#252 – A Buddhist Perspective on Psychotherapy with Mark Epstein, MD


Mark Epstein, M.D., is a psychiatrist and author of Psychotherapy Without The Self: A Buddhist Perspective (Yale University Press, 2007), Going to Pieces: Without Falling Apart (Broadway Books, 1999), and Thoughts Without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective (Basic Books, 1995). Dr. Epstein is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Medical School. He is a psychotherapist with a private practice in New York City and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University. Dr. Epstein has been a contributing editor to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review since it was founded in 1991. He writes for Yoga Journal, O, The Oprah Magazine, Buddhadharma, Body and Soul and other periodicals. Additionally Mark Epstein is the author of well-respected books that deal with the difficult and counter-intuitive Eastern teachings of non-self, a concept which has sometimes proved so alien to the western mind as to be out of reach for many western Buddhists. As a student of Vipassana meditation, he teaches periodically with Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman at Tibet House in New York and lectures to therapists around the country on the relationship of Buddhist and western approaches to psychotherapy.

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Gloria
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    A great interview. Thanks David and Mark. I really liked Mark’s common sense approach. I was surprised to hear that he was a practicing Buddhist before embarking on a career in psychiatry but the combination of the two has obviously been very beneficial. Hopefully the way of the future in psychotherapy – not necessarily Buddhism but the combination of spiritual practice, or at least meditation/mindfulness practice with psychological techniques.

    I have ordered Mark’s book ‘Going to Pieces: Without Falling Apart,’ and found the PBS documentary on the Buddha mentioned in the interview on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qicaDyNNZQQ&feature=related

  2. Thomas
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Like Gloria above, I decided to watch the PBS documentary; I highly enjoyed it. I’ve also recently finished Mark Epstein’s book Open to Desire, which I found very influential.
    Wouldn’t have known about these things if it wasn’t for this great episode. Thanks for your hard work, Dave.

  3. Dror Gronich
    Posted March 21, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink


    This is the episode where you can find Dr. Epstein
    Season 3, Episode 2.

  4. Dror Gronich
    Posted March 21, 2013 at 5:02 am | Permalink


    Season 3, Episode 2.

    This is the episode where you can find Dr. Epstein

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