That leaves me with a few points of interest I'd like to explore:
Where does therapy end and Buddhism begin?
Hello Anders! You may have heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, yes? Well, you don't need to buy the whole package, but generally speaking, if you're fighting for mere survival you may not have a lot of extra time and energy to spend on religious stuff. That makes sense doesn't it???
That said, therapy ends with more or less adaptive (as opposed to maladaptive) behaviors. Buddhism begins with the need for Meaning
. Yes, I capitalized meaning, cuz it's soo meaningful and importante.
Why is this distinction only becoming relevant now? Traditional Buddhism does not seem to operate on a "sort your personal issues with that, then come to Buddhism for this" model - Rather, the whole "personal issues" thing seems largely ignored. Was it simply less relevant, did Buddhist practise actually address it in ways we are missing today or has this lack always existed in Buddhism?
Well, what did people do before the horse and buggy was invented? They walked.
What did people do before heart transplant procedures? They died.
Need I go on?
One of these questions I'd like to explore a bit more fully - To what extent can Buddhist practise be therapeutic? And are there methods within Buddhism more suited to this than others?
The question is so broad as to be nearly meaningless. Hug therapy can be therapeutic. Scream therapy can probably be therapeutic in some way. In different circumstances either of these therapies can probably be quite harmful. And there are all sorts of methods within Buddhism. New methods are no doubt being developed as we type here. Remember, everything changes!