David Tien Ph.D. Compares Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with Wang Yangming’s Moral Psychology

January 23 17:08 2020

Singapore – David Tien Ph.D. has contributed to the Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy, in which he draws important connections between Wang Yangming’s moral psychology and modern cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT for short) is a prominent type of psychotherapy. CBT is a psycho-social intervention that helps patients recognize their feelings and thought affecting their behavior. CBT aims to modify negative behavior or feeling patterns that are the source of a person’s difficulties.

Dr. Tien writes, “Cognitive-behavioral therapy and techniques have been subjected to a substantial degree of empirical testing. More than five hundred outcome studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, psychological problems, and medical problems that have psychological components.”

Wang Yangming (1472–1529) is one of the most important historical figures in Chinese intellectual history. He is considered one of the founding fathers of Neo-Confucianism. Wang was also a government official and a military general involved in key battles during the Ming dynasty.

In this essay, Dr. Tien argues that “Wang Yangming’s moral psychology is based on a cognitive model that bears key similarities to the theoretical principles of modern mainstream cognitive-behavioral therapy.“

Dr. Tien’s Philosophical publication explicates the major similarities and dissimilarities of the principles and practices of cognitive-behavioral therapy and Wang Yangming’s moral psychology and model of moral self-cultivation.

David Tien Ph.D. holds a doctorate and three Masters degrees in Asian Cultures and Philosophy from the University of Michigan and the University of Toronto. He also held numerous academic fellowships from the University of Michigan, Harvard, Princeton, Peking University, Tsinghua University in Beijing, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the University of Toronto, McGill University.

He became a tenure-track professor in the Department of Philosophy at the National University of Singapore, specializing in Asian religious philosophy, moral philosophy, and philosophical psychology. In addition, Dr. Tien has research knowledge of Modern Chinese, Classical Chinese, Japanese, French, and Biblical Greek.

Dr. Tien has also formally trained in the following areas: IFS Therapy (Internal Family Systems Therapy), Schema Therapy, CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), ACT (Acceptance-Commitment Therapy), Gestalt Therapy, and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), among others. His training and experience inside and outside academia have equipped Dr. Tien to help and coach people all over the world.

Dr. Tien continues to contribute to academic publications because of his extensive knowledge and experience in philosophical psychology. Aside from his publications, he also gives academic presentations.

His essay “Wang Yangming’s Moral Psychology and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy” is for inclusion in the following publication: Justin Tiwald, ed. Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). An earlier draft of this essay can now also be accessed at David Tien’s Philosophy and Academic Publications online as well.

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For David Tien Ph.D.’s academicactivities, please refer to: https://davidtienphd.com/

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