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.
- Philosophical Counseling And Hellmuth Kaiser On Successful TherapyIn Existential Psychotherapy (Basic Books, New York, 1980), Irvin Yalom writes: The therapist healed, [Hellmuth] Kaiser believed, simply by being with the patient. Successful therapy requires “that the patient spends sufficient time with a person of certain personality characteristics.” What personality characteristics? Kaiser cited four: (1) an interest in people; (2) theoretical views on psychotherapyContinue reading “Philosophical Counseling And Hellmuth Kaiser On Successful Therapy”
- Like Camus’ Caligula, The Republican Party And Donald Trump Transform ‘Philosophy Into Corpses’In ‘Can We Call Trump A Killer?‘ Charles Blow writes: It seems that in every possible way, Trump has willfully and arrogantly put more Americans at risk of getting sick and dying, and the results have been inevitable: More Americans got sick and died. There is no way to remove Trump’s culpability in this. IfContinue reading “Like Camus’ Caligula, The Republican Party And Donald Trump Transform ‘Philosophy Into Corpses’”
- Nietzsche On The Relief Of MortalityIn The Dawn of Day: Thoughts on The Prejudices of Morality, Nietzsche writes: With regard to knowledge the most useful accomplishment is perhaps: that the belief in the immortality of the soul has been abandoned. Now humanity is allowed to wait; now it no longer needs to rush headlong into things and choke down half-examinedContinue reading “Nietzsche On The Relief Of Mortality”
- Philosophical Counseling And ‘Mental Illness’Are philosophical counselors counselors qualified to ‘treat’ the ‘mentally ill’? The short answer to that is ‘no’ (associated with the query, ‘depends on what you mean by mental illness’.) A slightly more considered answer, which I attempt to provide here, makes note of the particular competences and constraints of the philosophical counselor. First, a noteContinue reading “Philosophical Counseling And ‘Mental Illness’”
- Anxiety, Uncertainty, And DeathKierkegaard offers us a brief, pithy, definition of anxiety: What is anxiety? It is the next day. This pair of sentences is truly remarkable in capturing a central dimension of anxiety: it is our reaction to the ineluctable uncertainty present in our lives. As human beings, with our lack of divine omniscience, we do notContinue reading “Anxiety, Uncertainty, And Death”