Demystification: An Identity Focused Revision to Logic-based Therapy
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This project aims to contribute to Logic-Based Therapy, the only fully formed methodology in the area of philosophical counseling. It proposes an identity-focused approach to this model of talk-therapy based on the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, which is equipped to address gender specific issues. The various approaches to philosophical counseling aim to facilitate the recipient in gaining a deeper understanding of his or her own existence, and in taking responsibility for him or herself. The value of this style is that rather than treating the source of ‘depression,’ or ‘mental disturbance’ as a psychological abnormality or disease, entirely out of the control of the individual, it helps identify the ways in which we cause our own unhappiness through our patterns of thinking. Although implying causality in this way may appear as a strong claim, it provides the individual with a greater sense of agency. To the degree that one can redirect one’s thoughts, he or she can begin to work her way out of self-destruction. Developed by Dr. Eliot D. Cohen in the mid-1980’s, Logic-Based Therapy aims to help the recipient identify one or more of eleven fallacies, or irrational thought patterns operating in his or her reasoning, formulate them into practical syllogisms and then refute them by offering philosophical antidotes. The structure of this approach is comprehensive, however Beauvoir’s account of existential freedom and responsibility in terms of identity-formation, particularly her discussion of bad faith or the failure to assume freedom, reveal a lack. When we fail to properly assume responsibility for our freedom, we become vulnerable to the will of others, or susceptible to imposing our will on others. As psychanalyst Jessica Benjamin’s critical appropriation of Beauvoir’s work nicely demonstrates, this failure has a gendered element. While this distinction is not absolute, women tend towards the former and men tend towards the latter. Beauvoir concludes in her Second Sex that woman, the historical other to man, must assert herself if she desires to overcome her position as the inessential. Benjamin explores the psychology behind this claim and suggests that generally speaking, women tend not to assert themselves while men tend toward the refusal to give adequate recognition. This project concludes that the development of a framework for adequately addressing these phenomena associated with bad faith would improve the effectiveness of Logic-Based Therapy.
Drake, Kristin Marie (2017). Demystification: An Identity Focused Revision to Logic-based Therapy. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from