Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective
This text discusses how Eastern spirituality can enhance Western psychology. As patients and therapists find themselves reaching for new solutions to ... Show synopsis This text discusses how Eastern spirituality can enhance Western psychology. As patients and therapists find themselves reaching for new solutions to their problems, the traditional disctinctions between matters of the mind and matters of the spirit are increasingly being questioned. This book is written by a traditionally trained psychotherapist who has immersed himself in the Buddhist tradition. Drawing on his own experiences as patient, meditator and therapist, the author argues that the contemplative traditions of the East help patients go beyond merely recognizing their problems to healing them, and that such an approach is not at odds with the psychodynamic method. The book begins by focusing on the Buddhist perspective. Dispelling misconceptions common even among those already practising meditative techniques, this section presents the Buddha's psychological teachings in the language of Western psychodynamics. It then goes on to explain the meditative practices of bare attention, concentration, mindfulness, and analytical inquiry, and shows how they speak to issues at the forefront of psychological concern. Finally, the book uses Freud's treatise of psychotherapy - "Remembering, repeating and working-through" - as a template to show how the Buddha's teaching can complement, inform and energize the practice of psychotherapy.