The Buddha and the Baby: Psychotherapy and Meditation in Working with Children and Adults

Author(s) : Maria Pozzi Monzo

The Buddha and the Baby: Psychotherapy and Meditation in Working with Children and Adults

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These dialogues with child, adolescent and adult psychotherapists and child psychiatrists focus on their personal as well as professional experiences. All the contributors have a long-standing practice of Buddhism or other forms of meditation. The relevance of this to their clinical work with infants, children, adolescents, families and adults is described. Buddhist principles such as suffering, impermanence, non-attachment, no-self and the Four Noble Truths influence the contributors’ practice of psychotherapy with children and with the child in the adult.

Similarities and differences between the two traditions of Buddhism and psychotherapy are highlighted in these dialogues, which are embedded in deep, personal and transforming experiences that are shared by the authors.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘This book will appeal to those who have a deep curiosity about the inner workings of the mind, and especially those who are interested in understanding better the ways in which the practice of meditation can inform and enhance psychotherapeutic skills. Maria Pozzi Monzo has found a fascinating and intriguing method of gathering together the material for this book, entering into dialogue with a number of highly skilled mental health professionals, who are predominantly, but not exclusively, psychoanalytically-trained child psychotherapists. The interviews are presented in the context of a consideration of the links between meditation and psychotherapy. They give the reader profound insights into the thoughts and experiences of the interviewees and how they use their skills to help children and adults suffering with emotional difficulties.’
— Lynda Miller, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, Tavistock Centre

‘In these dialogues, mostly with child psychotherapists, Maria Pozzi Monzo shows how naturally Buddhist understanding can harmonise with a psychoanalytic approach. It may be surprising to discover how many therapists have independently found a way to Buddhist thinking in their personal lives, and one of the pleasures of this book is to read many moving and idiosyncratic accounts of spiritual search alongside psychoanalytic enquiry. There is no consensus among the participants about the relationship between spirituality (which some of them repudiate) and psychotherapy, nor in relating technical Buddhist ideas such as no-self, non-attachment, and emptiness to psychoanalysis; instead, there is a warm, personal, and responsible discussion of all these issues. Maria Pozzi Monzo’s book makes an excellent contribution to a developing movement, and the dialogue form keeps it lively and accessible.’
— David M. Black, Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society and author of Why Things Matter: The Place of Values in Science, Psychoanalysis and Religion

‘This is a remarkable book in a number of ways. We are indebted to Maria Pozzi Monzo for the patient dedication and subtle sensitivity she has brought to her task of interviewing her colleagues. She and they show us the care that is needed in preparing themselves in full measure to embark on the psychoanalytic therapeutic encounter with the patients they treat. We can be impressed by such preparation and their consistent efforts to be able to offer themselves to the work, fortified by the further element of their meditative practices. We can also be grateful to them for their generosity in sharing often profound and moving insights with the reader.’
— Mary Twyman, from the Foreword

About the Author(s)

Maria Pozzi trained as a child and adolescent psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic, and as an adult psychotherapist at the British Association of Psychotherapists. She has special interests in treating children with autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and mental handicap and in brief work with children under five and their families. Her publications include Psychic Hooks and Bolts, published by Karnac (2003), and I Disagi dei Bambini, published by Bruno Mondadori (2004), as well as papers and book chapters on various topics. She was the winner of Frances Tustin Memorial Prize in 1999.

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