Photo of Dr. Ishu IshiyamaDr. Ishu Ishiyama is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (U.B.C), Canada, where he is currently the coordinator for the Master’s and Ph.D Programs in counsellig psychology. He is also an Associate Member of the Department of Psychiatry at U.B.C. He is registered with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia, and is a certified Morita psychotherapist. As a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo (2009-2010), he recently taught multicultural counselling and Morita therapy in the clinical psychology program during his sabbatical. He was a former David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education at U.B.C., and has been active in developing and teaching a social justice model called “Anti-discrimination Response Training (A.R.T.)” in Canada and overseas.

Dr. Ishiyama currently serves as the Secretary General for the International Committee for Morita Therapy ( and a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Japanese Society for Morita Therapy. He received the prestigious Shoma Morita Award in 2007. He regularly conducts lectures and training workshops on Morita therapy nationally and internationally, and will be running an International Course on Morita Therapy for those seeking certification in this therapy in Vancouver (August 3-4, 2012). He will be co-chairing the 30th Annual Conference on Morita therapy in Tokyo in November, 2012.

Dr. Ishiyama will present an invited workshop on Morita Therapy.

A paradigm shift in Japanese Morita therapy: Moving beyond self-focus toward  experiencing and “naturing”

A unique psychotherapy, later called “Morita therapy,” was developed around 1920 by a Japanese psychiatrist named Shoma Morita (1874-1938) primarily for treating anxiety-related disorders among “shinkeishitsu” individals who show nervous, introspective, perfectionistic, selectively hyper-sensitive, and worry-prone psycholotical traits. Morita therapy facilitates unconditional acceptance of affective symptoms and covert conditions as they are without manipulative attempts. It releases clients’ self-focussed attention and energy toward direct and non-judgmental experiencing of the authentic self and immersion in practical and necessary tasks at hand.

In this introductory workshop on Morita therapy, Dr. Ishiyama will discuss: (a) key theoretical concepts of Morita therapy, (b) the Moritian perspective on human nature and personal development, which has contrasting features to those of Western models, (c) examples of Moritian intervention techniques and strategies, and (d) counselling and other applications. He will relate Morita’s present-centred ideas to those of Viktor Frankl’s and the Zen Buddhist philosophy (esp. “arugamama” or “as-is”).