"Both psychotherapy and Buddhism seek to provide freedom from suffering," writes Bruce Tift, "yet each offers a completely different approach to this intention." Each way of working contains valuable tools to help us heal, grow, and find happiness--but how can we know which one to choose when these methods appear to contradict each other? Already Free opens a fresh and provocative dialogue between these two profound perspectives on the human condition.
In Already Free, therapist and Buddhist practitioner Bruce Tift examines how psychotherapy's "Developmental" approach of understanding the way our childhood experiences shape our adult selves both challenges and supports the "Fruitional" approach of Buddhism, which tells us that the freedom we seek is always available. Here he offers unique wisdom and imminently practical guidance on:
-- Therapy and meditation--the strengths and limitations of each practice, and how you can use them together effectively
-- What is freedom? How our assumptions about personal liberation often undermine our ability to experience it.
-- How we can stop generating unnecessary anxiety for ourselves without numbing our emotions
-- Why we use "neurotic organization" to limit our life experience, and how to challenge this self-perpetuating process
-- Cultivating a healthy state of mind regardless of our history or current circumstances
-- Uncovering and untangling codependent dynamics, the four evolving stages of relationships, and much more
Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation, Bruce Tift, Sounds True, Paperback, 344 pages, 2015, $17.95
Bruce Tift, MA, LMFT has been in private practice since 1979, has taught at Naropa University for 25 years, and has given presentations in the US, Mexico, and Japan. A practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism for more than 35 years, he had the good fortune to be a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and to meet a number of realized teachers.