Contemporary Psychoanalysis
and Eastern Thought

John R. Suler, Ph.D

State University of New York Press, 1993

Outline of Chapters:


1. Introduction: Chasing Two Rabbits?
how contemporary psychoanalysis (object relations theory, self psychology) compares to Zen and Taoism - defining "psychoanalysis" and "eastern thought" - methods for integrating eastern and western ideas - obstacles to this pursuit - the need for this pursuit


2. East Meets West

the history of how psychoanalysis converged with eastern thought - the selfobject relationships between these eastern and western disciplines - common historical themes concerning psychoanalysis and eastern thought


3. Self and No-Self

the western emphasis on attaining "self" - the eastern emphasis on attaining "no-self" - various models for resolving this apparent disparity between east and west - facets of selfhood and no-self - the interpenetration of self and no-self

4. Paradox

the role of paradox in psychological and spiritual transformations - the Zen koan - paradoxes within the intrapsychic world - the self/other paradox - paradox as pointers - the paradox of the willing self - beyond the realm of paradox


5. Words, Images, Things

the role of representational systems (verbal, imagistic, enactive) in spiritual growth - the limitations of language and concepts - mental imagery as transitional space in spiritual growth - the dynamics of form and formlessness - grasping the ungraspable


6. Meditative Consciousness

the intrapsychic mechanisms and types of meditation - the liabilities and therapeutics of meditation - the clinician's contemplative experience - meditation in life context - the relationships and complementarity between psychotherapy and meditation


7. Students, Teachers, and Their Relationship

strengths and pathology in spiritual students - strengths and pathology in spiritual teachers - crazy wisdom - the psychodynamics of the student/teacher relationship


8. The Therapist as Warrior

comparing psychotherapy to the martial arts - the warrior philosophy - basic martial art concepts applied to psychotherapy - the dynamics of hard and soft techniques - the clinician's and warrior's selfobject connection to a transcendent realm


9. Tai Chi Images: The Tao of Psychotherapy

relating the I Ching imagery system to psychotherapy - the meanings of the yin/yang symbol applied to psychotherapy - the eight trigrams and psychotherapy - Taoist qualities of psychological transformations


10.Vision Quest

the roots of the vision quest practice in eastern spirituality - the vision quest as a model of psychic transformation - the psychodynamics of wandering, signs, and visions


Conclusion: The Future of East Meeting West


The book is available from SUNY Press at: The State University of New York Press, c/o CUP Services, P.O. Box 6525, Ithaca, NY, 14851 (1-800-666-2211)


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