Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy

Subject Code: 



  Lecture Date Census Date Location

Semester 1 2017 8-12 May 2017 8 May NTI Wollongong Campus

'Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy - Mindfulness for the Helping Professions' is an ideal study opportunity for anyone interested in the interface between Buddhism and Psychotherapy, and the significant advantages this new spiritual dimension of psychotherapy has on modern life.

This theoretical and experiential subject looks at contemporary mental and psychological disorders and diseases, and examines how Buddhism and Psychotherapy practices can respond, manage and impact on them.

In the last decade there has been an exponential increase in interest in the relationship between Buddhism and Psychotherapy. This subject explores the interface between Buddhism and psychotherapy and the therapeutic actions of Buddha's core teachings and practice of mindfulness which are now incorporated in many mainstream psychotherapies. The theoretical and neurobiological basis of meditation training and the art and science of meditation useful in psychotherapy practice is discussed, demonstrated and practiced.

The subject also covers the Buddhist and psychological concepts and foundations of suffering pertaining to psychological distress, psychic pain, difficult relationship issues, stress induced diseases, addictions, ageing, sickness and death.  There will be experiential exercises to cultivate various clinically beneficial meditative practices. Content also touches on the social, cultural and ethical issues involved in the Integration of Buddhism and Psychotherapy for health professionals.

Students will:

  • Learn the theoretical and neurological basis of meditation and its relationship to the Buddha's core teaching and practice of mindfulness.
  • Apply Buddhist and psychological principles to insight, embodiment and consciousness.
  • Develop a critical appreciation of the social, cultural and ethical issues in the integration of Buddhism and psychotherapy.
  • Experience clinically beneficial meditative practice.


Eng-Kong Tan

Who is it for?

'Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy' is ideal for:

  • Psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and other mental health professionals.
  • Health practitioners involved in palliative care.
  • Chaplains wanting to develop new ways to offer support and make a difference.
  • Buddhist Studies academics.
  • Buddhism devotees wanting to enhance their spiritual practice, or anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism.


Preliminary reading

1 week prior to lectures and workshops

Lectures and workshops (5 day intensive on-campus)

9:00am - 5:00pm daily


3 weeks - Final assignments due 


Attendance and class participation

Lecture Week


Assignment on issues from Buddhism and psychotherapy (1500 words)

15 May 2014


Group research project on issues in Buddhist psychology and their application (2500 words)

22 May 2014


Personal blog post (100 words)

22 May 2014



'Healing Traditions: Buddhism and Psychotherapy' can be taken as a non-award subject, or as part of the NTI Applied Buddhist Studies or Health and Social Wellbeing postgraduate programs.

This 6 credit point subject can be an elective in:

Master of Arts (Applied Buddhist Studies)

72 credit points

Masters (Health and Social Wellbeing)

72 credit points

Graduate Diploma of Applied Buddhist Studies

48 credit points

Graduate Diploma of Health and Social Wellbeing

48 credit points

Graduate Certificate in Applied Buddhist Studies

24 credit points

Graduate Certificate in Health and Social Wellbeing

24 credit points

Study costs/scholarships

The total subject cost is $1,250.00 for Domestic students, and $1,600.00 for International students.

Australian students


International students


Entry requirements

There are no prerequisites to study this subject as a non-award student. Buddhists and non-Buddhists are welcome, and no prior knowledge is required.
There are academic and/or program and work experience prerequisites for studying this subject as part of the NTI Applied Buddhist Studies and Health and Social Wellbeing programs. Contact NTI for details on entry requirements.