Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

Religious Studies Review. Volume 35, Issue 3, Pages 151-152

By Ann Gleig

"This edited collection provides a useful and clear overview of the increasing adoption of mindfulness practice by psychotherapeutic and medical communities. Defining mindfulness as the "awareness of present experience with acceptance," the central question of this volume is how to integrate mindfulness into different schools of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and psychodynamic. Eleven chapters thoughtfully interweave clinical vignettes, empirical data, and practical instructions to apply mindfulness to issues such as depression, anxiety, and trauma and to promote mindfulness practice for both therapist and patient. What makes a book written primarily "by clinicians for clinicians" interesting to religious studies scholars? Two themes are particularly relevant: first, as Buddhist scholar Oldenski notes in his solid overview of the traditional Buddhist context of mindfulness, the contemporary appearance of mindfulness in Western psychotherapy is a significant instance of the modern cultural adaptation of Buddhism. Second, several of the essays imply that a mindfulness-based psychotherapy can itself become a spiritual practice in fostering qualities such as connection, acceptance, love, and truth. The question remains as to whether the psychotherapeutic embrace of mindfulness should be problematized for diluting Buddhism or celebrated for elevating psychotherapy. One thing is clear though: it is the commitment to the alleviation of suffering that fundamentally unites the Buddha (framed in these essays as essentially a psychologist) and contemporary psychotherapists."

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(Something interesting I found)Posted:Aug 01 2009, 12:00 AM by A. J. Stasic
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