Immersed in Buddhist psychology prior to studying Western psychiatry, Dr. Mark Epstein first viewed Western therapeutic approaches through the lens of the East. This posed something of a challenge. Although both systems promise liberation through self-awareness, the central tenet of Buddha's wisdom is the notion of no-self, while the central focus of Western psychotherapy is the self. This book, which includes writings from the past 25 years, wrestles with the complex relationship between Buddhism and psychotherapy and offers nuanced reflections on therapy, meditation, and psychological and spiritual development.
A best-selling author and popular speaker, Epstein has long been at the forefront of the effort to introduce Buddhist psychology to the West. His unique background enables him to serve as a bridge between the two traditions, which he has found to be more compatible than at first thought. Engaging with the teachings of the Buddha as well as those of Freud and Winnicott, he offers a compelling look at desire, anger, and insight and helps reinterpret the Buddha's Four Noble Truths and central concepts such as egolessness and emptiness in the psychoanalytic language of our time.
The book is published by Yale University Press.
"Required reading for anyone interested in understanding concepts like narcissism, integration, unintegration, and liberation. . . . Highly recommended." (
"One of the most rewarding books I have read in some time." ( The Bloomsbury Review)
" Psychotherapy without the Self has the odd effect of lightness: Burdens long carried seem to drop away as you read." ( Los Angeles Times)
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A marvellous book. I learned a lot!