22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Brilliant Sanity: Buddhist Approaches to Psychotherapy. The many contributors to this work highlight the multi-faceted, compassionate Buddhist view of working with clients in a clinical setting. In the process we, as therapists, discover and rediscover own own wisdom and Brilliant Sanity. I have found in my own practice that clients resonate with the teachings that they are fine as they are; that they have the choice to make changes in their lives or not; and that life is a journey that includes suffering. The work of therapy is to understand our suffering and let go of attachments and the beliefs we hold that are not true. Finally we discover that the more responsibility we take for our own thoughts, feelings, attitudes and actions, the more we are able to make the informed decision that we can trust ourselves to make our lives workable. This book is a brilliant compilation of many of the important Buddhist teachers who have brought, and continue to bring, the important Buddhist view to Western psychotherapeutic practice. Anyone interested in learning how eastern and western approaches to psychotherapy enhance each other will find this book a valuable resource.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2008
"Brilliant Sanity" is based on the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the man credited with bringing Buddhism to the West in the early 1970's. The articles by the editors and other authors (especially those by Dr. Karen Wegela, Dr. Robert Unger, Dr. Mark Epstein, Matthew Tomatz, Michael Dow, Elizabeth A. Olson, and others) explain in detail how psychotherapy (including brain chemistry) and Buddhism can beautifully and profoundly come together when working with special populations, group therapy, the therapeutic environment and more. The ground, of course, is to relieve suffering. The importance and value of mindfulness and awareness, lynchpins of a Buddhist practice, pervade each chapter. Taking brilliant sanity to heart, in my own private practice I try to help my clients and groups focus on the here-and-now while maintaining my own presence. Needless to say there is much work for me to do (inner and outer), but books like this help so much. "Brilliant Sanity" puts it all into words and, if taken to heart, the world of psychotherapy will be benefit from it. I believe this book is an important exposition on how to help others. I now carry it around with me wherever I go. In a word, it is brilliant.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2009
A book to read over a long time, savoring the wisdom there. I am biased because I went to Naropa and know many of these teachers, however, it is undeniably a rare compilation of this kind. Many are long time practitioners, all are very interesting people, with a very wise spin on therapy from a Buddhist Point of view.