Left-libertarians need a psychological theory and practice to augment their philosophical framework. Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) represents a good choice for left-libertarians, because it emphasizes individuality and social interest. It was formulated and begun by the psychologist, Albert Ellis. The central idea of it is that our beliefs about things that happen to us are a major cause of our emotions and behaviors. The solution to emotional disturbance partly revolves around challenging irrational beliefs.
He presents an ABC format for conceptualizing human disturbances. A stands for activating event, B stands for belief(s), and C stands for emotional or behavioral consequences. This is usually expanded into an ABCDEF format with D standing for disputing, E standing for effective new thinking, and F standing for new feeling or behavior. The client works within this framework to reduce irrational beliefs. I have found it very helpful.
What is the connection to left-libertarianism? It lies in the individualistic emphasis on you as the creator of your own emotional destiny. You can choose to feel what you want to feel through the beliefs you adopt. It also includes healthy relationships as a goal. This ties into the mutual aid aspects of left-libertarianism.
Responsibility is not foisted upon others in this system of psychotherapy. The work required to get better has to be done by you. It encourages self-discovery and direction. The kind of discovery and direction promoted within libertarian thought. It’s an optimal system for libertarian minded folk.
A left-libertarian psychotherapy is an integral part of a comprehensive perspective on the world. One that covers the many facets of the human experience. If we have nothing to offer in this area; the prevailing psychology of most people in society will continue to be deferential towards authority. REBT encourages people to stand on their own two feet.
I am not a trained psychologist, so I don’t want to offer any mental health advice. I can only point the reader in the direction of competent REBT therapists like Dr. Michael Edelstein of threeminutetherapy.com. His book, Three Minute Therapy: Change Your Thinking Change Your Life, is recommended for the interested reader. Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy is also recommended as an Albert Ellis text on the subject.
Once again; the libertarian implications of REBT are vast. If we can control our feelings through reality based thinking; we can successfully individuate ourselves in fantastically creative ways. Let’s all work towards better mental health with this revolutionary approach!