Why Buddhist Practice? Why Psychotherapy?

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Jennings is both a Buddhist practitioner and a psychologist. Here she talks about when it’s appropriate to bring our psychological struggles to our Buddhist teacher and when it is appropriate to bring them to a therapist.

In general, Jennings says the differences between them are: “When you are working with a therapist or an analyst, there is a sense of very personal explorations. The lens is to go in close and look at the particularities of the way a patient has gone through their life with very particular parents, family system, and culture, etc. Buddhist teachers tend to zoom out, and explore suffering from a more universal lens. So, when their Western students come to them with particular personal problems, they’ll tend to respond from this universal perspective that these are all manifestations of the same tendencies we all have.”

She discusses how each has much to give and addresses the value of having a spiritual community where you can look for support and have conversations, as contrasted to the psycho-analytic process where it is a one-on-one and the support comes from a single individual in the form of the therapist. (hosted by Michael Toms)