Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work Clinical Book Discussion Program Presents: The Use of Buddhism in Psychotherapy: Tolerating Uncertainty

Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work Clinical Book Discussion Program Presents:

The Use of Buddhism in Psychotherapy: Tolerating Uncertainty

Book Title: Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself by Mark Epstein, MD

Clinical Title: "The Use of Buddhism in Psychotherapy: Tolerating Uncertainty”

Facilitators: Sylvia Gentry & Marta Zehner

Date: August 27th 

Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm || 3 CEUs  

Place: In-Person!  Penny’s Place at 11 S Knight Ave, Margate NJ 08402 Her phone is 215-880-7728. Masks Will Be Required!

About the Book:  Dr. Epstein in his private psychotherapy practice combines his Buddhist practice with his medical training in psychiatry. He asks the reader to consider the words of the Buddha, “Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.”

Dr. Epstein, wrote this book after the death of his father. Acknowledging that, at age 75, he too is not far from the final phase of life. Asked how he feels about the prospect of his own ultimate impermanence — death — Dr. Epstein said with a laugh: ‘You know that place in yourself that hasn’t really changed subjectively from when you were a young man, or 20, 40, 60, 80? You still sort of feel the same to yourself inside, but if you try to find that place you can’t really put your finger on it.” “The ego comes into being when we’re two or three or four years old,” he said, “just feeling our own separateness and how difficult it is to navigate the external pressures from parents and teachers, and the internal pressures of one’s biology, one’s drives and so on. The ego wants security and stability and coherence. It’s rooted in the intellect, so it tells stories. It fastens on to the first stories that start to make sense, both positive and negative.”

With each chapter, Epstein develops the proposition that ego, and its accompanying sense of nagging self-doubt, is an affliction we all share.  While ego is at once our biggest obstacle, it can also be our greatest hope. Epstein reveals how Buddhism and Western psychotherapy identify the ego as the limiting factor in our well-being. . . “When we give the ego free rein, we suffer; but when the ego learns to let go, we are free.” He postulates that “People expect too much from meditation,” “What I had learned from Buddhism was that I did not have to know myself analytically as much as I had to tolerate not knowing.”  The problem with ego, according to Dr. Epstein, is that it wants so badly to know. . . 

Clinical Objectives: By reading this book and participating in the discussion, attendees will be able to:

  1. Discuss the intersection of Buddhism and psychotherapy and contrast their differences
  2. Identify aspects of “The Ego” through the lens of Buddhism and Western attachment theory.
  3. Apply practical methods of meditation practices through Epstein’s concept of “Right View” 

About the Facilitators

Sylvia Gentry, LCSW, received her MSSW from the Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville.  She has had most of her professional experience in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was Director of Residential and Day Treatment at the Children’s Home of Cincinnati, and Clinical Director and Director of Case Management at the Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services.  She also maintained a small private practice before moving to Philadelphia in 2006.  She then worked for the Bucks County Behavioral Health System as an Adult Services Specialist until 2012, while maintaining a small private practice.  She currently continues a small private practice, as well as supervision.  She is on the Planning Committee for the Clinical Book Discussion Program, and on the Professional Standards, Ethics and Licensing Committee.

Marta Zehner, LCSW, has worked in various agency settings and has also maintained a private practice since 1971. She was trained in Psychodynamic Theory originally and has added several other approaches over the years, such as, Gestalt, Motivational Interviewing, Family systems, Transactional Analysis and more.  Ms. Zehner has taught at both the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research as well as The University Graduate School of Policy and Practice.  She spent many years working with victim/survivors of sexual abuse. Assault and Domestic Violence.  Currently her practice is open to working with adults and older adults, particularly those living with chronic illnesses.  Over the years Ms. Zehner has attended many trainings on Race and continues to set this as a priority in her professional and personal growth.  Ms. Zehner is a Founding member of PSCSW and has been active in PSCSW for many years.  She currently serves on the Book Group Committee.

This event is open to PSCSW members only.

Participants who attend this program must be present for its entirety in order to get continuing education credits.

Cost: No charge for PSCSW Members to attend. There is a $10 fee for anyone wishing a CE certificate. Deborah Shain Ethics Scholarship money is available to defray the cost of this program.  Please contact the PSCSW office.

Cancellation Policy: There is a $5 non-refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program. No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours’ notice is given for this program.

Continuing Education Credits

FOR PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS: This program is approved for credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for 3 credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).

FOR NEW JERSEY SOCIAL WORKERS: This program is approved for 3 clinical credits. Attendance at programs or courses given at state and national social work association conferences, where the criteria for membership is an academic degree in social work, are a valid source of continuing education clinical credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)4).

PSCSW Members - Before you begin any registration, you must log in to the website to pay the member rate. If you register without logging in, you will pay at the nonmember rate. If you need assistance logging in, please contact the PSCSW office at:


  • August 27, 2022
    11:00 am - 2:00 pm
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