Clinical Assistant Professor, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University
Working with Trauma: Integrating Psychotherapy and Mindfulness
In his latest book Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself, renowned psychiatrist Mark Epstein, MD describes how he recently began introducing Eastern practices of mindfulness to his patients. This book is many things; it is a memoir, full of deeply personal tales from Dr. Epstein’s own life and his patients’, as well as a how-to guide that uses the Eightfold Path of Buddhism as a road map for spiritual and psychological growth. It’s also a fascinating look at the challenges of being a good therapist.
Dr. Epstein, the author of The Trauma of Everyday Life, Thoughts Without a Thinker, and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, focuses here on how the ego, and its accompanying sense of nagging self-doubt, is one affliction we all share. While our ego may claim to have our best interests at heart, in its never-ending pursuit of attention and power, it sabotages the very goals it sets to achieve. “The ego needs our help. If we want a more satisfying existence, we have to teach it to loosen its grip,” Dr. Epstein writes. But how do we release its powerful grip? He shares how best to combine the two practices—Buddhism and Western psychotherapy—with great insight, compassion, and warmth.