Humanistic Psychology Lecture Series
William James College is excited to announce the sixth lecture in the continuing lecture series that focuses on the current role of Humanistic Psychology in the context of the continually changing dynamics within the field of psychology and mental health practice. While evidence based treatments and behavioral protocols have come to prominence in recent years, humanistic psychology remains at the core of the human transaction and process that is psychotherapy. This lecture series aims to bring esteemed colleagues from around the country whose primary focus is on the humanistic perspective in psychotherapy to help articulate why this perspective remains so vital and necessary in contemporary clinical practice.
The Intersection of Psychology and Buddhism: The Synthetic Ego
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 from 6:30- 8:30 pm
at William James College, Newton
Pierre Janet wrote about how humans are born with the capacity to integrate their experience through a synthetic or integrating mental function, which allows us to grasp reality to the maximum and stands as the pinnacle of healthy mental functioning. As Janet says “The natural tendency of the mind is to roam through the past and the future; it requires a certain effort to keep one’s attention in the present and still more to concentrate it on present action.” (1903) He called this formation in the mind of the present moment “pre-sentification”. In this lecture Dr. Epstein will explore how we can expand our understanding of what the ego is in a more complex way that allow us to appreciate as therapists the importance of this synthetic function that offers the ability to be both mindfully present to our patients and at the same time to be observing our own experience of them. He will contextualize this idea in the history of our field as well as in Buddhist thought and give case examples to showcase the potential and integrating capacity that this type of awareness can have in psychotherapy. As Dr. Epstein notes, the Buddhist approach envisions a more fluid ego able to constantly integrate potentially destabilizing experiences of insubstantiality and impermanence.
Discuss what the synthetic function of the ego is
Describe how to develop that awareness for both therapists and patients
Examine how this aids in healing
HP06| 2 CE Credits | $40
No CE Credits | FREE | Pre-Registration REQUIRED
Mark Epstein, M.D. is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and the author of a number of books about the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy, including Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Going on Being, Open to Desire and Psychotherapy without the Self. His newest work, The Trauma of Everyday Life, will be published in August of 2013 by Penguin Press. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and is currently Clinical Assistant Professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University.