Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Key Information

Lecture dates: 11 - 15 May 2020

Census date: 11 May 2020

Lecturer: Dr Eng-Kong Tan

Duration5 weeks (including 5 days on-campus)

Delivery: On-campus

Subject code: HSW916

Subject Overview

'Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy - Mindfulness for the Helping Professions' is an ideal study opportunity for anyone interested in the interface between Buddhism and Psychotherapy, and the significant advantages this new spiritual dimension of psychotherapy has on modern life.


This theoretical and experiential subject looks at contemporary mental and psychological disorders and diseases, and examines how Buddhism and Psychotherapy practices can respond, manage and impact on them.


In the last decade there has been an exponential increase in interest in the relationship between Buddhism and Psychotherapy. This subject explores the interface between Buddhism and psychotherapy and the therapeutic actions of Buddha's core teachings and practice of mindfulness which are now incorporated in many mainstream psychotherapies. The theoretical and neurobiological basis of meditation training and the art and science of meditation useful in psychotherapy practice is discussed, demonstrated and practiced.


The subject also covers the Buddhist and psychological concepts and foundations of suffering pertaining to psychological distress, psychic pain, difficult relationship issues, stress induced diseases, addictions, ageing, sickness and death.  There will be experiential exercises to cultivate various clinically beneficial meditative practices. Content also touches on the social, cultural and ethical issues involved in the Integration of Buddhism and Psychotherapy for health professionals.


Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the theoretical and neurological basis of meditation and its relationship to the Buddha's core teaching and practice of mindfulness.

  • Apply Buddhist and psychological principles to insight, embodiment and consciousness.

  • Develop a critical appreciation of the social, cultural and ethical issues in the integration of Buddhism and psychotherapy.

  • Experience clinically beneficial meditative practice.


Subject Structure

This subject runs for five weeks, with the following structure:


Week 1: Pre-reading of prescribed texts
Week 2:  Five lecture days on campus (9am - 5pm)
Weeks 3 - 5: Submission of assessments online