A Note from Jon Joseph in advance of his visit with Mark Epstein

Psychiatrist Mark Epstein, M.D., Author of The Zen of Therapy joins us next week to discuss psychotherapy from a Buddhist perspective:

Mark Epstein, M.D., is a clinical psychiatrist practicing in New York City and is perhaps the leading scholar on the joining of modern psychotherapy and ancient Buddhist meditation. He is the author of numerous books about the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy: Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Going on Being, and most recently, The Zen of Therapy; Uncovering a Hidden Kindness in Life. 

Mark 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. He has been a practicing Buddhist, primarily in the Vipassana tradition, for fifty years.

The Zen of Therapy, a warm, profound and clear-eyed memoir of a year in his consulting room prior to the pandemic, the psychiatrist and author—and practicing Buddhist—Mark Epstein aims at something meatier. He seeks to uncover the fundamental wisdom both (psychotherapy and Buddhist) worldviews share, and to show, as a practical matter, how it might help us wriggle free from the places we get stuck on the road to fulfillment.

—Oliver Burkeman, The New York Times Book Review

A psychiatrist with forty years of practice in psychotherapy and meditation shows how both can achieve the same goal: to reclaim the kindness that’s at the core of all of us. Epstein draws on a lifetime of personal and professional experience to deliver a profound and optimistic examination of the links between psychotherapy and meditation. Drawing on influences as diverse as psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, the Dalai Lama, and composer John Cage, Epstein offers a warm and accessible explanation of topics that defy easy explanation.

—Kirkus Reviews on The Zen of Therapy

Epstein, a New York City psychiatrist trained in classical Freudian methods, has studied Buddhist meditation in India and Southeast Asia. In a highly personal, thoughtful, illuminating synthesis, he draws on his own experience as therapist, meditator and patient in an unusual attempt to integrate Western psychotherapy and Buddha’s teachings on suffering, delusion, wisdom and nonattachment.

—Publishers Weekly on Thoughts without a Thinker