What Unites Buddhism and Psychotherapy?

Oliver Burkeman in The New York Times:

Despite often being lumped together these days in what gratingly gets called the “wellness sector,” psychotherapy and Buddhist meditation might be seen as almost opposite approaches to the search for peace of mind. Show up on the couch of a traditional American shrink, and you’ll be encouraged to delve deep into your personal history and emotional life — to ask how your parents’ anxieties imprinted themselves on your childhood, say, or why the way your spouse loads the dishwasher makes you so disproportionately angry. Show up at a meditation center, by contrast, and you’ll be encouraged to see all those thoughts and emotions as mere passing emotional weather, and the self to which they’re happening as an illusion.

These differences also help explain the characteristic ways in which each approach goes wrong — as in the case of the lifelong therapy patient who’s fascinated by his own problems, yet still as neurotic as ever; or the moony meditator engaged in what’s been termed “spiritual bypassing,” attempting to transcend all earthly concerns so that she needn’t look too closely at her own pain.

More here.