I’ll refer at the end to why I think this has something to do with my discussion of Stoicism. I have mentioned on this blog before that as early as my seminary training in the 1970s I rejected the kind of pastoral care/counseling I was taught. Stuart Schneiderman, who has an interesting blog called Had Enough Therapy? talks about the decline of therapy. He asks if therapy has an image problem.
Actually he thinks there are effective kinds of therapy, just not the talk-about-your-feelings kind that gets widely practiced and is lauded in our culture.
Why limit ourselves to Freudian therapies? How many therapists are involved in touchy-feely work, teaching empathy and asking how it feels to feel as you feel?
Face it, if the word feeling suddenly vanished from the language more than half the nation’s therapists would be struck dumb.
Instead of this kind of therapy, he says there are studies that show cognitive-behavioral therapy often works. This kind of therapy asks us to think rather than to feel. It asks us to think about what we feel. It asks us to think about what we do.
Do you notice the similarity to what Epictetus and the Stoics recommend?