Philosophy enables us to live
a meaningful life
Many of us are curious about what the purpose of life is, how should we seek meaning in our lives, work, and relationships, how we should make ourselves understood to others and arrive at acceptance of ourselves. You might be confronted with moral and existential dilemmas that call for exploration and inquiry.
Philosophy is dedicated to inquiring into these fundamental questions. Philosophy, the basis of psychotherapy, enables thinking and acting to bring wisdom and acceptance to our relationships with ourselves and others.
As a certified philosophical counselor, I work with individuals and companies to craft a personalized framework for applying philosophy’s enduring lessons to life’s deepest problems. Such counseling can bring a measure of understanding and acceptance to our lives; my task is to enable you to philosophize so that you can find your way forward in yours. Read on for more on my approach and to book a consultation today.
FAQs on Philosophical Counseling
Below are some frequently asked questions about philosophical counseling. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I offer a free 15-minute initial telephone consultation to discuss your interests, my approach to counseling, and how we may work together.
What is philosophical counseling?
Philosophical counseling applies the tools of philosophy to the enduring questions and perplexities of everyday life–the kind that sends people to the therapist’s couch. Answering these provides a framework for thinking about what matters most in our lives and how we would like to live in accordance with our values. Such counseling consists of directed dialogue with a sympathetic partner to gain new perspectives on our lives and forge a new understanding of ourselves.
Who can benefit?
Anyone who would like to craft a more meaningful life can benefit from examining their experiences and consciousness through philosophical counseling. If you have ever considered therapy to help you ‘work through’ something, you’re a candidate for philosophical counseling.
How do you do sessions? Where do we meet?
To provide sessions that fit into your life and schedule, we conduct our sessions online via teleconference using Skype, Zoom, or Facetime. If you prefer a face-to-face session, that can be arranged; please do inquire for further details.
What if I cannot afford counseling?
Philosophical counseling should be available to all, and I am keen to make it so. Please inquire about a sliding scale option that will work for your circumstances.
How much do you charge?
The cost for a one-hour counseling session is $150.
Is philosophical counseling covered by health insurance?
Philosophical counseling is typically not included in health insurance plans. I do not participate in any health insurance provider network.
What happens during a session?
During an initial consultation, I will ask you about your life, interests, and goals. Most importantly, we will figure what problems and reflections brought you to philosophical counseling. Thereafter, we shape our sessions around the topics of greatest interest and relevance to you. My task is to help you find ‘your path’ forward, not to impose a particular style of thinking or reflection upon you.
Do you work with companies?
I’m pleased to be able to work with companies on crafting mission, values and team cohesion through sustained and introspective dialog that generates a philosophical perspective on meaningful, satisfying work. Contact me for more information.
Do you work with groups?
I can work with couples, families, and groups, depending on their needs. Please inquire for further details.
What types of issues will we discuss?
Every session is unique, but sessions in the past may touch on:
- The meaning of life and work
- Finding balance between the personal and the professional
- Love and relationships
- Crafting meaningful connections with people and work
- Coping with anxiety, grief, and depression
How long does philosophical counseling last?
Each session lasts an hour. You can either decide on a preset number of sessions, or we can determine the appropriate number as we go along.
Is philosophical counseling the same as psychotherapy or psychoanalysis?
These therapeutic traditions touch on individual issues, but do not get at deeper, underlying philosophical issues that might underwrite them. Historically, psychoanalysis’ roots lie in models of the mind developed by the philosophers Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Other psychotherapeutic traditions rely on philosophical models of the mind as a foundation for their work with ‘patients.’
“We are a bundle of anxieties; by examining them, to see what vexes us, what makes us anxious, we come to know who we are. Anxiety is a reminder that our selves are rather more diffuse and disorderly than we might imagine, that there are more bits to be seized as they swirl ‘about’ and ‘inside’ us.”
