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Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective Paperback – November 30, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
Buddha taught that the false ego or metaphorical self causes mental suffering. Deeds exist, but no doer can be found. Thoughts exist with out a thinker. We have thoughts, feelings, a body, senses, and consciousness; all these exist, however there is no "I" or "ego". That is mental formation we hold in our mind and give it a form, but it is a mental mirage and is an illusion and is the root of all our mental suffering. That is the main teaching of this book, and if you can grasp that you overcome the world.
What makes this book remarkable, for me at least, is that Epstein does NOT try to combine Buddhism and psychotherapy into a hybrid so much as he creatively and effectively uses each to reflect and inform the other. Instead of advocating a watered-down "Buddhism-Lite", or a Western psychology with some meditation draped over top, he recognizes that each has its merits, but that each can learn from the other without attempting to become the other. The result is a trenchant presentation/interpretation of Buddhism that Westerners can follow (because it starts from categories and cultural institutions rooted in Western traditions of psychology) AND an applied psychology that learns from Buddhism without trying to become Buddhism.
There are many exciting developments in the use of mindfulness and meditation in psychotherapy. A Buddhist approach is one of them. What gives such value to Epstein's approach, though, is his success at giving an overall theoretical psychodynamic framework. This book is an excellent statement on the `how it works' of meditation in psychotherapy. What is needed after a close reading of this material, are specifics on the `how to' of actually doing and using meditation within a psychotherapy practice.
---For the therapist with a psychodynamic orientation, I recommend studying the third section of this book, in which Epstein lays out a process for integrating meditation and therapy.
---For the mindful client who wants to understand the therapeutic process, a reading of the whole book will be helpful.
---The Buddhist reader will be able to better understand psychodynamic psychotherapy after reading this.
The book brilliantly explains the process of integration, but stops short of explaining exactly how to set the wheels in process. For now, psychotherapist wanting to learn the `how to' in individual psychotherapy will need supervision, as approaches are developed client by client.
I am interested in dialog on mindfulness and psychotherapy. [...]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have recommended this book to therapist colleagues, who have also found it interesting and helpful. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Janet S Frigo
Good book. it made me want to read more of Mark's books. It is a good start. very good start.Published 3 months ago by Timothy Wessel
For a book about "there's no such thing as self" - the word self is employed - OFTEN !Published 3 months ago by ratty
So I ordered this book for a class on Buddhism I took just to get my general education requirements out of the way and honestly it’s the best and worse class I’ve ever done. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Angel
I began reading one of Dr. Epstein's other books a few years ago but stopped after around 50 pages due to him repeatedly referring to Freud's theories. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Adam Appleby
Perfectly written, and perfectly spoken to the heart of a psychotherapist in search of something better.Published 8 months ago by John-Richard Pagan
I loved Mark's other book on the intersection of psychotherapy and Buddhism. This one, written earlier, I found less easy to access and have not yet finished it many months after... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Trisha Lord