top of page
Image by Veronika Bykovich

Ikigai

​Ikigai Psychology Clinic is in Brisbane (New Farm) and Melbourne (Prahran). Our psychologists support individuals, couples and their families in-person or online. We provide support to people from all over Australia and overseas. 

Our practice is a unique blend of Eastern and Western Psychology, integrating modern science-based psychotherapy with intuitive practices such as mindfulness and compassion, offering you a contemporary and comprehensive approach to therapy. 

We view our clients' experiences through a contextual behavioural lens, taking into account each person's unique identity, culture, environment, and background.

During therapy, we explore what is happening in your life right now (your present), untangle the experiences that led you here (your past), and work together to find out what you need to do to move forward towards your goals and values (your future).
 
At Ikigai Psychology Clinic, our purpose is to:
 

  • Provide a space to explore your needs, fears and desires

  • Find creative ways to navigate challenging situations 

  • Support you with decision-making through difficult life transitions

  • Listen without judgment and accept who you are regardless of where you came from

A Peaceful Place to Explore Your Purpose

In 2019, Tunteeya Yamaoka opened Ikigai Psychology Clinic to create a space for people of all colours and genders to feel comfortable, heard, and understood. Tunteeya's decision to create Ikigai Psychology began with a need for more services focused on supporting people in discovering their purpose and identity. 

Tunteeya's vision was to create a space where therapy was not solely sought in times of need but also as a tool for personal growth and self-discovery. She aimed to establish a clinic readily accessible to individuals at various stages of their life journey, including those navigating challenging transitional phases.

Tunteeya's journey to establish the Ikigai Psychology Clinic was personal and initiated shortly after graduating with a Master of Professional Psychology. She was amid her exploration, seeking to define her path in the post-graduation phase of her life.

Should I pursue further studies? Should I complete my PhD, or should I open my clinic? After attending her therapy sessions, Tunteeya decided to open her practice, and in 2020, she recruited like-minded professionals to join her team. In 2022, she completed training to become an Accredited  Supervisor for AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency)  to contribute to training provisional psychologists. 

In 2024, Tunteeya Yamaoka moved to Melbourne and continues to operate Ikigai Psychology Clinic Brisbane from interstate. She now sees her long-term clients in Brisbane via Telehealth. She serves her private practice in Melbourne while occasionally returning to Brisbane to maintain the group practice in New Farm.

Living in the "Educational State," Tunteeya is now focusing on professional development and considering her options for further training again. She is committed to improving her skills and experience to benefit her clients and the community. 

In her spare time, Tunteeya volunteers for Creative Mornings, the world's largest creative community, where she is an online speaker. She also volunteers in person, and you may see her helping at events. 

1D4A7719 (1) (1).jpg

Tunteeya Yamaoka Psychologist and Founder of Ikigai Psychology Clinic

A person who is most likely to feel a sense of ikigai is convinced of his or her need to live, is clearly aware of his or her goal of “self-preservation” and is fully committed to that goal.

In other words, a person who has a personal mission in his or her life that he or she proactively pursues experiences Ikigai at the highest level."

-Meiko Kamiya

Purpose

Dr Mieko Kamiya, the Mother of Ikigai in Japan, was a Psychiatrist who treated Leprosy patients at Nagashima Aiseien Sanatorium. Kamiya was fluent in several languages, including English, French and German. She was not only a psychiatrist who dealt with existential questions, she also translated the original of Marcus Aureliu's meditations and some of Micheal Foucault's books. She was a doctor, teacher and advocate for vulnerable populations in society, loved by many.

Patients with Leprosy in the 1950s were outcasted from Japanese society. Since this disease caused visible deformities and was not well understood, many patients were isolated from their communities in hopes of stopping the spread of the disease. 

Under the 1953 leprosy prevention law, Leprosy patients were forced to live in sanatoriums located in mountains or on remote islands. Leprosy patients were forced to have abortions and were sterilised to prevent them from having children. These patients often lived in harsh, overcrowded facilities, and many patients tried to take their own lives. 

