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Buddhist counselling and psychotherapy


Buddhist counselling and psychotherapy

Discussion group

Members: 103
Latest Activity: Aug 11, 2016

Discussion Forum

Space Therapy

Started by Sujatin Aug 11, 2016. 0 Replies

Course in Seoul August 2011

Started by Dharmavidya. Last reply by Hussam Al-Nawab Sep 6, 2011. 2 Replies

In Defense of Anti-depressants

Started by Bob Chisholm. Last reply by Bob Chisholm Jul 11, 2011. 2 Replies

The Epidemic of Mental Illness

Started by Bob Chisholm. Last reply by Robert McCarthy Jun 28, 2011. 4 Replies

The Epidemic of Mental Illness Part 2

Started by Bob Chisholm Jun 27, 2011. 0 Replies

Psychedelics Make a Comeback!

Started by Bob Chisholm. Last reply by Bob Chisholm Jun 20, 2011. 6 Replies

Shin-shu counselling-Dharma-based Person-Centred Approach-

Started by Kazuo Yamashita. Last reply by Kazuo Yamashita Jun 17, 2011. 10 Replies

Monica requesting help.

Started by Monica Julian. Last reply by Wayne Hilliard Mar 21, 2011. 2 Replies

What is meant by the Skandhas

Started by Dharmavidya. Last reply by Dharmavidya Sep 13, 2010. 5 Replies

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Comment by Michael Shinyo on July 26, 2016 at 12:51
Comment by Jnañamati on July 26, 2016 at 8:58

Michael - as far as I am aware it is the same book just two different editions and the later one is not a revised text. So this same text is the basis of the Buddhist psychology course. 

Comment by Michael Shinyo on July 25, 2016 at 17:19
My last question is also out of curiosity as to which book is used in the Buddhist Psychology program.
Comment by Michael Shinyo on July 25, 2016 at 16:26
I'm curious. I was looking up the book, Zen Therapy, and found two different ones. One published in 1997 and the other in 2001. Is this the same book, with the latter being a revision? Thank you.
Comment by Bob Chisholm on March 7, 2011 at 7:48
Yes, let's do that, Jeff. And I agree that this is a great cultural force which manifests itself in all kinds of different domains. Something needs to be done to restore a sense of the human and psychotherapy, especially a Buddhist psychotherapy can do much along those lines. Look forward to seeing you and everybody else!
Comment by Jeff harrison on March 6, 2011 at 15:49
You're right, Bob, it is depressing (but, of course, there are pills for that). It reminds me of that other article you alerted me to about how the market is taking over the academic world, too. Not sure what can be done about it but I look forward to talking it over with you next week.
Comment by Bob Chisholm on March 6, 2011 at 11:10

There is a long and fascinating article in today’s NY Times entitled Talk Therapy Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns to Drug Therapy which is about how payments by insurance companies in the US are inducing psychiatrists to turn away from psychotherapy in favour of psychopharmacology. The article focuses on an experienced psychiatrist from Pennsylvania named Donald Levine who, in spite of his strong belief in the effectiveness of psychotherapy, has now become a dispenser of drugs for the simple reason that it pays more to do so. In the past, Levine would spend up to twelve long sessions before reaching a diagnosis; now he is forced to make one in his first fifteen minute session with a patient. And in these brief sessions he often has to cut patients off from discussing their problems in excessive detail on the grounds that the conversation is becoming too psychotherapeutic. Levine does encourage his patients to go into therapy, but as the article notes, few of them actually do. His job now is to offer his patients relief from their symptoms as quickly and as cost-efficiently as possible.


I find this a deplorable way to approach psychological suffering, but it does reflect the values of a society that is increasingly driven by materialist values. It’s easy to blame the insurance companies for forcing the values of accountancy on psychotherapy, but this is what such enterprises do. Levine, who appears in the article in a sympathetic light, could be criticised for choosing to practise psychopharmacology over psychotherapy in order to keep his income high. But however disappointing his decision might be, the problem goes far beyond the personal decision of one psychiatrist. The matter is very complex and raises all sorts of issues about treating a variety of psychological conditions and how such treatments should be funded. But it is hard to avoid the conclusion that in its frenzy for minimising costs and increasing profits, a consumerist society simply refuses to make allowance for personal growth. In the UK, the NHS has decided to put more emphasis on talking therapy in recognition of its proven superiority to drug therapy. Perhaps this should be seen as a welcome development, but the same cost/investment mentality which guides US insurers appears to be at work in the UK, too. NICE, the NHS body that is charged with assessing clinical effectiveness is only interested in results, that is to say, quantifiable outcomes. Where then, is the space for the belief that psychotherapy of its own necessity must be more interested in process than results?         

Comment by Hara Willow on June 24, 2009 at 17:59
Thanks Susthama. I will do that asap. x
Comment by Susthama on June 22, 2009 at 21:18
Hi Hara,

That's great to hear - Caroline's away at the moment so I thought I'd just mention that you can find more information by going to
Comment by Hara Willow on June 22, 2009 at 20:05
Hi Caroline, I am interested to know more about course blocks in Buddhist psychology - I where do I find more info about them please? Hara x

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