Capturing emotional thoughts: the philosophy of cognitive-behavioral therapy

In Ylva Gustafsson, Camilla Kronqvist & Michael McEachrane (eds.), Emotions and Understanding: Wittgensteinian Perspectives. Palgrave-Macmillan (2009)
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This chapter examines two premises of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) - that emotions are caused by beliefs and that those beliefs are represented in the mind as words or images. Being a philosophical examination, the chapter also seeks to demonstrate that these two premises essentially are philosophical premises. The chapter begins with a brief methodological suggestion of how to properly evaluate the theory of CBT. From there it works it way from examining the therapeutic practice of capturing the mental representations that supposedly elicit emotional reactions to examining the assumption that emotions are caused by beliefs. The chapter ends by briefly pointing to some consequences of what has been said to the practice of CBT.

Author's Profile

Michael McEachrane
Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law


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