From my essay, The Usefulness of Dread, in Aeon Magazine
To begin with, we book a consultation where we discuss your goals for our work together. Your questions, insights, and queries (about yourself or your life) dictate our conversations. My job is to be a guide and a partner, helping you explore these issues through philosophical insights that let us clarify, deepen, resolve or reevaluate them so that we can move on with or without them. Through our conversations, hopefully, we will discover what your beliefs and values are, essentially what ‘your philosophy’ is, and figure out, how we can best make it work for you. To reiterate, I’m not here to impose a way of thinking on you, but rather to help you inquire into yourself, as a key to understanding yourself. Our sessions are tailored to your needs and interest, which may include:
- Interpersonal relationships
- Finding meaning and purpose in your career
- Anger management
- Conflict, compromise, and resolution in the public and private
- Pleasure, happiness, and ‘balance’ in work and life
- Aspirations, decisions, and regret in your life
- Change, loss, grieving, mortality
- Balancing personal and professional values and aspirations
- Crafting a meaningful life
Who Can Benefit from Philosophical Counseling?
Philosophical counseling can be a powerful framework for strengthening team cohesion and motivation, for deepening a sense of meaning at work–especially when we find our values in conflict with those of the profession we have chosen–and helping to chart a course forward. Sessions can be held on site or via teleconference and are tailored to your company’s needs.
Philosophical counseling is a specific journey tailored to the biggest questions and challenges, whether personal or professional, we face in life. Whether short- or long-term, philosophical counseling will offer you a set of personally devised and thoughtful tools for navigating your best life.
Schedule a session
As a certified philosophical counselor, I work with individuals and companies to craft a framework for applying philosophy’s most enduring lessons to the challenges of today. Read on for more on my approach or to book a consultation today.
- Mark Twain On The ‘Growing’ Wisdom Of Our ParentsMark Twain is famously said to have revised his assessment of his parents’ wisdom: When I was seventeen I was convinced my father was a damn fool. When I was twenty-one I was astounded by how much the old man had learned in four years. Twain’s words speak to a crucial perspectival aspect of ourContinue reading “Mark Twain On The ‘Growing’ Wisdom Of Our Parents”
- Philosophy Department As ‘Houses Of Healing,’ Not ‘Houses Of Production’In ‘Two Pedagogies for Happiness: Healing Goals and Healing Methods in the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas and the Śrī Bhāsyạ of Rāmānuja,’¹ Martin Ganeri (citing Paul Griffiths) writes: [T]he root metaphor for scholastic intellectual practice is that of reading. The scholastic is one who is dominated by the text he studies, transformed by theContinue reading “Philosophy Department As ‘Houses Of Healing,’ Not ‘Houses Of Production’”
- Kierkegaard On Being Educated By Possibility (And Anxiety)In The Concept of Anxiety, Soren Kierkegaard writes Whoever is educated by anxiety is educated by possibility, and only he who is educated by possibility is educated according to his infinitude. Therefore possibility is the weightiest of all categories….in possibility all things are equally possible, and whoever has truly been brought up by possibility has graspedContinue reading “Kierkegaard On Being Educated By Possibility (And Anxiety)”
- Getting Pulled Over; A Teachable MomentLast week, while driving in Ketchum, Idaho, I was pulled over for speeding (driving 36 mph in a 25-mph zone.) The traffic stop proceeded along expected lines: the police car switched on its flashing red and blue lights as it sidled up behind me, I pulled over to the side of the road, the policemanContinue reading “Getting Pulled Over; A Teachable Moment”
- The Seize The Moment Podcast On Philosophy And AnxietyLast week (or so), I appeared on the Seize the Moment video podcast, thanks to an invitation from Leon Garber (a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Psychotherapist, specializing in existential psychotherapy, who manages a blog exploring death, self-esteem, love, freedom, life-meaning, and mental health/mental illness) and Alen Ulman (who manages Ego Ends Now, a growingContinue reading “The Seize The Moment Podcast On Philosophy And Anxiety”