"These days . . . we are apt to seek out a therapist to . . . help us get the dragon back into its cave. Therapists of many schools will oblige in this, and we will thus be returned to what Freud called 'ordinary unhappiness.' Zen, by contrast, offers dragon-riding lessons." —David Brazier
"A potent source of inspiration for anyone interested in the therapeutic potential of Buddhism. David Brazier writes with clarity and authority about the Zen way." —Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective.
"Although written from the perspective of the psychotherapist, it is not just a book for psychotherapists. It is comprehensive and readable and should appeal to anyone broadly interested in Buddhism." —Helen Sieroda, psychosynthesis psychotherapist.
"Masterly and inspiring." —Joy Manné, psychotherapist and founder of L'Ecole de Therapie Analytique d'Evolution Personnelle.
"The 'I' seems to be harassed in every way all day, and it feels constricted, inhibited, fearful of acting in the way it likes, and depending upon outsiders all the time for directions. What is this 'I' that resents all these oppressions from without, revolting, complaining, irritated, upset, despondent, wavering, unable to be decisive? When you ask a question in the Zen sense of the term, you must feel somewhere deep within yourself another 'you' or 'I' who is really above these psychological annoyances. Zen wants you to put your finger on this 'I'. . ." —D. T. Suzuki
When Gautama Buddha first set forth the principles of what came to be known as Buddhism, it was, above all, in an effort to help people achieve freedom from mental suffering. In the twenty-five hundred years since the death of the "Great Physician," his disciples have continued to expand upon his teachings and to develop sophisticated psychotherapeutic methodologies. Yet, only recently has Western medicine begun to take its first tentative steps toward recognizing and embracing the therapeutic potential of Buddhism.
In a book that will do much to advance the fusion of two great psychotherapeutic traditions, psychotherapist David Brazier offers mental health practitioners in the West a fresh perspective on Buddhist psychology and demonstrates how Zen Buddhist techniques can be integrated successfully into their clinical practices. Writing from the perspective of a Western psychotherapist, Dr. Brazier successfully demystifies Buddhist psychology for fellow practitioners. He carefully explains the conceptual foundations of Buddhist thought, and with the help of numerous case studies, he clearly demonstrates their clinical applications.
While Zen Therapy challenges many basic assumptions of Western psychology, this book is no mere polemic. Instead, its goal is to help mental health practitioners—and a growing population of interested laypeople—broaden their clinical horizons by showing them how Zen can function both as a viable therapeutic approach and a practical path to personal growth.