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Zen and Psychotherapy

Partners in Liberation


Joseph Bobrow (Author)

Our Retail Price:£20.00

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A new take on the interplay of emotional and spiritual development.

Insight, attentiveness, and transformative experience are central in both Buddhism and psychotherapy. An “intimate dialogue” that examines the interplay of emotional and spiritual development through the lens of Zen Buddhism and psychotherapy, this book artfully illuminates the intrinsic connections between the two practices, and demonstrates how these traditions can be complementary in helping to live a truly fulfilled and contented life. As this book deftly explores, integrating the two streams of Zen and psychotherapy can help us to better grasp our conscious and unconscious experiences and more fully develop the fundamental capacities of the self. Bobrow shows how the major themes of trauma, attachment, emotional communication, and emotional regulation play out in the context of Zen and psychotherapeutic practice, and how, in concert, both provide a comprehensive, interactive model of fully functioning human life.


“Please read this book with a feeling of gratitude. Joseph Bobrow is a true teacher of meditation. He has walked his talk and he truly enjoys his practice.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

“Writing in an electrifying prose that lights up continuously brilliant connections between psychoanalysis and Zen, Bobrow is nonetheless New York in motion: the New York of Whitman, Mailer, and Heller … Brilliant, moving, and unforgettable.” — Christopher Bollas

“Often the most interesting places in our lives are found where two contrasting spheres of influence meet – those warm tidepools of the littoral zone that bristle with all sorts of fertile surprises. Joseph Bobrow’s book embodies just such a rich encounter in the interfacing of Zen and psychotherapy. His several decades of experience have enabled him to draw knowledgeably and freely from both disciplines. His narrative coaxes insights as often from academic papers, encounters and dreams, as it does from koans and dialogues of the ancients, poems, and song lyrics. All of these he has brewed together in the fecund pool of his own wisdom and thoughtful analysis, and what has emerged from that crucible is a fine book, brimming with life, and resonant with integrity and heart. It would be no surprise if people were quoting from it long into the future.” — Ajahn Amaro, co-abbot of Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California, author of Small Boat, Great Mountain; Silent Rain; Rugged Interdependency

“His book, like the Zen teachings he has mastered, is smart, lively and provocative.” — Mark Epstein, M.D. author of Thoughts without a Thinker and Going to Pieces without Falling Apart

Zen and Psychotherapy is the most thoughtful book I’ve read so far in the important and burgeoning literature on Buddhism and Western psychology. His unusual gift for vivid theory and subtle distinction, as well as his grounded sense of what is really possible and worthwhile for the inner life, make this book a landmark for all of us who are in the business of continuing this crucial personal and cultural conversation.” — Norman Fischer, poet and Zen teacher, author of Sailing Home

“Zen master and psychoanalyst, Joseph Bobrow has a rare depth and subtlety of experience in both disciplines and ways of life. After nearly 40 years of practice and teaching in each, he has written a definitive, clear and compassionate book that argues persuasively that Zen and psychotherapy are complementary traditions. Each challenges and enriches the other. Even enlightened Buddhist practitioners can expand themselves as individuals and in their relationships. Therapists and their patients can become more meaningfully aware of the depth of experience that lies beyond individuality and individuation. Mindful of differences, but also indivisible links, Bobrow challenges us to realize the integration of the personal and the universal in our daily lives. Anyone interested in psychological or spiritual ideas or practice will find much of value in this deeply gratifying and informative work.” — Gerald I. Fogel, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst and former Director, Oregon Psychoanalytic Center

“This wise book provides a context for both psychotherapists and students of Buddhism to think in new and helpful ways. Its implications for trauma therapy, in particular, are substantial. I gained a lot from this book and highly recommend it to others.” — John Briere, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Southern California, and Director, Psychological Trauma Program, Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center