Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Subject code MH716
Lecturer Sylvia Neubacher
Delivery mode Online, self-directed
Duration 10 weeks
Next start date Visit timetable

Subject Overview

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 course. 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.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge of the theoretical and neurological basis of meditation and its relationship to the Buddha’s core teaching and practice of mindfulness.
  2. Application of Buddhist and psychological principles to insight, healing, mindfulness, addictions, ageing, sickness and death and the concept of self and non-self.
  3. Critical appreciation of the social, cultural and ethical issues in the integration of Buddhism and psychotherapy.
  4. Experience in clinically and personally beneficial meditative practice.



  • Assessment 1, Part A: Short answer quiz (10%, due week 2)
  • Assessment 1, Part B: Individual presentation on Buddhism and Psychotherapy and reflection (40%, due week 4)
  • Assessment 2: Research project on issues and applications in Buddhist psychotherapy (50%, due week 10)


Offering a high degree of flexibility, our courses can be studied online or on campus, full or part-time. Our courses are designed for health and wellness professionals, counsellors, educators, and other leaders who are balancing a work schedule and already have an undergraduate degree. Enrol now or at a time that suits you.