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The Eight Doors Program

I have walked the dark and dank corridors of hopelessness, minds imprisoned within the four walls of despair and the ‘you-can’t -change- what- is’ edict. I reflected over a career in psychotherapy and mental health work, in the psychiatric Aftercare Centres and hospitals, as well as time in China as a Buddhist monk and the young orphan women who would visit our temple for help. The people within the walls became my teachers. How do you treat hopelessness and helplessness? How do you give people agency when all else has been taken away from them? Gradually The Eight Doors Program began to take shape.

It is called the Eight Doors because it is about eight doors that open into new spaces of thinking, discovery and being. Most people that we work with at Shikodo have had doors slammed or locked on them. Doors that have locked them in to societal conformity. You are a woman so you can’t do what is dictated. You are a refugee you have no place, you have a disability and you are locked out of the life you would want. Doors often lock us in or lock us out. The doors in the Eight Door Program open and welcome, lead to new ways of thinking and empowerment.

The Eight Doors Program is set upon a threefold foundation. It is Solutions, Strengths and Skills focused. Our Coaches are carefully selected trained and enable participants to acquire valuable mindset skills. Participants are able to achieve awards in various skill sets.

Our program is regularly evaluated using key metrics but it was one response that recently moved me. Masiko** had spoken of her life of violence and abuse and eventual refuge with a women’s refuge. “I used to wake each morning with tears. Now I wake with hope. I have never been able to hope. I have discovered strengths I never knew I had.”

If you would like further information about the Eight Doors Program for yourself or someone you know, you are welcome to contact us at Shikodo at

** Name has been changed for confidentiality.

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