Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 73–92 | Cite as

Analytic Meditative Therapy as the Inverse of Symbol Formation and Reification

  • Jonathan R. Harrison


Western psychotherapy tends to regard the mind and mental distress in terms of differing theoretical models. Mental distress can be also be usefully viewed as the result of erroneous reification—the confusing of symbols and concepts with reality. This paper describes the theory and practice of analytic meditative therapy. Inspired by non-dual Buddhist and other eastern wisdom traditions, it uses meditative and cognitive processes to control anxiety, deconstruct reified symbols and encourage contemplative resting in non-dual mental space, where reality and its appearance are coemergent and coalesced but distinct, and healing occurs naturally without the need for any specific additional effort.


non-dual psychotherapy Buddhism meditation symbol formation. 


  1. Anzieu D., (1984). Fonctions du Moi-Peau L’Information Psychaitrique 60:869–875Google Scholar
  2. Bion W.R., (1962). Learning from Experience London HeinemannGoogle Scholar
  3. Bion W.R., (1965). Transformations London HeinemannGoogle Scholar
  4. Bion W.R., (1967). Second Thoughts Northvale, NJ Jason AronsonGoogle Scholar
  5. Chandrakirti (2002). Introduction to the Middle Way – Chandrakirti’s Madyamakavatara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham Boston ShambhalaGoogle Scholar
  6. Charles M., (1999). The Piggle: Confrontations with non-existence in childhood The International Journal of Psycho-analysis 80(4): 783–795PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Charles, M. (2001). Prototypes for creative forms. American Journal of Psycho-analysis 61(3): 239–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fenner P. (2003). In J. Prendergast, P. Fenner and S. Krystal (Eds.), The Sacred Mirror: Non-dual Wisdom and Psychotherapy. St. Paul: Paragon HouseGoogle Scholar
  9. Grotstein, J. (1997). Bion’s “Transformation in ‘O’” and the Concept of the Transcendent Position”. Presented at the Bion97 Torino ConferenceGoogle Scholar
  10. Grotstein, J. (2004). Private communicationGoogle Scholar
  11. Innes-Smith M., (1987) Pre-oedipal identification and the cathexis of autistic object in the aetiology of adult psychopathology The International Journal of Psycho-analysis 68:405–413PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Krishnamurti J., (1996). Total Freedom: The Essential Krishnamurti New York Harper CollinsGoogle Scholar
  13. Longchen Rabjam (1998). The Precious Treasury of the Way of Abiding Junction City Padma PublishingGoogle Scholar
  14. Loy, D. R. (1992). Avoiding the void: The lack of self in psychotherapy and Buddhism. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 24(2): 151–180Google Scholar
  15. Pettit J.W., (1999). Mipham’s Beacon of Certainty Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection Somerville Wisdom PubsGoogle Scholar
  16. Punnaji, M. (2003). Online adaptation from the transcription of a Dhamma talk. Scholar
  17. Ray R.A., (2001). Secret of the Vajra World Boston ShambhalaGoogle Scholar
  18. Reynolds John M., (1996). The Golden Letters Ithaca, New York Snow Lion PubsGoogle Scholar
  19. Rose G.J., (1980). The Power of Form: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Aesthetic Form New York International Universities PressGoogle Scholar
  20. Segal H., (1955). Notes on Symbol Formation. London: read at the meeting of the Medical Section, the British Psychological SocietyGoogle Scholar
  21. Stern D.N., (1985). The Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology New York Basic BooksGoogle Scholar
  22. Symington N., (2002) A Pattern of Madness London KarnacGoogle Scholar
  23. Trungpa C., (1975). Glimpses of Abhidharma Boston ShambhalaGoogle Scholar
  24. Trungpa C., (2002). Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism Boston ShambhalaGoogle Scholar
  25. Tustin F., (1969). Autistic processes Journal of Child Psychotherapy 2(3):23–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tustin F., (1984). Autistic shapes The International Review of Psychoanalysis 11:279–290Google Scholar
  27. Watts A., (1973). Alan Watts Teaches Meditation Los Angeles Audio Renaissance TapesGoogle Scholar
  28. Young, R.M. (2000). A review of “The clinical thinking of Wilfred Bion” by Joan and Neville Symington. Psychodynamic Counseling, 6(2): 243–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Blanton-Peale Institute 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hod HasharonIsrael

Personalised recommendations