This book presents an exploration of Buddhist philosophy and practice as a potential resource for an approach to psycho-therapy which is responsive to the needs of its time and context and attempts to open up a three-way dialogue between Buddhism, psychotherapy and contemporary discourse to reveal a meaningful theory and practive for a contemporary psychotherapy. This book raises the question of what it is in Buddhism itself that provides such a rich resource for psychotherapy. Gay Watson firmly places her exploration of these themes within the context of contemporary life and thought, as a response to the pathologies, physical and intellectual of our time. Organized according to the traditional Tibetan plan of Ground, Path and Fruition, the book first presents a brief survey of Western psychotherapies followed by an introduction to Buddhist views, with particular reference to those most relevant to psychotherapy. Path considers the two major branches of the Buddhist way, ethics, and meditation in the context of contemporary life and psychotherapy. Fruition compares the goal of Buddhism and psychotherapy and subsequently explores the implications of adopting Buddhist influence in the light of contemporary discourse and of the experienced domains of body, speech, and mind. Finally, the lineaments of contemporary Buddhist-inspired psychotherapy are suggested. The book will be of great interest to those concerned with the translation of Buddhism into contemporary life and also to students of psychotherapy and its expansion, particularly into spiritual and transpersonal dimensions.
About the Author
Gay Watson. Ph.D. I am a writer concerned with the dialogue between Buddhist thought, psychotherapy, and the Mind Sciences. After studying for a degree in Religious Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) and professional training in Core Process Psychotherapy with the Karuna Institute in Devon, UK, I brought these two disciplines together for my doctoral dissertation on A Buddhist Inspiration for a Contemporary Psychotherapy. With recent and ongoing discoveries in the field of Neuroscience, I have become aware that science must be a third partner in this conversation in search of well-being. The resonance of these new discoveries with the first psychology of Buddhist dharma, albeit in a different language, brings another dimension to this dialogue. It also, I believe, provides some foundation for the art of psychotherapy. I continue to explore these themes in teaching, writing, and life. My most recent book is A Philosophy of Emptiness (Reaktion 2014) an exploration of ideas of emptiness from early Buddhism and Taoism and Greek thought through to contemporary philosophy, science, and art practice.