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Psychotherapy without the SelfPsychotherapy without the Self

A Buddhist Perspective

Mark Epstein

Narrated by Dean Sluyter

Available from Audible

Book published by Yale University Press

Best-selling author Dr. Mark Epstein offers insights on the interface between Buddhist teachings and Western psychotherapy. Immersed in both worlds, he has sought for twenty-five years to bridge the two, and shows here that Buddhist thought and Western psychology are more compatible than at first it may appear.

Epstein has long been at the forefront of the effort to introduce Buddhist psychology to the West. His unique background enables him to serve as a bridge between the two traditions, which he has found to be more compatible than at first thought. Engaging with the teachings of the Buddha as well as those of Freud and Winnicott, he offers a compelling look at desire, anger, and insight and helps reinterpret the Buddha's Four Noble Truths and central concepts such as egolessness and emptiness in the psychoanalytic language of our time.

Mark Epstein , M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice and clinical assistant professor of psychology at New York University. His previous books include Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Open to Desire, and Going On Being.


Psychotherapy without the Self is mandatory reading for anyone seeking to understand today's axial event in psychoanalysis—the encounter of the Freudian and subsequent schools with the Buddhist psychological tradition. Epstein's insights are utterly penetrating, brilliant in uncanny comparisons and clear critical contrasts, altogether illuminating. It is elegantly and wittily written—a real pleasure to read. And don't worry, there is a self, just different from the one that can't be found! ”

—Robert A. F. Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Buddhist Studies, Columbia University, author of Inner Revolution and Infinite Life

“One of the most rewarding books I have read in some time.”

—R. K. Dickson, The Bloomsbury Review

“Much of [Epstein's] life's work has been an effort to integrate Buddhism and Western psychotherapy.... Epstein is a clear writer and an insightful guide through the labyrinth. Psychotherapy without the Self has the odd effect of lightness: Burdens long carried seem to drop away as you read.”

—Susan Salter Reynolds, Newsday and Los Angeles Times

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University Press Audiobooks