International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 35, Issue 2, Fall 2021

Michael A. Istvan Jr.Orcid-ID
Pages 183-208

Addressing Albert’s Anger Through Logic-Based Therapy

Here I recount my practicum sessions with Albert, a client who struggles with anger outbursts. Since it can be hard to draw a line between a DSM and a non-DSM issue, my first inclination as a practitioner of Logic-Based Therapy (LBT)—and in line with practice boundaries and referral standards affirmed by the National Philosophical Counseling Association (NPCA)—was to refer Albert to a licensed therapist. But since Albert was already seeing a therapist, and since Albert never loses cognizance of what he is doing during an outburst, I proceeded with Albert anyway. I did make it clear, however, that we would not focus directly on past traumas or substance abuse or family dynamics, but simply on his emotional reasoning in and around those times when he feels angry. Ultimately, I found (1) that damnation, can’tstipation, and perfectionism were the chief fallacies nurturing Albert’s tendency for outbursts and (2) that the uplifting philosophy of Spinoza would be especially effective at stoking self-respect, self-control, and metaphysical security (the direct antidotes to these fallacies) in someone like Albert, an informed and committed naturalist and determinist.