PERMISSIVENESS AND PSYCHOTHERAPY IN JAPAN


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Abstract

The main theme of this paper is the connection between psychotherapeutic permissiveness and the culturally sanctioned permissiveness of the imperfections of human nature. The Japanese word for permissiveness, kyoyō, is a combination of two words: kyo meaning forgiveness and meaning acceptance. Paraphrased as reciprocal or complementary empathic communication, in personal life it is expected to exist between parents and children, or supervisor and staff. When it exists between therapist and patient, it means mutual forgiveness and acceptance of imperfections in the other—ningen-mi—in psychotherapy.

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