Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Aaron T. Beck, one of the founders of cognitive therapy, believes that "Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can serve as a prototype of the personality disorders in general."

He also says, in summary, "since the BPD patients experience usual events in extreme, absolute ways they are prone to react to these events with extreme feelings. Since they are in a sense in a “survival mode” they go to extremes to protect or save themselves. These strategies backfire and leave the patient more vulnerable than before."

This interpretation seems to be the same as that expressed in Epictetus' Enchiridion #5:

"It is not circumstances themselves that trouble people, but their judgements about those circumstances. For example, death is nothing terrible, for if it were, it would have appeared so to Socrates; but having the opinion that death is terrible, this is what is terrible. Therefore, whenever we are hindered or troubled or distressed, let us never blame others, but ourselves, that is, our own opinions. The uneducated person blames others for their failures; those who have just begun to be instructed blame themselves; those whose learning is complete blame neither others nor themselves" (trans. Seddon).

Dysfunctional Problem Solving in Borderline Personality Disorder - Cognitive Therapy Today.

Beck's Cognitive Therapy is close to what a Stoic Cognitive Therapy would be, but he has an Aristotelian approach to values.


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