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The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy Paperback – August 27, 2010
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“This book is a fascinating interweaving of Stoic philosophy and contemporary cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). Robertson rightly reminds us of how much CBT owes its philosophical origins to the Stoics but, sadly, how often this debt is insufficiently acknowledged. He urges us to redirect our attention to the past to see how modern CBT still has much to learn from its ancient precursors. Highly recommended.” (Michael Neenan, Co-Director of the CBT Programme)
”Many of us have felt the need for a book that covers the underlying philosophy of the cognitive-behavioural therapies in much greater depth. This book provides us with the missing link between the theory and the philosophy. It is a fascinating read and could be considered as either a prequel or a sequel to the standard textbook read by a trainee or experienced cognitive-behavioural or rational emotive practitioner who wants to understand these approaches to therapy within an historical framework.” (Professor Stephen Palmer, Director)
”The author has uncovered a wealth of connections between modern cognitive-behavioural therapies and ancient Stoic philosophy. It should be read by anyone interested in understanding the historical roots of CBT or in learning about how ancient psychotherapeutic methods can add to the modern therapist’s toolkit.” (Tim LeBon, UKCP registered psychotherapist and author of Wise Therapy)
”Donald Robertson is blazing a trail to discover the sources of cognitive-behavioural therapy, and Stoic philosophy is prime among these. A fascinating work that should be compulsory reading for all practitioners in the field and interested lay people, providing insights into how ancient philosophy can give us the coping and life success strategies we are all looking for, both as professionals and in private life. A great read!” (Tom Butler-Bowdon, author of 50 Self-Help Classics and 50 Psychology Classics)
From the Author
The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a detailed examination of the relationship between modern psychotherapy, especially REBT and CBT, and ancient philosophy, especially Stoicism. I've tried to make the book readable enough to engage non-academics and non-therapists. However, I hope that philosophers and psychotherapists will find a common ground here and a basis for further dialogue over these ideas and techniques. The emphasis throughout the book is upon the practical application of Stoic philosophy to everyday problems of living. The introduction attempts to summarise the range of strategies and techniques described later in the book, to give a flavour of the practical dimension.
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I thought that few could equal the great Pierre Hadot when it comes to explaining and bringing Stoicism alive and into practice, but Mr Robertson is in the same league.
Highly recommended to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and understanding of both Stoicism and REBT/CBT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH MR. ROBERTSON!
The most interesting aspect of the book for me was learning how little the fundamental problems of being human have changed in 3,000 years - from the time of Diogenes, Pythagoras, Socrates, and Epictetus through to Spinoza and right up to the present day. In the time of the Stoics, philosophy was not an abstract exercise in parsing the meaning of language as it is today, but rather a vital, pragmatic attempt to find the right path in living. This book shows that our modern cognitive-behavioral therapists didn't so much discover solutions to life's worries, but rather re-discovered ideas and formulas first propounded much earlier by the Ancients.
The author discusses a number of interesting topics including: the quest to find the path of "virtue" (i.e., character development) in life; how to find tranquility amid life's chaos; the power of anticipation (e.g., "memento mori") in mitigating life's tragedies; how to manage emotions; and how to live a deeper, more profound life.
Also, the lives of some amazing ancient Stoics, including the former slave turned philosopher Epictetus, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Roman Senator Seneca, and others bring a narrative life to what is otherwise a textbook-like work. In sum, for those with an interest in philosophy, psychology, and classical history, this is a very interesting and enlightening read.
Most recent customer reviews
Mr. Robertson has done an excellent job of researching a huge topic and making it...Read more