Buddhist Psychology Programs: Degree and Training Options
Accredited Buddhist psychology degree programs do not currently exist; however, courses in Buddhist psychology are often available within transpersonal psychology graduate degree programs. Continuing education and professional development courses that focus on Buddhist psychology may also be found through Buddhist and transpersonal psychology universities and organizations.
Master of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology
The field of transpersonal psychology combines psychology and spirituality, exercising experimental healing treatments for patients. Transpersonal psychology combines Western and Eastern thought, including Buddhist principles, to explore spiritual healing therapies, such as meditation. Graduate programs in transpersonal psychology require applicants to have a bachelor's degree and typically take 2-3 years to complete.
Coursework in transpersonal psychology programs explore the integration of traditional psychological theories with spiritual concepts. Students learn experimental therapy techniques and exercises, as well as the principles of Eastern religions, including Buddhism. Programs may include courses in:
- Transpersonal psychology foundations
- Ancient healing practices
- Meditation techniques
- Tibetan Buddhist practices
Popular Career Options
Transpersonal psychology benefits psychologists and healing art professionals wishing to incorporate spiritual applications in their practice. Students who earn a master's degree in transpersonal psychology may develop careers in:
- Spiritual guidance
- Life coaching
- Clinical psychology
Continuing Education Information
Psychologists and healing art professionals wishing to explore Buddhist psychology may also seek professional seminars and continuing education courses offered by various Buddhist universities and organizations. Such programs explore Buddhist principles and their therapeutic and spiritual applications to psychological healing.
Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology
Doctoral study in transpersonal psychology deeply explores the theoretical, professional, research and educational applications of spiritual psychology. A doctoral program in transpersonal psychology takes four years to complete and may be earned through residential or online programs. A bachelor's or master's degree in psychology or a related field is typically required as a prerequisite.
Doctoral coursework is heavily researched-based and students work toward writing a formal dissertation in their final years of study. Post-graduate transpersonal psychology programs also offer specializations in creative expression, research or spiritual guidance. In addition to independent research, classroom course topics may include:
- Mind and body integration
- Personality theories
- Global psychologies
- Advanced research methods
- Experimental learning
Employment Prospects and Salary info
Buddhist psychology professionals may develop Buddhist-centered practices or work for Buddhist communities and organizations. Ph.D. holders in transpersonal psychology may also choose to go into private practice, teach at a university, offer various counseling services or work in spiritual and church communities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that postsecondary psychology teachers made a median of $68,020 per year as of 2012. The number of working college-level teachers is projected to increase 17% during the 2010-2020 decade, which is about average compared to all job sectors, according to the BLS.
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