Project title: What Western Psychology Can Learn From Buddhism When Dealing With Negative Emotions.
Experience in the Department: Andrew Boxer is a newly registered psychologist, former naturopath, and student of Tibetan Buddhism. His primary research interest is to investigate how the Lam Rim, a foundational Buddhist text, compares with current western psychological interventions in its approach to dealing with suffering and negative mental states.
Buddhism’s approach parallels the Western Medical model in defining the aetiology of a harmful mental state. A central tenet of Buddhism is the belief that our desires, attachments and expectations towards objects or situations give rise to suffering and harmful mental states when unmet. Harmful mental states can be minimised by abstaining from compulsively and thoughtlessly pursuing objects, other people or experiences. This can be achieved by grounding one’s behaviour in ethics, meditative techniques and cognitive orientation to the true nature of reality through self-reflection. Buddism also has a rich and interesting model of how the mind and consciousness work
Andrew hopes to further the integration of Buddhism with established western psychological clinical interventions and also gain a deeper understanding of emotions, the mind and consciousness, as his research career progresses.