Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

To What Extent did the Buddha Define a Natural System?: Insights from Bowen's Natural System Theory of the Family
by Stinson, Patrick, Psy.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2020, 948; 27830331
Abstract (Summary)

In this theoretical study the author examines the function of valid scientific theory in professional psychology. The author does so by comparing the Bowen theory with the theory of human behavior contained in the practice of vipassanā mediation as taught by Satya Narayan Goenka. A modified metaethnography methodology was used to infer paradigmatic guidelines for natural systems research on human behavior from the Bowen literature. These guidelines were used to determine compatibility of “vipassanā theory” with this natural systems paradigm. The study represents an exhaustive population study of pertinent sources from each body of literature. The findings suggest that the vipassanā tradition reviewed contains a natural system theory as opposed to a system of religious belief. Both theories propose that the way a problem is conceptualized determines the actions taken to solve it. Both, therefore, suggest that problems pertaining to living systems, including emotional dysfunction, are most effectively addressed through an effort at objective theoretical research that applies equally to client and clinician. Both theories contrast this attitude of research with mainstream attitudes primarily oriented around clinical intervention and efficacy studies. For clinical psychology as a science, this suggests a current overemphasis on control of human behavior and an underemphasis on prediction through the development of falsifiable theory. Both theories also suggest that such research proceeds optimally when client and clinician apply principles of natural science to their own functioning, particularly in the context of interpersonal relationship. The study concludes with suggested theoretical contributions from vipassanā theory to the natural sciences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McGovern, Katie
Commitee: Noone, Robert
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology
Keywords: Bowen, Buddha, Differentiation of self, Emotional systems, Natural systems, Vipassana
Publication Number: 27830331
ISBN: 9798645445454
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