Basic False Value Judgments of Certain Personality Disorders
In The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Donald Robertson demonstrates that the origins of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be found in Socratic philosophy, particularly in Roman Stoicism. It seems to me, after reading the book, that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Stoicism can
best be seen to meet in CBT's use of the concept of belief,
specifically Albert Ellis's use of"irrational beliefs," and Stoicism's use of the idea of false judgments
of value as applied to externals. That, or how, these two ideas are
related is stated by Robertson (pg. 120):
"The irrationally rigid demands ["irrational beliefs"] which REBT
warns against, which are similar to the "rules" and "assumptions" in
Beck's Cognitive Therapy, also bear a striking resemblance to the
unconditional value judgements which Stoics believe are at the root of
emotional distress. For the Stoics, it is the tendency to judge things
as being inherently or absolutely good or bad which leads to
irrational cravings (epithumia) or fear (phobos), respectively. In
Stoic psychology, irrational desire, or craving, which places too much
value on external things and other people's opinions, is the root
cause of anxiety. Believing that "I have to" have (or avoid)
something, or that other people "must" behave (or not behave) in a
certain way, as REBT would put it, is tantamount to saying that these
things are of overriding importance in themselves, or absolute
external values, as Stoicism would put it."
In Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders, Aaron Beck presented in a table the "Basic Beliefs and Strategies Associated with Traditional Personality Disorders". I've added what I think are the implicit false value judgements which
underly those beliefs and strategies.
Personality Disorder. Basic belief/attitude. [False value judgment]
Strategy (overt behavior).
Dependent. "I am helpless." [It is bad that I have no one to help
Avoidant. "I may get hurt." [Getting hurt would be bad.] Avoidance.
Passive-Aggressive. "I could be controlled." [Being controlled would
be bad.] Resistance.
Paranoid. "People are dangerous." [People are a threat to me, and that
is bad.] Wariness.
Narcissistic. "I am special." [It is bad when people don't treat me as
Histrionic. "I need to impress.[It would be bad if I were not able to
impress others.] Dramatics.
Obsessive-Compulsive. "I must not err." [Mistakes are bad.] Perfectionism.
Antisocial. "Others are to be taken." [It's good to get the best of
others, but bad to be bested by them.] Attack.
Schizoid. "I need plenty of space." [Solitude is good; having to be
with others is bad.] Isolation.
Basic False Value Judgements of the Types
Aaron T. Beck, Arthur Freeman, Denise D. Davis (2003). Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford
Donald Robertson (2010). The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy. London: Karnac.