Sign in

Cognitive psychotherapist, author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor (2019), featured in Forge, The Guardian.

Six of the Best Practices for Emotional Resilience

Photo of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio. Copyright the author, Donald Robertson, 2021.

Stoicism is experiencing a renaissance in popularity. This arguably started because it provided the philosophical inspiration for the pioneers of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in the 1950s and 1960s. By the 1980s, CBT had become the leading evidence-based form of modern psychotherapy. However, around the start of the 21st century more and more self-help books influenced by Stoic philosophy began to hit the shelves.

My background is in both academic philosophy and CBT. I was among the first wave of authors to begin writing popular books on Stoicism. I focused on self-help techniques that combined ancient Stoic philosophy with modern research-based…

Hello everyone,

Thanks for subscribing to Stoicism — Philosophy as a Way of Life on Medium. If you want to follow my Medium profile for even more articles it’s Donald J. Robertson. Oh, and scroll down to the end for a sneak peek of our current cover design proposal for Verissimus my forthcoming graphic novel on Marcus Aurelius.

I want to let you all know that you’re invited to a free Facebook Live Event that’s taking place on Wednesday 11th August, called A Guide to Stoic Exercises.

People keep asking me for a practical guide to using Stoic exercises in daily life. So I went ahead and created one for you. It’s a free email course consisting of six lessons — each one describes how to use a different psychological technique from ancient Stoicism. The goal is to help you build your emotional resilience and cope better with stress.

My latest Medium article provides an overview of the six practical exercises we chose to focus on.

Read “A Guide to Stoic Exercises” on Medium

The new email course goes into these in more depth. It will officially…

How Marcus Aurelius was Initiated into the Cult of Demeter

For I made a vow, when the war began to blaze highest, that I too would be initiated... —Marcus Aurelius, quoted in Cassius Dio

Photo taken by the author, Donald Robertson, showing the bust of Marcus Aurelius at Elefsina.

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121–180 AD) is best-known today as the author of The Meditations, a collection of personal reflections on ethics and self-improvement inspired by Stoic philosophy. While researching my recent book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, I visited several locations associated with key events in his life. One was Carnuntum, in Austria, the legionary fortress where he stationed himself while fighting the Marcomannic War, and…

Special Offer for Optimize Coach Program

I first started training therapists and life coaches about 25 years ago. People often ask me if there are any online courses for life coaching or self-improvement that would be good for someone interested in Stoicism. I don’t usually recommend courses unless I know quite a bit about the content and the people running them. So I’m pleased to be able to say that there’s a really good online training coming up soon by Brian Johnson, author of the book A Philosopher’s Notes, which draws heavily on Stoic philosophy — a subject he’s as enthusiastic about as I am!


Retelling the Story of Diogenes the Cynic

Diogenes of Sinope. Copyright free, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This is a story about a filthy dog… Over two thousand years ago, in ancient Greece, there lived a very controversial philosopher, who upset a lot of people. At first everyone hated him, sneered at him, and called him The Dog. But by the time he died, the people loved and admired him so much that they built a beautiful pillar, in his honour, made from white marble, with a statue of a little dog on top. His real name was Diogenes of Sinope and for over five hundred years he and his followers were known as the Cynics or…

How can Ancient Wisdom Help the Youth of Today?

Photo by mari lezhava on Unsplash

Words of advice for young people? I’m a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist and the author of several books on Stoic philosophy. I’m always giving talks and workshops on self-improvement, or talking to people about ways we can help ourselves grow more emotionally resilient. There’s a perennial question that keeps coming up in these sort of conversations whenever a good idea emerges — why isn’t this being taught in schools?

There are a lot of important things we don’t teach young people, for some reason. Probably far too many to list here. (Although we’re well into the 21st century now, most of the…

Cognitive Therapy and Emotional Acceptance

Photo by Christopher Ott on Unsplash

Therefore when some terrifying sound, either from heaven or from a falling building or as a sudden announcement of some danger, or anything else of that kind occurs, even the mind of a wise man must necessarily be disturbed, must shrink and feel alarm... — Epictetus, Fragment

In recent decades, there’s been a revolution in the way cognitive-behavioural psychotherapists treat emotional disorders. A “third wave” of evidence-based therapies evolved that focus more on mindfulness of thoughts and acceptance of unpleasant feelings, rather than disputing our beliefs in order to change our emotions.

This sea change emerged from a growing body…

Three Simple Ways that Stoicism can Change your Mindset

Copyright free photo, modified. Reproduced courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Meditations of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius is one of the most cherished and widely-read self-help classics of all time. His personal reflections contain a lot of good advice based on the ancient Stoic philosophy that he followed.

Below, I’ve outlined three of the most simple and practical Stoic exercises that you’ll find within the pages of The Meditations.

I’ve been researching Stoicism for nearly a quarter of a century, from my early days as a student of academic philosophy to my later career as a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist deeply engaged with psychological-resilience training. I’m the author of several books…

Just got an email from Medium saying that I was one of their top 1,000 writers in April:

You made it here because the stories you published in April received the most member reads, claps, and follows. So, nice work! It’s writers like you that make Medium and the Partner Program a living network of insightful thinking. Keep the good ideas coming.

I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who’s been following me personally or my publication Stoicism — Philosophy as a Way of Life on Medium. And thanks also to all of the other writers who…

Donald J. Robertson

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store