Dear Dr Trinh,
I am 22 years old and have been in analysis for five years. I really like psychoanalysis, this "work" on oneself, on the root causes of one's discomfort, and I see there a bridge with Buddhism which teaches everyone to realize their deep nature, if I have correctly Understood. But Buddhism also says, I'm simplifying, that you have to observe your emotions and then separate yourself from them so as not to be overwhelmed by them. Conversely, psychoanalysis advises studying them, dissecting them, to learn to live with them. What are the main differences between Buddhism and psychoanalysis on this subject?
Doctor Dinh Hy Trinh: Dear Sophia,
I understand your attachment to psychoanalysis, which can be beneficial in cases where one gradually succeeds in "playing down" the traumatic memories of the past in a way: one brings them out, each time accompanied less and less negative emotions.
The Buddhist approach is exactly the opposite: we do not stir the memories of the past, we let them settle, a bit like cloudy water in a glass, until it becomes clear again. For this, by paying all your attention to the present moment, you leave no room for mental wandering where you rehash memories.
And when one advises according to Buddhist philosophy to observe, to analyze one's negative emotions, so as to make them disappear on their own, these are emotions experienced in the present situation and not those awakened. by recalling the past.
In short, for me, the difference lies in the fact that psychoanalysis deals with the past, whereas Buddhism only deals with the present, since for it alone the present really exists.