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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 294
Indian way of psychotherapy: Looking at the possibilities

Department of Psychiatry, Deben Mahato Sadar Hospital, Purulia, West Bengal, India

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Date of Web Publication15-Oct-2012

How to cite this article:
Mukhopadhyay A. Indian way of psychotherapy: Looking at the possibilities. Indian J Psychiatry 2012;54:294

How to cite this URL:
Mukhopadhyay A. Indian way of psychotherapy: Looking at the possibilities. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Apr 6];54:294. Available from:


From time immemorial, India has been concerned with the concepts like perception (indriya), mind (manas), intellect (buddhi), ego (ahamkara), self (atman), joy (sukham), sorrow (dukham), etc. Now a day psychiatrists and clinical psychologists alike are interested in these matters. The difference is that our basic philosophical frame of reference is science which believes in direct observation. From this, the word evidence based medicine has come into existence. The texts of the past were, as is claimed, not based on experience. Rather, they were based on beliefs.

The problem with today's Indian psychiatry is that common people here are more in touch with the ancient thought systems than with the mainstream psychiatry. This is being told by me from my wide experience of practicing in the rural belts. Is it possible to make psychiatry proceed in India, without paying any heed to the work that is being done here on the above-mentioned topics for centuries?

The written gist of the ancient wisdom which still guides Indian psyche directly or indirectly is known as Srimad Bhagavadgita. This book centers on the refusal of a person to do his work most probably due to some adjustment disorder-like thing, a long counseling on the part of a very knowledgeable person and ultimate rise of the firstly mentioned person above his refusal to do the work.

Now a day, mostly practiced psychotherapy is CBT. Although psychoanalytic-psychotherapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, existential therapy, etc. are in the vogue. All these are based on some western model of psyche. The above-mentioned counseling of Srimad Bhagavadgita was based on a theory of mind that originated here many centuries ago.

Several articles and some books [1],[2],[3] point toward the need for paying much more heed to the Indian culture and spirituality and indirectly toward paying some heed to the ancient Indian theory of mind. It is the time we try to form one Indian model of psychotherapy, Indian way of talking to the patients or clients to make psychiatry and clinical psychology more acceptable to them. Let us try to do this without compromising the principles of science that believes in direct observation.

   References Top

1.Shamsundar C. Relevance of ancient Indian wisdom to modern mental health - A few examples. Indian J Psychiatry 2008;50:138-43.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Avasthi A. Indianising psychiatry - Is there a case enough? Indian J Psychiatry 2011;53:111-20.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
3.Bhawuk DPS. Spirituality and Indian psychology. New York: Springer; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 3

Correspondence Address:
Anirban Mukhopadhyay
Department of Psychiatry, Deben Mahato Sadar Hospital, Purulia, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.102456

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