Title

The Nature of Buddhist-Informed Psychotherapy: A Qualitative Exploration

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2013

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Kendra Garrett

Abstract

Buddhism has been increasingly integrated into approaches for psychological treatment; however, very little research has been done to investigate the application of Buddhism in psychotherapy. The present study is a qualitative exploration of the content, context, and process of Buddhist-informed psychotherapy. The researcher conducted nonschedule-standardized interviews with 9 Buddhist-informed psychotherapists licensed in clinical social work in the U.S. The transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach and 11 themes emerged to describe the nature of participants’ work as Buddhist-informed psychotherapists. These themes included training, the cause of suffering, a strengths-based approach, the process of change, integration of Buddhism through its influence on the therapist, Buddhist-informed methods, integration of Buddhist concepts/philosophy, applications, support, the issue of religion, and hope for the future. The findings imply that the therapists’ personal practice of Buddhism is one of the most important elements of their work. In addition, mindfulness and meditation were commonly used methods to help facilitate change. Support for Buddhist-informed psychotherapy could be fostered through continued research, education, and training.

Keywords

nature of Buddhist-informed psychotherapy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.