Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Theravadan practitioner's view of psychotherapy

Poll ended at Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:03 am

It is incompatible with my Buddhist practice/beliefs
0
No votes
It is dangerous
0
No votes
It is benign, but useless
0
No votes
It can be useful
6
38%
It is very beneficial
3
19%
It is compatible with my Buddhist practice/beliefs
6
38%
I don't have an opinion
1
6%
 
Total votes : 16

Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby pink_trike » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:03 am

I'm curious what Theravadan *practitioners* think about psychotherapy. Please choose all that apply, and then if you're inclined post the reasons for your choices. Thanks.
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:16 am

PINK! You old troublemaker!

I know, how about a thread on psychotherapists' view of Buddhism? Hmm... then you and my wife would be making very interesting contributions to that one!
Just a thought!
Cheers

Ben
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby cooran » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:58 am

Hello Pink,

It depends on what you mean by psychotherapy. I've been doing some training lately in ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Dr. Russ Harris, and it is the first time I've felt a practice mode for counselling clients was a good "fit" with Buddhism.
http://www.actmindfully.com.au/acceptan ... nt_therapy

metta
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:57 am

I don't have an opinion at this stage I am just about to start a course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, but that is just one aspect of Psycotherapy, some are and some won't be.
A Doctor friend of mine once said that they are compatible, in as much as newer techneques being used and looked into either directly or indirectly have a basis in Buddhist practice, or thought but this should not be confused with the whole of psychotherapy being compatible. although I would say it is to varying extents have a look at this http://www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness/ oxford and I think Cambridge has similar areas of study going on and there are a few (in the UK) Buddhist groups combining the two. I also recently saw Western Buddhism being called psyco-????? (can't remember the second word sorry)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby cooran » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:45 am

Hello all,

And of course - Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is also derived from Buddhist meditative concepts:

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a psychological method developed by Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington, to treat persons with borderline personality disorder (BPD).[1][2] DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of mindful awareness, distress tolerance, and acceptance largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice. DBT is the first therapy that has been experimentally demonstrated to be effective for treating BPD. Research indicates that DBT is also effective in treating patients who represent varied symptoms and behaviors associated with spectrum mood disorders, including self-injury.[3] DBT includes the following key elements: behaviorist theory, dialectics, cognitive therapy, and, DBT's central component, mindfulness.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectica ... or_therapy

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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby Fede » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:37 am

Althoiugh there is bound to be diversification and modification, in general, I have found (through my own experiences) that 'psychotherapy' is compatible, because it encourages the 'patient' to examine their own fundamental motives.

Biuddhism, I think, does the same....
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:59 pm

Oops, I'm not a Theravada practitioner but I voted. I think psychotherapy is entirely consistent with my religion.
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby pink_trike » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:12 pm

Ben wrote:PINK! You old troublemaker!

I know, how about a thread on psychotherapists' view of Buddhism? Hmm... then you and my wife would be making very interesting contributions to that one!
Just a thought!
Cheers

Ben

One step at a time ;)
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby cooran » Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:02 pm

Hello all,

Here is an article from one of my teachers, Patrick Kearney, about Why Meditation isn't Psychotherapy:

Still Crazy after All These Years

"There is a great deal of interest in Buddhist meditation in contemporary Australia, especially among psychologists and psychotherapists who seek to integrate Buddhist meditation, and in particular the vipassanâ meditation of the Theravâda school of Buddhism, with various forms of psychotherapy. The popularity of this approach is shown by the success of books such as Jack Kornfield’s A path with heart: A guide through the perils and promises of spiritual life, a runaway best-seller that has had an enormous impact on many people, including non-meditators. Indeed, Kornfield is one of the central influences behind this movement. Himself a successful meditation teacher and psychotherapist, he has inspired at least two other therapists, both of them his meditation students, to write on psychotherapy and meditation: Jeffrey Rubin, author of Psychotherapy and Buddhism: Towards an integration; and Mark Epstein, author of Thoughts without a thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist perspective.
As I read these books I did not feel the excitement that comes from discovering a new and culturally relevant way of encountering the timeless essence of the Buddha-dharma. Rather, I felt somewhat disturbed by what I see as a growing confusion about the nature of Buddhist teachings and a willingness to distort and dilute these teachings, apparently in order to make Buddhist meditation more saleable in our contemporary spiritual marketplace."
http://www.buddhanet.net/crazy.htm

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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:27 am

Thanks for posting that Chris. I was thinking of posting it, but I didn't go back and check wether Patrick thought there was anything negative about psychotherapy in itself (which I don't recall he did). I recall that his point was that teaching Buddhism as "just another psychotherapy" (which Jack Kornfield and various other Western teachers sometimes seem to be doing) was considerably undervaluing the Dhamma (though of course any Dhamma is better than none...).

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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby pink_trike » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:05 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks for posting that Chris. I was thinking of posting it, but I didn't go back and check wether Patrick thought there was anything negative about psychotherapy in itself (which I don't recall he did). I recall that his point was that teaching Buddhism as "just another psychotherapy" (which Jack Kornfield and various other Western teachers sometimes seem to be doing) was considerably undervaluing the Dhamma (though of course any Dhamma is better than none...).

Metta
Mike

I think its worth noting that the cultural milieu Jack teaches within/from (Marin County, California) is one that is completely saturated and well-steeped in psychology and psychotherapy that has an eastern flavor. The combination of countless innovative psychotherapy modalities that emerged in this area over the last 3 decades along with the great diverse abundance of well-established Buddhist centers has resulted in a fairly psychologically-sophisticated population. There is a saying in the greater San Francisco Bay area: out of any three people, one is seeing a psychotherapist, one is studying to be a psychotherapist, and one is a psychotherapist. Having lived there for 20 years and played all three roles, I can confirm that the saying is pointing at a real phenomenon. In this part of the world even street walkers and garbage removal specialists can quote Maslow accurately and with correct context. :smile: Jack is working with circumstances very skillfully, imo.
Last edited by pink_trike on Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby pink_trike » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:19 am

Chris wrote:Hello Pink,

It depends on what you mean by psychotherapy. I've been doing some training lately in ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Dr. Russ Harris, and it is the first time I've felt a practice mode for counselling clients was a good "fit" with Buddhism.
http://www.actmindfully.com.au/acceptan ... nt_therapy

metta
Chris

Nice! From what I can tell, this fully fits into my definition of the umbrella term "psychotherapy" and seems to be very similar to a number of "West Coast" therapies.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:17 am

Hi Chris,

Chris wrote:It depends on what you mean by psychotherapy. I've been doing some training lately in ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Dr. Russ Harris, and it is the first time I've felt a practice mode for counselling clients was a good "fit" with Buddhism.


Haven't you also been trained in REBT? If so, didn't you consider that a good fit?

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:48 am

Hello Ajahn,

Yes, I have - and in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as well - but ACT seemed a better fit. It may be because the training for REBT and CBT is given by a rather confronting Professor (well, maybe scary is a better word ... perhaps belligerent? sometimes downright rude? .. maybe it is just that he is from New York?) working in conjunction with the Albert Ellis Institute and the Beck Institute. He visits Oz for a couple of periods each year for the training.

There were 150 Psychologists and some Social Workers at the ACT introductory training and they were all very enthusiastic.

metta and respect,
Chris
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:17 am

Hi Chris & Bhante all
what is REBT?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:21 am

Manapa wrote:Hi Chris & Bhante all
what is REBT?


Rational emotive behaviour therapy.

http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/REBT
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Practitioners view of psychotherapy

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:32 am

Cheers Bhante
I think I may of heard the name before but not in abbreviated form?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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