Books on Philosophy and Psychotherapy

Donald Robertson

Donald Robertson

I often get asked about books I’ve written or edited, or to which I’ve contributed. So this post is intended to provide some brief comments on each of them.

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (2019)

This is a deluxe hardback edition of The Meditations. I was invited to update the classic George Long translation from Victorian English to modern English for the Capstone Classics series, an imprint of Wiley & Sons. I also contributed the introduction about Marcus Aurelius’ life, philosophy, and writing. I consulted the original Greek as well as several popular English translations to update the text the goal being to make Long’s words more accessible to modern readers.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius (2019)

This is my most popular book to date, published by St. Martin’s, part of Macmillan. It combines anecdotes about the life of Marcus Aurelius with commentary on his use of Stoic philosophy and how that might be compared to modern evidence-based psychological skills, of the sort used in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). The most popular version has proven to be the audiobook, which I narrated myself at a recording studio in Toronto.

The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy: Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy (2010/2019)

This was my first book on philosophy and psychotherapy. It was intended for academics and psychotherapists but turned out to be more popular with the general public. It’s recently been published in a revised second edition, which contains hundreds of small changes plus a whole new chapter on third-wave CBT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, ACT) and Stoicism.

Teach Yourself: Stoicism and the Art of Happiness (2013/2019)

This is a general introduction to Stoicism as a form of self-help. I was invited to write a book on Stoicism for Hodder’s popular Teach Yourself series. Like Build your Resilience, this follows a pretty specific series format with lots of bullet points and information boxes, designed to help people learn ideas and practices and remember them. A revised second edition was recently published which contains hundreds of small changes and a whole new chapter on Stoicism and death.

The Routledge Handbook of the Stoic Tradition (2017)

John Sellars, the editor, invited me to contribute a chapter on Stoicism and modern psychotherapy for this Routledge anthology on the history of Stoic philosophy.

The Beginners’ Guide to Counselling and Psychotherapy (2015)

Prof. Stephen Palmer, the editor, invited me to contribute a chapter on cognitive-behavioural approaches to hypnotherapy for the second edition of this Sage anthology on different styles of psychotherapy.

Teach Yourself: Build Your Resilience (2012)

I was asked by Hodder to write a book on emotional-resilience building for their popular Teach Yourself series. It follows a very specific format, including information boxes and bullet point lists, etc. This book is based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and research on resilience building in general. It’s designed as a self-help guide for the general public.

The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Hypnosis (2013)

This is a comprehensive clinical textbook on evidence-based, cognitive-behavioural approaches to clinical hypnosis. It provides reviews of the relevant research and a detailed account of assessment and treatment that combines hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) practices with a research-based cognitive-behavioural theory of hypnosis.

The Discovery of Hypnosis: The Complete Writings of James Braid, the Father of Hypnotherapy (2013)

This was my first book. I edited the complete writings of my fellow Scot, James Braid, the founder of hypnotherapy. Braid was a skeptic who dedicated his life to debunking spiritualism and pseudoscience. He developed hypnotism as an alternative to Mesmerism, based on the Scottish common sense realist philosophical psychology, which was popular during his day. I argue that Braid’s approach is an important precursor to modern skeptical to cognitive-behavioural theories of hypnosis.

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