I came across an incredible children’s book called, What Do You Do With A Problem. I found it to be one of the best explanations of the existential approach to problems in life. The story touches on some existential themes such as anxiety, depression, isolation, freedom, and responsibility.
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In the paper, The Economics of Szasz: Preferences, Constraints, and Mental Illness, Bryan Caplan summarizes Thomas Szasz’s views on mental illness and translates them into the language of economics. Caplan is an economist with a wide variety of interests. He is an interesting writer, thinker, and regularly provokes conversation on Twitter and his blog. Caplan won the Thomas Szasz Award in 2005 for the above-mentioned article. Caplan mentions on his blog that having a conversation with Szasz was a “highlight of my intellectual life“.
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I found the interview below with George Mecouch and Will Hall of Madness Radio very interesting. The author George Mecouch emphasizes the spiritual aspect of human nature, something that the biological-reductive approach does not accept. Mecouch’s new book, While Psychiatry Slept: Reawakening Imagination in Therapy, emphasizes that humans are storytelling, meaning making animals. Mecouch uses a Jungian perspective to help those struggling with psychosis.
The book, Existential Therapy: Distinctive Features by Emmy van Deurzen is a good reminder to view each person as a free individual, responsible for their life. But, on another level, the is a book about how to push a particular set of belief on another person.
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The book Heresies by Thomas Szasz delivers insights into the human condition. Szasz’s insightful observations of human psychology never cease to inform.
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The book, The Philosophical Practitioner, is a surprisingly interesting novel about a man who makes a living by talking to people about their moral dilemmas, and struggles of navigating life. His somewhat mundane life is interrupted when a femme fatale enters his office. He is left trying to figure out what sort of quandary he has gotten himself into.
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We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. – Epictetus
I just listened to the book, I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships. The book is a good reminder about what it takes to be a good listener. So often we are not really listening, but merely waiting to reply. The book reminds us to stop, think and try to understand where another person is coming from before responding to them.
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I recently published the book, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: A Short Guide to REBT on Amazon Kindle, paperback, and Audible.
The aim of the book is to introduce readers to the key concepts of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). REBT is a type of therapy developed by Albert Ellis, a 20th-century psychologist. Ellis maintained that we disturb ourselves and make ourselves angry, anxious and depressed about external events. He claimed that by understanding our underlying philosophy behind why we become upset, we can choose a new philosophy that is more helpful and realistic, which in turn will allow us to navigate life’s difficulties with more ease.
If you’d like a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review on Amazon, please contact me.
Below you can read an excerpt from the book:
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Existentialism (as I see it) is the idea that we can explain human behavior according to reasons (choices), not causes. To this end, I have been interested to read how existentialism is used as a practical tool to help people understand themselves and their lives. I picked up the book, Existential Perspectives On Coaching, edited by Emmy van Deurzen, to see if I could gain insight into how coaches use the existential approach to help people with problems in living.
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The book, Stepping out of Plato’s Cave: Philosophical Counseling, Philosophical Practice, and Self-Transformation, was an interesting read about how one philosophical counselor who uses philosophy to help his clients understand and improve their lives. The author Ran Lahav, uses Plato’s Cave allegory to try to help people understand how they may be enslaving themselves inside a self-chosen cave.
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The book, Plato, Not Prozac!: Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems, by Lou Marinoff, is one part sales pitch, and one part advice about how to live a life in accordance with the author’s personal values. Marinoff begins the book by arguing that problems in living are better solved by thinking philosophically rather than thinking medically. Rather than numbing ourselves with medication, or diagnosing oneself as mentally ill, Marinoff says we would be better off engaging in philosophical dialogue with another person.
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