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 teaching 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 will be discussed, demonstrated and practised during the subject. The core teachings of Buddhism will be covered in terms of their use in a secular and psychological way in counselling and psychotherapy practices.
The subject will also cover the Buddhist and Psychological concepts of insight, relationship issues, mindfulness, stress reduction, positive emotions, addictions, ageing, sickness, death, and self and non-self. There will be experiential exercises to refine and deepen various clinically beneficial meditative practices. Content includes investigating the social, cultural and ethical issues involved in the integration of Buddhism and Psychotherapy in students’ work as health professionals and in their private lives.
- Knowledge of the theoretical and neurological basis of meditation and its relationship to the Buddha’s core teaching and practice of mindfulness.
- Application of Buddhist and psychological principles to insight, healing, mindfulness, addiction, ageing, sickness and death and the concept of self and non-self.
- Critical appreciation of the social, cultural and ethical issues in the integration of Buddhism and psychotherapy.
- Experience in clinically and personally beneficial meditative practice.
- Assessment 1: Individual class presentation on the application of Buddhist ideas and practices within a psychotherapeutic context (20%, due week 4)
- Assessment 2: Essay on Buddhism and psychotherapy (30%, due week 6)
- Assessment 3: Research project on issues in Buddhist psychology and their applications (50%, due week 10)