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Fig 4.24 – Third Wave CBT

Third-wave CBT reintroduced mainstream psychology to the philosophy of Buddhism as well as to other Eastern philosophies rooted in the Axial Age. The belief that thoughts “are only thoughts” is deeply rooted in Axial Age thought. It is improbable that the concept of mindfulness that emerged in the third CBT wave would have been possible in the first and second waves.

It is ironic as this chapter ends that an approach that for nearly 60 years has focused on the power of thoughts to control behavior, would, through the third CBT wave, provide a way to be emancipated from thought. This reality is symbolized by a mindful third-wave Buddha, meditating with the dog of Pavlov, the rat of Skinner, Little Peter of Watson, and the stop sign of Beck. In the meditation, the importance of thoughts is recognized but something deeper and more freeing beyond thinking is experienced.

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