Stoicism BBC Radio Broadcast
In Our Time. Melvyn Bragg explore Stoicism, the most influential philosophy in the Ancient World.
In Our Time. BBC Radio Broadcast. Melvyn Bragg explore Stoicism, the most influential philosophy in the Ancient World.
In Our Time. Melvyn Bragg explore Stoicism, the most influential philosophy in the Ancient World.
Some more comments about The Philosophy of CBT from the Barnes & Noble blog…
Link to short article on cognitive theory and personality types on Dave Kelly’s PTypes website.
“In The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Donald Robertson demonstrates that the origins of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be found in Socratic philosophy, particularly in Roman Stoicism.”
Links and some quotes from a detailed review of The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy in The Journal of Value Inquiry.
A very detailed and favourable review of The Philosophy of CBT has been published in The Journal of Value Inquiry by Dr. William Ferraiolo, a lecturer in the philosophy department at Delta College in San Joaquin, California. Dr. Ferraiolo writes,
It is high time that some member of the community of contemporary therapists, so many of whom deploy one or more of the many permutations of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help manage their patients’ psychological dysfunction, paid proper obeisance to the ancient architects upon whose work so much modern therapeutic theory and practice are built. […] Fortunately, Donald Robertson undertakes precisely this task of uncovering and acknowledging the Stoic taproot of popular modes of contemporary therapy and counsel in his recent and admirable book, The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy.
This down payment on the practicing therapist’s debt of gratitude to the ancient Stoics is a very welcome addition to both the academic’s and the practitioner’s library. It ought to be required reading for students of Hellenistic philosophy, psychotherapists, and anyone undertaking an exploration of the human condition, or efforts to deal with challenges endemic to it, or both.
He concludes, after an overview and discussion of the contents,
For anyone interested in Hellenistic philosophy, Stoicism in particular, or in contemporary talk therapy and its foundations, The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy is an invaluable resource. Philosophers, psychologists, therapists, counselors, and all others who hope to cultivate equanimity through rational self-governance are certain to benefit from Donald Robertson’s exploration of Stoicism as a wellspring of indispensable therapeutic wisdom. Reading Robertson’s book should, itself, be considered a form of “bibliotherapy” and an effort of which the ancient Stoic masters would, no doubt, approve.
Interview with Aaron Beck from Jules Evans’ Politics of Wellbeing blog. Short quotation and link to full article discussing philosophy and cognitive therapy.
Jules Evans talks to the founder of Cognitive Therapy about philosophy, etc. See the link below for the full interview on Jules’ blog,
Jules Evans: You speak of using the ‘Socratic method’ in CBT. To what extent was Greek philosophy, particularly Socrates and the Stoics, an influence on your ideas, as it was on Dr Ellis? And how much of an influence was Ellis and REBT on your development of CBT?
Aaron Beck: Ellis and I developed our approaches independently. I believe that Albert Ellis independently wrote about the influence of Greek philosophers on his own writing.
I came across the notion of Socratic Dialogue when I read about it in my college philosophy course – I believe it was in Plato’s Republic. I also was influenced by the Stoic philosophers who stated that it was a meaning of events rather than the events themselves that affected people. When this was articulated by Ellis, everything clicked into place; however, I must say that I was looking at meaning prior to this. My work in psychoanalysis taught me that “unconscious” meanings were extremely important. Over the course of time I decided that the important meanings were quite accessible to consciousness when individuals focused on their automatic thoughts.
Brief excerpt from a new blog article reviewing The Philosophy of CBT which has prompted some online discussion about philosophy and cognitive therapy in general.
The Hulver.com blog has an excellent review of The Philosophy of CBT and some discussion going on about philosophy and cognitive therapy in general.
Bit of a specialized book: you’d need to be interested in either Stoic philosophy or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to get much out of these. Fortunately I’m interested in both. It’s not a random connection: the origins of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) are well known to have been influenced by stoic philosophy. […]
CBT practitioners often have only limited interest in an ancient discipline without a scientific evidence base. Followers of Stoicism often have only limited interest in what they see as a selective application of their principles.
