Thursday, July 29, 2021

Comments by julesevans

Showing 1 of 1 comments.

  • Hi Jay,

    You suggest that my work on Stoicism’s connection to CBT is an example of a sinister ‘vested interest’ between money and power. You write:

    Practitioners… are often complicit in placing their therapies under the umbrella of CBT because there are power interests vested in doing this – money, grants, faculty position, shared membership in what CBT apologist Richard Layard evangelically frames as a “forward-looking” and “progressive” movement. A typical example of how such vested interest and politicking work includes the popular philosophers who claim, when it is in their interest, that the Stoics got their first, but become part of CBT when there are books to sell or grants to be won.

    And you link to my site in the last sentence.

    You’re saying, if I understand you, that I only imply there’s a link between Stoicism and CBT in order to sell books and win grant money? And that the whole ‘Stoicism Today’ research project (which you also link to in that sentence) is likewise a cynical grab for grant money and influence?

    That’s a bizarre and itself very cynical and (I’d say) mean-spirited and nasty suggestion. What I noted in my book Philosophy for Life was that CBT (which has helped me personally) was directly inspired by Stoicism – both Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck told me so in interviews. And CBT uses many of the Stoics’ therapeutic techniques. But I also noted CBT leaves a lot of Stoicism out – and that many contemporary people prefer to use the original philosophy rather than CBT. I wrote that book because I find that topic interesting, and if it sells copies, great, I hope other people find it interesting too.

    As for Stoicism Today, we’re the worst-funded research project imaginable – we’ve been going three years, with six people involved, and have had, in total, £10K in funding over that three years, with which we’ve run Stoic Week 2012, 2013 and 2014 – an online course which thousands of people took part in; and Stoicism Today conferences in 2013 and 2014, which a total of 600 people came to. We’ve also produced a book of essays, and an online blog, and been covered in media including the New York Times, Forbes, Newsweek, Radio 4’s Today show and so on. And we did all that with £10K in three years! None of the participants make money from that research project, the people involved do it because they believe in it passionately. So to use us as an example of the greedy vested interests using CBT to get money is totally wrong. I wish we got serious funding for this project – so far, we haven’t.

    I met you back in 2010, you came to speak to my philosophy club about Lacan. I have to say, give me CBT over Lacan any day of the week. By the way, I love your expression ‘play the evidence-base game’ – spoken like a true Lacanian.

    Yours sincerely,

    Jules Evans