Psychoanalysis.  2016 Oct;27(4):133-137. 10.0000/pa.2016.27.4.133.

Buddhism and Psychotherapy

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yong-In Mental Hospital, Yongin, Korea.


Buddhism and Psychotherapy focus on alleviating mental suffering through a detailed investigation of mental process. Therefore Buddhism and Psychotherapy overlap each other in the theory and in practice. Historically there are many attempts to collaborate between Buddhism and psychology by a variety of renowned psychoanalysts such as Carl Jung, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, and Mark Epstein et al. I reviewed Buddhism's approach to the self which is described as "no-self ". Sense of the self arises from different conditions, there isn't a permanent and solid self. An expanded understanding of the self based on Buddhism is not contradictory to modern psychology and deepens the therapeutic potential of no-self. In practice, Buddhism and psychotherapy roughly share the similar method in some aspect to approach the inner mind. But the next step to deal with these materials is definitely different. In this article I never attempt to view Buddhism through the term of psychotherapy and to integrate two fields. The earnest introspection and considerate academic attitude are necessary to collaborate between Buddhism and psychotherapy without losing the essence of each other.


Buddhism; Psychotherapy; Meditation
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