Immersed in Buddhist psychology prior to studying Western psychiatry, Dr. Mark Epstein first viewed Western therapeutic approaches through the lens of the East. This posed something of a challenge. Although both systems promise liberation through self-awareness, the central tenet of Buddha's wisdom is the notion of no-self, while the central focus of Western psychotherapy is the self. This book, which includes writings from the past 25 years, wrestles with the complex relationship between Buddhism and psychotherapy and offers nuanced reflections on therapy, meditation, and psychological and spiritual development.
A best-selling author and popular speaker, Epstein has long been at the forefront of the effort to introduce Buddhist psychology to the West. His unique background enables him to serve as a bridge between the two traditions, which he has found to be more compatible than at first thought. Engaging with the teachings of the Buddha as well as those of Freud and Winnicott, he offers a compelling look at desire, anger, and insight and helps reinterpret the Buddha's Four Noble Truths and central concepts such as egolessness and emptiness in the psychoanalytic language of our time.
The book is published by Yale University Press.
"Required reading for anyone interested in understanding concepts like narcissism, integration, unintegration, and liberation. . . . Highly recommended." (Choice)
"One of the most rewarding books I have read in some time." (The Bloomsbury Review)
"Psychotherapy without the Self has the odd effect of lightness: Burdens long carried seem to drop away as you read." (Los Angeles Times)
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Challenging and Enlightening
- Constant reader
Not for the Road
I didn't get to that part. I was very disappointed. I am a MAMFT atudent at a seminary. I am not a Christian, and wanted a sense of providing clinical therapy from a buddhist perspective. I would read this book to give it a second chance, but i would return the audible book. The hour in which i listened to the book sounded like a dissertation. Not something I need to listen to on the interstate at 6am. I know, from listening to Brain Rules, and Aging as a Spiritual Practice (see reviews) that a narrator can make or break a book, and the best books are those that 'teach' well about difficult subjects. In other words, you can't wait to hear the next chapter! This audible book appeared to lack both advantages, and I need to emphasize that fact. There is a big difference betweem writing a dissertation and writing a book for a general population, no matter if the topic is interesting. If it is not presented for the audience to understand; re-think the stance.
I did not like the performance.
This is not a work of fiction.
The historic summary of 'western' Buddhism is interesting, and a good explanation of how Americans often abberate belief systems to fit their own mold of secular 'spirituality' , removing authenticity of a very honorable philosophy and way of life.
- J Zimmer