she ran away the last time, she expressed regret for troubling so many people and said she felt she was being sinful. Therefore, she agreed to the therapists proposal of five days of intensive Naikan therapy. Generally, patients undergoing Naikan therapy are told to be introspective from morning to night about mercy, service and guilt in relation to the persons closest to them. Since she had expressed ambivalent feelings of dependence and agression toward her father, she was ordered to meditate on her relations with her father. She meditated deeply. On a scale of introspection ranging from -3 to 6 points she was at 1 point at the start of the Naikan therapy and at 3 points at the end. After the Naikan therapy her hystrionic symptoms disappeared and she did not run away from the hospital ward again. Therefore, she was discharged. Her introspection gradually became shallow with time, reaching a low level two months after the Naikan therapy. Ten months after undergoing the Naikan therapy, she felt disgusted with her immaturity and spontaneously requested Naikan therapy again, and received it for seven days intensively. As a result, she arrived at her deepest level of introspection and was soon able to get a job for the first time. Thirty-two months after the first Naikan therapy and 22 months after the second course of therapy, the level of her social adjustment is still good.

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