What is Classic Morita Therapy?

Carly Taylor shares that classic Morita therapy is the original protocol Morita created for his in-house patients -- nature is part of the healing process; Morita had a beautiful indoor/outdoor space so patients could connect with the natural environment.

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Being connected with nature is essential to our well-being

Nick: So yeah, do you want to touch a bit more on classic Morita therapy and what he encouraged his patients and I know he actually had his own process, which you mentioned to me, which sounds actually almost like a retreat.

Carly: Yeah, it does sound like a retreat. Because what reminded me as you were talking is in Morita, the environment was integral to the therapeutic process, because being connected with nature is part of that healing process.

So the first stage is isolation, but not a sensory isolation, there's always a therapist there, guiding or observing and being curious about the process that the patient's going through. 

But having that period, whether it's five to eight days of just being on their own in silence and able to really experience what's going on internally for them, and then you can imagine, at the end of the eight days, they're probably very keen to get out and do something, which is really interesting, because they come out, and they start doing sort of minor activities.

But what Morita found that was so important was that he had his patients at his home, and he set this up as an indoor/outdoor area, and he had a beautiful rock garden. 

There were animals there, there was a garden. And so eventually, as they move through the stages, they could go and start doing these activities. And what they found was that there was this heightened feeling of connection with nature.

And being curious about nature and being curious about the sounds and the smells, and the sights and the touch. And all of these were quite heightened. And that is that connection with nature that is so integral to the healing process. It's really interesting. 

And I guess this is kind of diverting a little bit, but it just reminds me with ego; my own experience is that part of my feeling of ikigai is being in nature, just having those small moments when I see a flock of birds, or, you know, I see things when I'm out and about and that feeling that I get from it. And it kind of links with that experience of that classic Morita therapy.

Nick: Yeah, I do find myself now wanting to walk every day at a local park. And I don't take my phone, I don't listen to music, I hear the sounds of the birds, the leaves rustling. And I'm beginning to wonder if at one stage, it'll become another pillar of health.

So we tend to focus on diet, exercise, sleep sort of become recognized as crucial, maybe the most important thing. But I wonder if we'll ever get to a point where they will say, you need to sleep eight hours a day, you need to eat some sort of balanced diet that's appropriate for your needs. 

And you need to exercise every day or three or four times a week intensely. And you need to spend half an hour every day in nature. I'm sure that will have to become a standard because it's such a healing experience to go out to nature and the fresh air and the sensory experience is amazing.

You can see beautiful flowers or leaves or sunlight through the trees and it does make you feel better.

Carly: Yeah. I love that you take your headphones out and that you're just in the moment and just looking at your environment because how many people do you see walking along head down, with earphones, and they're just missing out. 

They're missing out on this amazing world around them and even if it's just half an hour to experience that's going to uplift you, that's going to be the start of a good day.