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The I of the Other: Mindfulness-based Diagnosis and the Question of Sanity

The I of the Other: Mindfulness-based Diagnosis and the Question of Sanity


5.5 x 8 in

Date Available

Index , Notes , Bibliography
$14.95 (11.21)
"In this remarkable gem of a book, Kenneth Bradford draws upon and synthesizes ideas from existential phenomenology, Buddhism, and experience-near psychotherapy en route to a holistic and fully contextualized approach to psychodiagnostic and therapeutic practice. Bradford achieves no less than a definitive emancipation of psychological practice from the prevailing grip of Cartesian dualisms." —Robert D. Stolorow, PhD, author of World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2011)

"This book is a daring, unprecedented attempt to address the poverty of “experience-near inquiry” in clinical diagnosis. In an erudite and penetrating analysis, Kenneth Bradford confronts the psychotherapeutic enterprise with the inescapable issues involved in reductionistic diagnostic practices….This remarkable work bears mindful re-reading."—Dr. Benjamin Tong, Professor of Clinical Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies.

“The timeliness of Ken Bradford’s new book is astounding. With the arrival of the DSM-5, the American Psychological Association’s commitment to having psychology be viewed as a science comparable to technology, engineering, and mathematics, and the echoed apocalyptic hoof beats of scientism, Bradford’s book offers us multiple rays of hope in the midst of the danger of the soul becoming extinct in practices of care. Bradford challenges devoutly held presumptions of what diagnosis, assessment, empiricism, sanity, and the good life mean. His contemplative and phenomenological approach to the diagnostic process upends traditional pieces of procedural furniture so that a recovery of the being of diagnosis can occur, and do so from a multidisciplinary perspective. This book is applicable for diagnosticians, psychopathologists, and those interested in an integrated approach to psychology and spirituality from a Buddhist perspective on both a novice and expert level—a true accomplishment in writing for Bradford, which is mirrored by the content so helpful to us all. Finally, truth is spoken to power, and done so in a contemplative-phenomenological way.”—Todd DuBose, Ph.D., Associate Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

“Ken Bradford has written a valuable and delightful book that offers a genuinely contemplative approach to the difficult problem of diagnosis. Drawing on a variety of sources, including Vajrayana Buddhism, he shows how clinicians can go beyond dualistic views which objectify clients and instead rely on their direct experience of the therapeutic relationship’s essential interdependence to deepen their understanding of their clients.”—Karen Kissel Wegela, Ph.D. is a professor in Naropa University’s M.A. Contemplative Psychotherapy program and a psychologist in private practice. She is the author of What Really Helps and The Courage to Be Present. Her new book, forthcoming from W.W. Norton in the spring of 2014, is Contemplative Psychotherapy Essentials.

"In the wake of the controversy over the DSM-5, this volume comes as a revelation on behalf of alternative purviews on sanity. In a refreshing and lucid style, Bradford details the problems with traditional diagnosis, and—via fine-grained attunement to the intersubjective field—empowers the person in the diagnosis to break free." —Kirk Schneider, Ph.D. Author of The Polarized Mind and Awakening to Awe. Adjunct faculty, Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University

"Ken Bradford's recent reflections on the diagnostic moment in psychotherapy gathered in The I of the Other are an important anodyne to the hegemony of the psychiatric system of nosology (the DSM). They appear at just the right moment, when the latest iteration of DSM (5, 2013) is being vigorously contested by professional psychologists and the public. Bradford introduces readers to the phenomenological perspective and method of seeing through—that is, diagnosing in the original sense of the word—the meaning of existential suffering, in contrast to merely completing a checklist of behaviors and inevitably unauthenticatable reports of experience that is the method of traditional psychiatric diagnosis. If we must diagnose, the new means of going about it Bradford develops here is one that is attuned to the being-human of those who consult and sit with those of us who are psychotherapists."—Miles Groth, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Wagner College, New York. Miles Groth is an existential analyst in private practice in New York City: mgroth@wagner.edu

Since any therapeutic engagement begins with getting to know the mind of an Other, it is appropriate that a holistic revisioning of psychology begin by considering the fundamental knowing we refer to as clinical diagnosis. This involves both critiquing the top-down empiricist approach to psychodiagnosis and presenting a viable and rigorous alternative to the knowing of Other minds. G. Kenneth Bradford is the first psychotherapist to apply a Mindfulness-based approach to psychological assessment and diagnosis, making this a foundational and entry text to mindfulness and experientially-informed therapy practices. It presents the first application of the Phenomenological Research Method to psychodiagnosis. While the phenomenological method has enjoyed high regard in the area of qualitative research, this book marks its first appearance in being applied to clinical assessment and diagnosis. Furthermore, these two cutting-edge approaches, one from the East and one from the West, are intertwined in a way that contributes to the emerging Integrative trends in Psychology. The final section on the Question of Sanity proceeds beyond both the phenomenological research literature and much of the current “Mindfulness-Based” literature, which are largely technique-focused, opening up the underlying (Buddhist & Existential) wisdom informing contemplatively-robust practices.