The Ancient Origins of CBT

Epictetus

Epictetus (55-135 AD)

This week I was doing some Google Searching about the ancient origins of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and here are some interesting tidbits that stood out to me.

“Stoic philosophers, particularly Epicetus, believed logic could be used to identify and discard false beliefs that lead to destructive emotions, which has influenced the way modern cognitive-behavioral therapists identify cognitive distortions that contribute to depression and anxiety.” (From Wikipedia)

“CBT is based on a model or theory that it’s not events themselves that upset us, but the meanings we give them. If our thoughts are too negative, it can block us seeing things or doing things that don’t fit – that disconfirm – what we believe is true. In other words, we continue to hold on to the same old thoughts and fail to learn anything new.” (From Psyche Central)