Tim Brunson DCH

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Buddhist psychology, psychotherapy and the brain: a critical introduction.



Buddhist psychology is increasingly informing psychotherapeutic practice in the western world. This article: (a) provides a general background to Buddhist tradition; (b) outlines the central tenets of Buddhist psychology, with particular emphasis on the practice of meditation; (c) provides an overview of research into the effects of Buddhist practice on the brain; (d) outlines the relationships between Buddhist psychology and existing forms of psychotherapy; (e) provides an overview of Buddhist approaches to specific psychiatric disorders and the psychological aspects of physical disorders; and (f) discusses the emergence of Buddhist psychotherapy in western societies and explores likely future developments. There is a need for further research into the neuroscientific correlates of Buddhist concepts of mind and the evidence-base for the use of specific techniques (e.g., meditation) in psychotherapeutic practice.

Transcult Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;45(1):5-30. Kelly BD. University College Dublin. brendankelly35@gmail.com.

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