Psychodynamic group psychotherapy for hikikomori: The case of a socially withdrawn male with schizoaffective disorder

Hiroaki Kubo, Nobuo Aida, Takahiro A. Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hikikomori, a severe form of social withdrawal, is a condition characterized by the avoidance of social participation and staying at home for more than 6 months. Hikikomori was initially reported in Japan in the 1990s and is now observed worldwide. Here, we introduce specialized psychodynamic group psychotherapy for persons with hikikomori, and illustrate the case of an adult male with schizoaffective disorder. In the present report, the patient initiated an unreasonably difficult job-hunting process, became unwell, and was hospitalized. He began to participate in group psychotherapy as a place of belonging and gradually increased his social interactions. We also consider the specific difficulties exhibited by people with hikikomori, especially focusing on the avoidance around assuming responsibility for decisions and extreme dichotomous thinking. Additionally, we discuss the benefits of dealing with these difficulties in a group structure and propose the applicability of group psychotherapy in therapeutic interventions for persons with hikikomori.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1864
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume77
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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