Contemplative Psychotherapy Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Contemplative Psychotherapies

My thoughts and feelings about contemplative psychology are somewhat conflicted. On the one hand, there are several tenets with this particular approach to psychology that I think are valid. However, I am not sure that many of them have a place in true psychology. Psychology is a science and a discipline -- it is based on empirical evidence and fact. Many of the Eastern philosophical concepts that are incorporated into contemplative psychology are not based on empirical evidence or fact. Therefore, my view on this particular aspect of psychology remains conflicted (if not outright contradictory) -- I see some boons of this methodology, yet am not sure that I could validate them from a purely scientific perspective.

From a personal standpoint, there are numerous aspects of contemplative psychology that I intuitively can relate to and which I utilize as focal points for my own life. One of the central concepts associated with eastern religion and thought -- of which meditation, contemplation, and perhaps even rumination play a distinct part in -- is a preoccupation with the self and an intimate understanding of oneself. This sort of conception is something that I have intrinsically thought about. However, to utilize it to one's advantage in a psychological context or in any other context, one must be attuned to oneself and become fully aware of one's own thoughts and feelings. Additionally, it is imperative to understand why one is having the thoughts and feelings that one is experiencing. These ideas are valid from a philosophical standpoint. And personally, they factor heavily into my daily approach with life. Still, I am not too sure how pragmatic it is to attempt to induce these notions and this focus of awareness into others. There does not necessarily appear to be a quantifiable way of measuring it, although one might argue that of all scientific disciplines, psychology may be the realm where scientific thought must depend on faith and where the known world of science and the unknown world of the mind collide.

I also have mixed feelings about the fact that the focus of contemplative psychotherapy is one's internal processes and thoughts. In many ways, psychology that utilizes purely Western techniques is about understanding external factors -- the environment -- and their impact upon the individual. Although on some fundamental level contemplative psychology addresses this issue is well, it is more focused on removing the internal barriers that one has set in place in order to better comprehend one's own self and one's emotions. Granted, the fact that contemplative psychology is a hybrid of eastern and western thought helps to balance out these two somewhat different approaches. Still, it seems that it would be difficult to get someone…

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