However, in this book Donald Robertson does a great job of probing deeper into both the origins of CBT and the techniques of stoicism. He draws comparisons between the two in a number of ways. The book seems aimed a bit more at teaching CBT practitioners about stoicism than vice versa. However, he succinctly explains the basic principles of each, so the book should be easily intelligible to someone coming at it from either side.
Read the rest of the article via the link below,
Things Could Be Worse: The Stoic’s Guide to Happiness. Article discussing my interview about The Philosophy of CBT.
Article discussing my video about The Philosophy of CBT.
Link to a review of The Philosophy of CBT on Jules Evans’ blog The Politics of Wellbeing
Donald Robertson, a British therapist who is head of the UK College of CBT, has a new book out called The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which looks at the roots of CBT in ancient Greek philosophy. Donald, like me, is fascinated by the role ancient Greco-Roman philosophy, particularly Stoicism, has played in inspiring the cognitive revolution in modern psychology, and has done a brilliant job at researching this influence, not just on the theoretical side of CBT, but also in terms of practical techniques which therapists use today.
Read the rest of Jules’ review on his blog…
In this brief excerpt from The Meditations, Marcus Aurelius provides a list of strategies used by him to counter his own feelings of anger and antipathy.
(Excerpt from Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations, Book 11 §18, translation by D. Robertson (c) 2009)
When offended by other people’s actions,
Keep these nine pieces of advice in mind, like nine gifts from the Muses; and while there’s still life in you, begin at last to be a man. While guarding yourself against being angry with others, though, be just as careful to avoid the opposite extreme, of toadying. One’s just as bad as the other, and both cause problems. With bouts of rage, always remind yourself that losing your temper is no sign of manhood. On the contrary, there’s more strength, as well as more natural humanity, in someone capable of remaining calm and gentle. He proves he’s got strength and nerve and guts, unlike his angry, complaining friend. Anger’s just as much a sign of weakness as bubbling with tears; in both cases we’re giving in to suffering.
Finally, a tenth idea, this time from the very leader of the Muses, Apollo himself. To expect bad men never to do bad things is just madness; it’s asking the impossible. And to let them abuse other people, and expect them to leave you alone, that is arrogance.
Announcing The Philosophy of CBT (2010), now available online from Amazon and other retailers, and providing an update on reviews, etc.
My new book, The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, came out in August, published by Karnac, the leading UK psychotherapy publisher.
This is the first book to explore in detail the relationship between modern psychotherapy, especially REBT and CBT, and traditional Socratic philosophy, particularly Stoicism. According to Karnac’s website, it’s currently their most popular book on CBT. Amazon report it’s most popular among people who buy Prof. Paul Gilbert’s book The Compassionate Mind (2010) and Prof. William B. Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (2009).
Several reviews of The Philosophy of CBT have already appeared online and it currently has a five-star rating on Amazon, where one reviewer writes,
“I’ll be honest… I wasn’t originally going to buy this book because although I am very interested in all things CBT I didn’t think I was at all interested in Philosophy. I decided to buy it anyway because I have a huge respect for the author, and other publications of his which I have read have all been superbly written…
“Donald always impresses with his in-depth knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, his subject areas. This book is no exception… he has taken a really interesting area and communicated the material with clarity and insight. I would certainly recommend this book to anybody interested in, or involved with CBT as a book thoroughly worth reading and keeping on the bookshelf!”
We’re pleased with how well it’s doing so far and have created this website/blog about it where you can watch a video interview and read excerpts from the book and reviews about it, as well as related articles.
There are a selection of excerpts listed on the page below,
I hope you’ll enjoy the articles and consider delving into the book to find out more about how Socratic philosophy informs the theory and practice of modern psychotherapy.
The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (2010)
The Discovery of Hypnosis: The Complete Writings of James Braid (2009)
The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy (due out soon)