I want to start by answering that question in the literal sense, because it's not my goal to confuse people with Buddhist terminology. A vihara was a Pali and Sanskrit term used to refer to any refuge for monks, but today is used to refer to a monastery. The blog title is also a play on the term brahmavihara, which refers to the four divine mental states identified by the Buddha: lovingkindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. It is my hope that in some way this blog can be an online refuge of sorts as well as a place that is conducive to felicitous mental states.
My purpose in creating this blog is to explore ways to utilize Buddhist concepts in psychotherapy beyond the mindfulness techniques that have already become such an integral part of Western therapy practice. I want to discuss ways to utilize dharma (natural law) such as anitya (the impermanence of phenomena), and anatta (non-identification with the ego) as part of therapeutic practice without being trite or imposing values on the client. In many cases, such ideas would not even be shared directly with the client, but would inform the therapist's perspective. Like mindfulness, I believe these concepts can be quite helpful to non-Buddhist therapists and clients, though of course the individual pieces of Buddhism may have less transformational power than the conceptual framework taken as a whole.
The blog will also explore issues related mainly to one domain--Buddhism or psychotherapy--but not the other. As a beginner in both fields, I look forward to your insights and feedback.