30 July 2010

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy & Existentialism?

Matthew Hutson writes in Psychology Today:

"I've recently come to the conclusion that cognitive behavioral therapy, the empirically-demonstrated gold standard for treating depression and a host of other problems, necessitates a belief in existentialism, a philosophy holding that we live in a meaningless universe.

How can happiness derive from appreciating the fundamental pointlessness of existence?

Existentialism (at least atheistic existentialism) does not argue that meaning does not exist, only that it does not exist out there in the real world. All meaning is human-constructed. You have complete freedom to interpret events however you like (a freedom that some find nauseating.)

CBT similarly places interpretive control in the hands of the individual. The premise is that thoughts lead to emotions (which lead to behaviors), and we can learn to control our thoughts--even if they've become habit. We're not at the mercy of an emotional system automatically placing valuation on experiences."

Read the complete article.

{ Claire suddenly realized that existence precedes essence
and she was free to kill all the old gods }