Ancient philosophy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Bamboulis, Chloe ORCID: 0000-0002-2569-3494 (2023). Ancient philosophy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (1MB) | Preview


The aim of this thesis is to contribute to literature supporting the psychotherapeutic value of philosophy and the philosophical foundation of psychotherapy. For this purpose, I compare ancient philosophical theories with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), in the context of three areas which are central to mental wellbeing: self-knowledge, cognition and values.
In the first chapter I focus on similarities between self-knowledge in Plato and CBT, which include that it is integral for a meaningful life, and it involves knowledge of what is good. I focus on self-knowledge as self-constitution, on stages of self-knowledge and on the objectivity of self-knowledge in Plato and CBT.
The second chapter concerns cognitions in Stoicism and CBT. This comparison demonstrates the equivalent role which cognitions have in the development of psychopathology and the promotion of mental wellbeing, in Stoicism and CBT. I also identify similarities in terms of treatment, particularly relating to cognitive restructuring. I dedicate a section on the presentation of Stoic notions which are equivalent to core beliefs in CBT.
Finally, I compare how Aristotle and CBT address human values. Similarities and differences are identified relating to key elements of Aristotle’s theory of value including the human good, virtues, and methods of knowing what to do, including induction and rational deliberation. I then focus on the implications of value imprecision in Aristotle’s theory and CBT. In each area, similarities point towards the therapeutic value of philosophy, which contributes to research demonstrating that a refocus on the practical utility and significance of philosophy is long overdue.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Philosophy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year