1st Edition

Mindfulness and the Self Mindfulness-Informed Integrative Psychotherapy

By Jan Benda Copyright 2025
    330 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    330 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The image we have of ourselves is shaped during our childhood and is often influenced by various emotional wounds. Mindfulness and the Self describes four types of these wounds and shows how they can be healed and transformed through developing mindfulness and self-compassion.

    Grounded in the innovative Mindfulness-Informed Integrative Psychotherapy framework, this book presents a revolutionary phenomenological model of maladaptive schemas and redefines our understanding of mental disorders. It offers practical procedures to uncover hidden core beliefs and treat our most painful inner feelings - existential fear, shame, and loneliness. Beyond healing, this text will guide you in developing an authentic and transcendent self while alerting you to common pitfalls on your spiritual journey. Drawing on contemporary therapeutic approaches and integrating insights from neuroscience, psychedelic research, and Buddhist psychology, the book includes 20 practical exercises and presents practices and techniques that may be used in psychotherapy and personal development.

    This book is an inspiring read for therapists, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone eager to integrate therapeutic insights into their journey toward a fulfilling life. It is indispensable for all seeking to overcome emotional barriers and enhance personal and transpersonal growth.

    Introduction  Part 1: Mindfulness-Informed Integrative Psychotherapy  1. Mindful Diagnosis of Mental Disorders  2. Early Childhood Experiences and Development of Psychopathology  3. Maladaptive Schemas  4. Narrative Self and Mental Disorders  5. Universal Solvents for Mental Difficulties  Part 2: The Wounded Self  6. The Lost Self  7. The Abandoned Self  8. The Inferior Self  9. The Inflated Self  10. Healing the Wounded Self  Part 3: The Authentic Self  11. The Mindful Adult  12. The Drama Triangle and How to Get Out of It?  13. Adult Responsibility and Its Limits  14. Self-Compassion and Protective Anger  15. Courage to Separate and Courage to Be Close  16. Meditation, Psychedelics, and Their Pitfalls  Part 4: The Transcendent Self  17. Nondual Awareness  18. Integration of Transpersonal Experiences  19. Mindful Zombie, Spiritual Narcissist, and Enlightened Nerd  20. Master of the Two Worlds  Conclusion


    Jan Benda, PhD, is a private psychologist and psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience. He draws from intensive meditation experience and integrates the wisdom of Buddhist psychology with modern psychotherapy methods.

    'This book presents a trans-diagnostic view of the role of mindfulness and self compassion in treating mental disorders and therapeutic change. It draws on insights from ancient Buddhist psychology as well as modern Western psychology, psychedelic research and neuro-scientific findings. It also discusses whether personal and transpersonal approaches can complement each other. An interesting, clinically, and theoretically rich, worthwhile read for practitioners of all persuasions and for people interested in self development.'

    Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Canada

    'This book is an invitation to a very modern conversation about psychotherapy. Jan Benda offers a model of therapy that integrates attachment theory, schema therapy, neuroscience, and Buddhist psychology with self-transcendent states of awareness more often found on meditation retreats and in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. A unifying theme is helping clients to hold their emotional wounds, and themselves, in mindful and compassionate awareness. This well-documented book will inspire as well as inform clinicians from diverse theoretical orientations.'

    Christopher Germer, PhD, Lecturer (Part-time), Harvard Medical School, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

    'Mindfulness and the Self is a unique and generous compendium of psychological practice and theory--prodigiously researched--, clinical experience illustrated by case histories, and deep personal and transpersonal spiritual exploration, all enriched by practical exercises for both professionals and clients.'

    Gabor Maté, M.D., author of The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture

    'Jan Benda offers a unique perspective on integrative psychotherapy, characterized by a mindful attitude that permeates various theoretical articulations. The book draws on diverse therapeutic and healing approaches and outlines their distinct combination. It presents many lively examples and exercises that can directly speak to the reader. Congratulations on this achievement, which provides ample food for thought and personal reflection for psychotherapists and beyond!'

    Ladislav Timulak, PhD, Professor in Counselling Psychology, School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    'Jan Benda’s latest work is a profound and insightful synthesis of Eastern and Western wisdom, skillfully integrating a modern neuroscientific understanding of memory reconsolidation with mindfulness-informed therapeutic practices. The result is a transformative, transdiagnostic framework for healing deep-seated trauma. Rich with clinical examples, experiential practices and a clear process for uncovering and resolving core schemas, Mindfulness and the Self is an essential guide for clinicians, meditators and psychonauts seeking an approach that integrates insights and self-compassion for personal growth and living an authentic life.'

    Andrea Grabovac, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, author of The Mindfulness and Meditation Workbook for Anxiety and Depression: Balance Emotions, Overcome Intrusive Thoughts, and Find Peace Using Mindfulness-integrated CBT

    'Mindfulness and the Self is a profound book for psychotherapy professionals interested in integrating mindfulness and self-compassion into individual therapy. Beyond group programs like MBSR and MBCT, Jan Benda's Mindfulness-Informed Integrative Psychotherapy offers a more specific use of mindfulness and self-compassion in psychotherapy, offering a depth of healing often impossible in group settings. This book holds truly inspiring and integrative potential for clinicians from various orientations and spiritual seekers aiming to live a fulfilling, authentic life.'

    Petra Meibert, Diplom-psychologist, psychotherapist, MBSR, and MBCT teacher, trainer, supervisor, and author. Head of the Mindfulness Institute Ruhr and the Oberberg Day Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Essen, Germany

    'This book addresses relevant contemplative practice, psychopathological and psychotherapeutic issues based on insights from time-honored Buddhist psychology and mindfulness meditation practice and their convergence and integration with contemporary psychological, clinical, and neuroscientific developments, such as about the self. The author shows an outstanding depth of understanding of such issues and insights, as well as their integration. The book has important and timely theoretical as well as practical implications linked to psychological well-being, psychotherapy, and mental health, as well as contemplative practices and science.'

    Antonino Raffone, PhD, Full Professor, Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

    'This new volume by psychotherapist Jan Benda is an excellent integrative work in the broadest sense. It integrates various forms of psychotherapy into a transdiagnostic approach based on mindfulness and self-compassion while also incorporating insights from transpersonal and Buddhist psychology and the use of psychedelics. Enriched with valuable practical exercises, it is a helpful resource for psychotherapists and an informative self-help guide for those with a wounded Self.'

    Ivan Nyklíček, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Tilburg University, Netherlands