Q: It’s natural for someone considering Buddhist Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to ask what Buddhism has to offer for them. In short, why Buddhism?
A: Among major religions Buddhism is rather unique in that its main focus from its beginnings was to understand and lessen human psychological suffering. It had less concern over issues of God or the creation of the universe (not that those aren’t also important questions) and more interest in dealing with our day to day problems. In that way Buddhism is more like a form of psychology or way of life than a traditional religion. In fact, many people who follow other religions incorporate Buddhism or some Buddhist ideas into their lives without a sense of conflict. As American psychologist William James said approximately 100 years ago when encountering a Buddhist monk, “This is the type of psychology we will all be studying in the (future).” I have found from my experience that combined with Western forms of psychology like modern cognitive-behavioral therapy, Buddhist psychology forms a very powerful framework for healing and maintaining positive mental health.
W.C. Ark, PsyD
As always, if you find yourself struggling with mental health issues please seek a professional’s help. Blog posts not intended to replace a professional’s advice.