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CAUT Bulletin Archives

March 2014

Philosophy’s role in counseling and psychotherapy

Peter Raabe. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013; 416 pp; ISBN: 978-0-76570-917-2, cloth, $95 USD.

Peter Raabe argues that philosophy is an effective method in treating mental illness. Calling for a paradigm shift away from the standard belief that the brain and mind are identical Raabe argues that so-called “mental illnesses” are just labels for symptoms. For example, the word “depression” is merely a label attached to a collection of symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, and low self-esteem. Raabe posits that distressing or painful life events can cause symptoms that are often clinically labeled as the mental illness of depression. The suffering brought on by painful life events can often be alleviated with helpful discussions, without resorting to medications. Because philosophy is the foremost form of discussion, it means that the suffer­ing that is labeled mental illness can be treated and even cured with philosophy.

Information made available by the publisher.