Early on in her clinical practice, psychoanalyst Pilar Jennings was presented with a particularly difficult case: a six-year-old girl who, traumatized by loss, had stopped speaking. Challenged by the limitations of her training to respond effectively to the isolating effect of childhood trauma, Jennings takes the unconventional path of inviting her friend Lama Pema--a kindly Tibetan Buddhist monk who experienced his own life-shaping trauma at a very young age--into their sessions. In the warm therapeutic space they create, the young girl slowly begins to heal. The result is a fascinating case study of the intersection of Western psychology and Buddhist teachings. Pilar's To Heal a Wounded Heart: The Transformative Power of Buddhism and Psychotherapy in Action (Shambala, 2017) is for therapists, parents, Buddhists, or any of us who hold out the hope that even the deepest childhood wounds can be the portal to our capacity to love and be loved.
Dr. Yakir Englander is the National Director of Leadership programs at the Israeli-American Council. He also teaches at the AJR. He is a Fulbright scholar and was a visiting professor of Religion at Northwestern University, the Shalom Hartman Institute and Harvard Divinity School. His books are Sexuality and the Body in New Religious Zionist Discourse (English/Hebrew and The Male Body in Jewish Lithuanian Ultra-Orthodoxy (Hebrew). He can be reached at: Yakir1212englander@gmail.com