Dr Mieko Kamiya studied Leprosy patients to find out what gave them a sense of meaning and purpose despite the harsh and lonely environment they lived in. In a sense, she studied trauma and recovery and devised the seven following needs for Ikigai. 

7 IKIGAI NEEDS

Japanese Psychiatrist Dr Mieko Kamiya proposes that there are seven needs for Ikigai:

1. Life Satisfaction
2. Change and Growth
3. A Bright Future (Hope)
4. Community and Connection
5. Freedom of Choice
6. Self-Actualisation
7. Meaning and Value


Dr Kamiya's study on the 7 Needs of Ikigai shows there are a variety of needs to fulfil to live a meaningful life. Compared to the Spanish Venn Diagram of Purposeful, the 7 Needs of Ikigai provides a more holistic look at our well-being and purpose in life. 

Brief History of Ikigai

1966

Dr Mieko Kamiya (1914-1979) was a Japanese Psychiatrist who treated Leprosy patients at Nagashima Aiseien Sanatorium. She was known for translating books on philosophy and wrote 生きがいについて "What Makes Our Life Worth Living".

2006

Yuzo Ota publishes "A Women With Demons- The Life of Kamiya Mieko" An Autobiography on Dr Kamiya's life. Ota wrote about how Kamiya was a complex individual at times struggling with her own purpose and grief. 

2013

The term “blue zones” was first coined by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow and journalist, during an exploratory project he led in 2004. After an expedition to Okinawa, Japan, in 2000 to investigate the longevity there, he explored other regions with reportedly high longevity. He gave a TED Talk on the Blue Zones, five areas around the world where he found many people living beyond the ages of one hundred. Dan proposed that centenarians living in Okinawa were doing so because they had Ikigai, "A reason for Which You Get Up In the Morning", and "Moai", long-standing friendships and community.

2017

Spanish Author Hector Garcia released "Ikigai: A Secret to a Long and Happy Life". He discussed the Venn Diagram of Purpose: the intercept between your passion, mission, profession and vocation. This Venn diagram was translated from Spanish to English, and the word "Ikigai" was inserted into the middle and replaced the star representing purpose. Hector discussed how having Ikigai can support you with your well-being.

Following Hector Garcia's book, Neuro Scientist Dr Ken Moji released "The Little Book of IKIGAI: The Essential Japanese Way to Finding Your Purpose in Life". Dr Moji refers to his Five Pillar Framework, offering the reader guidance and the foundation to explore their own Ikigai. 

The Five Pillars include:

  • Pillar 1: Starting small

  • Pillar 2: Releasing yourself

  • Pillar 3: Harmony and sustainability

  • Pillar 4: The joy of little things

  • Pillar 5: Being in the here and now

2019

Tunteeya Yamaoka opened Ikigai Psychology Clinic in Brisbane to support the community in response to the growing mental health crisis. Tunteeya's mission and purpose is to spread the true meaning of Ikigai to the world. 

A message from our founder

1D4A7564_edited_edited.jpg

"Having Japanese origin, I understand the nuances of Ikigai, the energy source that gives us the power to live on. It is a beautiful word with an attractive meaning that is difficult to translate directly. 

The Venn diagram of purpose portrays that to have Ikigai, you need to be in a career that fulfils your legacy and your passion. This is an enormous amount of pressure to carry, which can often lead to a sense of anxiety. For some, their job may be their Ikigai, their reason for being. But not for all. 

Your role in society does not define Ikigai. Ikigai is a feeling you experience in a flow state. People experience this state when they are at one with an experience that makes them feel alive."

Tunteeya Yamaoka

Psychologist and Founder of Ikigai Psychology Clinic

Learn More About Therapy 

We vary in our needs, personalities, and the issues we face.

Different therapies address this diversity and provide practical approaches for each individual's unique situation.

Depending on your conditions and concerns, some therapies may be more suitable for you than others. 

bottom of page