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Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: Teach Yourself (Anglais) Broché – 27 décembre 2013

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Donald Robertson is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, specialising in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), clinical hypnosis, and other evidence-based approaches. He has been in practice as a therapist for over fifteen years and mainly treats clients with anxiety-related problems at his clinic in Harley Street, London. Donald is also an experienced trainer and workshop facilitator.

He is the author of dozens of articles in therapy journals and magazines and of the books The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (2010) and The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy (in press). He is also the editor of The Discovery of Hypnosis (2009), the complete writings of James Braid, the founder of hypnotherapy.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 31 commentaires
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
If you're new to Stoicism, get this book. If you're a long-time Stoic, get this book. (Just get this book.) 19 avril 2014
Par Michael Baranowski - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I'm not crazy about the format, which will seem very familiar if you've ever picked up one of the 'Idiots Guides' or 'For Dummies' series of books. But that aside, this is far and away the best introduction to the modern-day practice of Stoic philosophy you'll find. Even those who have been practicing Stoics for a while are likely to find plenty of useful reminders and helpful suggestions in these pages. In other words, if you're a Stoic, or you're interested in Stoicism, you should get this book.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A terrific explanation of Stoic thought and its practical application. 18 août 2014
Par bronx book nerd - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is one of the best books that I have read on Stoicism and its practical application. Donald Robertson, who is also a psychotherapist uses the Stoic-influenced Cognitive Behavior Therapy, does a terrific job of laying out the different Stoic teachings. As does another great Stoicism "populariser", Pierre Hadot, Robertson divides the major areas of Stoic philosophy as the Discipline of Desire, the Discipline of Action and the Discipline of Judgement. Ultimately, each of these is rooted in the fundamental distinction between "what is up to us" and "what is not up to us", the former being our reactions and volition, residing in reason, and the latter relating to external things, to which the Stoic is indifferent. Robertson coins the term the "Stoic fork", to highlight in metaphor the choice that one must make throughout the day as one encounters different situations. Each chapter begins with a series of questions with which the reader notes his agreement or disagreement, and then looks at how their view has changed after reading the chapter. These questions alone are a good summary of Stoic philosophy, and one can benefit simply from reading them and meditating on them. Robertson also begins chapters with quotes from Stoic philosophers - Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, for example. These introductions using original text are a good addition to the content and encourage the reader to pursue the original further. The book is also full of exercises to help guide the Stoic novice in understanding the teachings. For example, there are exercises on taking the "view from above" and on learning how to achieve cognitive distance so as to view events objectively. Throughout, Robertson emphasizes how Stoic philosophy is consistent with today's Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and how this is supported by science. Occasionally, Robertson takes time to address some inconsistencies that have been made popular by Prof. Irvine's books. For example, Irvine's work focuses too much on appreciating what someone currently has. However, the focus of Stoic philosophy is on differentiating between what is truly good (and within out control) and with what is indifferent. Possessions fall into the latter. Appreciation of them could be a by-product of Stoic attitudes, but not the goal. In sum, this book is a terrific explanation of Stoic thought and its practical application.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A great addition to stoicism 26 juin 2014
Par Jon - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I hesitated before buying this one because I had already read Irvine's book, and also many of Seneca's letters and the meditations of Marcus, in addition to various blogs and sites on the internet. I thought this "teach yourself" guide maybe more for beginners, yet I was pleasantly surprised. It really does a great job in summing up the stoic exercises, and also by using 'excellence of character' instead of virtue, presented stoicism in a different light. Def worth reading.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Too academic for my taste 12 mars 2015
Par Irfan A. Alvi - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is the third book I’ve read on stoicism, and overall I don’t like it as much as the others. I expected a straightforward practical emphasis because the author is a psychotherapist, the title refers to ‘the art of happiness’, there’s a blurb on the cover saying ‘ancient tips for modern challenges’, and the book is part of a ‘Teach Yourself’ series. What I found instead is that the book has an academic feel, with a lot of details related to terminology and somewhat esoteric specifics of what various ancient stoics said. And making matters worse, the book is tediously repetitive. Basically, you have to do quite a bit of filtering and reflecting to extract the practical points from the book.

I made such an effort, and my main conclusion is that we’re our own worst enemies when it comes to happiness, because we tend to naturally interpret our lives and circumstances in ways that lead to more negative emotions than necessary. The remedy is to become masters of our minds, using our abilities to reason and observe ourselves, so that we gradually train ourselves to habitually apply various psychological techniques which cause us to interpret things in ways that reduce negative emotions and foster positive emotions. We may never reach true mastery in this regard, but striving for it will still (hopefully) enable enough progress to make the effort worthwhile. And to help us make progress, we can use stoic sages as models for emulation (eg, ‘what would Epictetus do in this situation?’).

Here’s a summary of some key psychological techniques:

• Don’t be bothered by things over which you have little or no influence. That includes accepting that things sometimes won’t turn out as you intended or planned, so always be ready to adapt.

• Mentally prepare for tough circumstances, imagining handling them with calm composure. Such preparation will reduce fear of tough circumstances and lessen their effect when they happen. If necessary, also take a ‘time out’ to let emotions dampen. And taking it further, make tough circumstances a positive by treating them as learning opportunities.

• Be oriented largely towards the present, since the past is done and unchangeable, and the future is largely uncertain and out of our hands.

• Find a balance between being engaged in the world versus somewhat detached. Treat life as a festival or game, with the goal being to enjoy observing and participating for the short duration we’re here, but without being concerned too much about outcomes.

• Focus more on the inner development of your character rather than attaining or hanging on to external things which may be transient or beyond your control (material things, sensory pleasures, social status, health, even loved ones).

• Appreciate that things may happen according to a universal scheme which has underlying reason and meaning, but is beyond our finite understanding. Use this perspective to remind yourself that the things which trouble us are generally ‘small stuff’ in the overall scheme of things, which is mysterious but at least seems to entail an incomprehensively vast universe which has existed for billions of years.

Since most reviewers like this book, I don't want to deter people from reading it. But since the book didn't resonate with me, I think it's safe to say there will be others it won't resonate with either.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Why not Stoicism? 28 octobre 2014
Par Massimo Pigliucci - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This was my first book on practical Stoicism, and it was certainly enjoyable. The author provides a balanced and captivating treatment of Stoic ancient philosophy and practice, updated for the 21st century. This is not just a handy introduction to Stoicism as a philosophy, it is a how-to manual that would have made Epictectus smile. Parts of it are a bit redundant, but even that is not really much of a defect, as certain concepts do need to be repeated in order to be highlighted and to sink in. Try out living like a Stoic, meditation, mindfulness and all. You might like it. It may even change your life.
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