Buddhist practices can be understood as inquiries into individual experience within a community, whereas analytic psychotherapy is an inquiry into mutual discovery through a dyadic relationship. While Buddhism invites us to investigate the subjective and objective worlds, psychotherapy especially invites us to investigate the intersubjective. In this course, we will explore both the resonances and divergences between psychotherapy and Buddhist practice in these regards, focusing on selected strands in depth psychology and psychoanalysis, on the one hand, and Zen, Pure Land Buddhism, and Vipassana Mindfulness, on the other. Themes of subjectivity, objectivity, and intersubjectivity will be especially helpful in thinking through Buddhism in a Western context, where the majority of practitioners are living in couple and family relationships. The course emphasizes both embodied practice and reflective inquiry.
Shoulder to Shoulder, Eye to Eye: Relationships in Buddhism & Psychotherapy
Dates: Sep 02, 2022 - Sep 05, 2022
Instructor(s): Polly Young-Eisendrath, Mark Unno
Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
About the Instructor(s):
Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst, psychologist, and psychotherapist in private practice. She is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont and the founder and director of the Institute for Dialogue Therapy. She is past president of the Vermont Association for Psychoanalytic Studies and a founding member of the Vermont Institute for the Psychotherapies. Polly is also the chairperson of Enlightening Conversations, a series of conversational conferences which bring together participants from the front lines of Buddhism and psychoanalysis.
Mark Unno, PhD, is the Thomas F. Herman Distinguished Teaching Award associate professor of East Asian Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Oregon. He is also an ordained Shin Buddhist priest and author of Shingon Refractions (2004) as well as many articles on Shin and Zen Buddhism and comparative religion.