Augmenting cognitive-behavior therapy with buddhist psychology

Belinda Khong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Today, it is common to hear of accessing ancient eastern wisom through psychotherapy and vice versa. While Buddhism and psychotherapy can provide valuable insights for each other, the interchange should not be undertaken in a way that romanticizes or devalue one tradition at the expense of the other. Of the modern psychotherapies, Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) is increasingly employed as a paradigm through which to apply Buddhist practices and ideas in counseling. Although both CBT and Buddhist Psychology (BP) are concerned with helping people to overcome mental and emotional suffering, their philosophical frameworks and methodologies differ. What are some of the parallels and divergences? How can CBT and BP contribute to each other? The exploration of these questions grounds this chapter. I explore such ideas as (1) how CBT focuses more on the contents of thinking, while BP focuses more on the processes of the mind, (2)the use of Buddhist concepts as acceptance and letting go in promoting attitudinal change, (3) the importance of experiencing the self as a process, (4) coping with change, and (5) understanding the interdependence between mind and body. Clinical vignettes and anecdotes illustrate how the Buddha's teachings can augment CBT. The larger questions of how the relationship between BP and psychotherapy can be enhanced is also addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHorizons in Buddhist psychology
Subtitle of host publicationpractice, research and theory
EditorsMaurits G. T. Kwee, Kenneth J. Gergen, Fusako.1st ed Koshikawa
Place of PublicationChagrin Falls, Ohio
PublisherTaos Institute Publications
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)0971231265
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameBooks for professionals
PublisherTaos Institute Publications

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Augmenting cognitive-behavior therapy with buddhist psychology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this