Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jennifer Waltz

Commitee Members

Lucian G. Conway, III, Bradley Clough


Buddhism, Mindfulness, Not-Self, Psychology, Self


University of Montana


The Buddhist concept of “mindfulness” has had a large impact on Western psychological interventions over the past 20 years. Several new treatments that draw directly on mindfulness practices have been developed and found to be efficacious (Baer, 2006). The concepts of mindfulness and mindfulness practices represent one component of Buddhist psychology, a rich and comprehensive system of thought. Other aspects of Buddhist psychology appear, thus far, to have had little or no impact on Western psychology. One important aspect, not-self, is a central component of Buddhist thinking concerning psychological health and well-being. The present study explored the Buddhist concept of not-self as articulated by traditional, highly experienced practitioners of Theravāda Buddhism (i.e., monastics; N=6). Insights into understanding the self and its role in psychological well-being within Western psychology were discovered. These insights included Buddhist models of self, the development of not-self, feelings and drive associated with not-self, and happiness.

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© Copyright 2012 Christian Herwitz