Q1: What is Philosophical Counseling?
- An educational service that helps you to examine any aspect of your life.
- An opportunity for meaningful dialogue with an APPA-certified philosophical counselor.
- An empowering way to construct your own philosophy of life.
- A roadmap for achieving your life-goals.
- Short-term or long-term learning, depending on your interests.
Q2: How does Philosophical Counseling differ from Psychotherapy?
- Psychotherapy is often focused on your feelings, and on past events that caused them to arise. Philosophical counseling is much more focused on your way of thinking, and how it affects your present life, including your feelings.
- Many psychotherapists are trained to see you as a victim of your past; in contrast, philosophical counselors see you as an architect of your future.
- Most psychotherapists are trained to diagnose your mental illness, which means finding something wrong with you. Philosophical counselors are trained to dialogue with you; to find something right with you that you can build on.
- Effective psychotherapies are often watered-down philosophies: for example, positive psychology is derived from virtue ethics; rational emotive therapy from Stoicism; existential psychotherapy from existential philosophy; mindfulness from Buddhist philosophy. Philosophical counseling draws directly from undiluted sources.
Q3: What sorts of issues are appropriately addressed in Philosophical Counseling?
- Self-inquiry, self-examination, self-development, self-empowerment
- Formulating a philosophy of life, ethical code, set of values, life plan
- Existential confusion, suffering, the struggle to digest/assimilate existence
- Spirituality: doubt, faith, conflicting beliefs and values, meaningful rituals
- Life coaching: taking control of one’s life, behavior, relationships, time
- Dilemmas, conflicts of interest, major life decisions (stay or leave job, marriage, etc.)
- Stress reduction, wellness strategies, meditation practices, etc.
- Aging, loss of abilities, illness, hospice, death/loss of loved ones
- Any philosophical issue, text, theory, view, or argument you’d like to co-explore
Philosophical counselors often conduct a variety of activities to bring practical philosophy to the general public, such as Philosophy Cafes, Socratic Dialogues, Ethics Trainings, Hospice Work, Talking Circles, and, among others, customized workshops, classes, and events.
Q4: Are there any prerequisites?
No. You need not take a philosophy course! Philosophical Counseling is a one-on-one educational experience, customized to your interests. Philosophical counselors believe the best way to learn philosophy is by doing philosophy – by engaging in dialogue. Just bring your inquiring mind!
Q5: How does this differ from taking a philosophy class?
Whereas in a philosophy class the curriculum is determined and taught by the professor, in philosophical counseling the curriculum is determined by you, and developed in dialogue with philosophical counselor.
Q6: Do philosophical counselors accept insurance?
At this time, we do not. Health-care insurance pays for medical and psychotherapeutic services. We provide an educational service, which is not classified as health-care. As Epicurus said, philosophy is medicine for the soul.
Q7: Is this service tax-deductible?
That is a question for your accountant or tax advisor, in the category of education expenses.