DAVID ALEXANDER

WRITER | PSYCHOTHERAPIST | PHILOSOPHER

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AN INTRODUCTION

What brings me to The Walled Garden? I started intentionally studying Greek Stoicism in 2020 as part of a journey of self-discovery and searching for answers about how to practically help myself and help others endure the challenging times we are living in.

Stoic Philosophy is a useful jumping-off point to explore important questions: What is Human Nature? What is your Nature?

It is towards this goal, to “know thyself,” that I started studying Carl Jung’s theories regarding the structure of the psyche (soul) and the workings of the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind speaks in the language of dreams and symbols. Myths are the “collective dreams” of a culture and understanding mythology can help one learn to speak in the language of the unconscious.

Symbolic thinking is the language of dreams, poetry, and the unconscious. It is the language in which your unconscious mind speaks. You can learn to communicate with these messages sent from your inner self.

- David Alexander (from Between Two Ravens: Norse Mythology Blog)

My goal in studying integrative disciplines of psychology, philosophy, and mythology is to better understand the self, thereby learning to better understand others. Learning to transform the self and build a life of meaning.

I recently have started writing about my process of integrating my understanding of Greek philosophy and Jungian psychology for a blog I call the Prosoche Project.

AREAS OF INTEREST & EXPERTISE

TRIBUTE: ALBERT ELLIS

“If the theories of Epictetus, Karen Horney (who first talked about ‘the tyranny of the shoulds’), and my Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy are correct, you almost always bring on your emotional problems by rigidly adopting one of the basic methods of crooked thinking—MUSTerbating.” “Stop MUSTerbating. Stop SHOULDing all over yourself.”

– Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis was the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and alongside Aaron Beck, one of the two “godfathers” of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Ellis is the author, philosopher, and psychologist who first introduced me to the writings of Marcus Aurelius.

Ellis was a prolific writer of scholarly work and self-help books. He has a charming and sarcastic style and wit to his writing, as evidenced by his book’s title “How to refuse to make yourself miserable (about anything, yes anything!).”

Ellis also wrote on the practical and philosophical imperative to love yourself (“The Myth of Self Esteem”). He coined the term Unconditional Self Acceptance to counter what society often teaches: Conditional Self-Esteem.

Ellis has shaped my journey in psychology. His story shows how Stoic philosophy was truly at the root of CBT.

– David Alexander

THE PROSOCHE PROJECT

 I bring to the Walled Garden my interest in writing and teaching about ideas integrating philosophy, psychology, mythology, and spirituality towards goals of creating a meaningful life and self-transformation.

Between Two Ravens: A Norse Mythology Podcast

 I discuss the psychological significance of Norse Mythology from a Jungian perspective. My co-host is my friend who is a history and mythology enthusiast. We discuss the old poetry and prose of Norse Mythology, the historical context, and the cultural and spiritual context of the myths.

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