Philosophical Counseling And Hellmuth Kaiser On Successful Therapy

In 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”

What Is Philosophical Counseling? Part IV: Aristotle on Effective And Practical Knowledge

In their Introduction to ‘Philosophy as Therapeia’ (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement #66) Jonardon Ganeri and Clare Carlisle write: For Aristotle, technical knowledge deals with the correct means of achieving a given objective, and practical knowledge is knowledge of ends as such. A technical approach to life will view an existence led without pain andContinue reading “What Is Philosophical Counseling? Part IV: Aristotle on Effective And Practical Knowledge”

What Is Philosophical Counseling? Part III – ‘Dolls That Remove Worries’

In Anxiety: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012, Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman write: Parents in Guatemala employ an unusual technique for helping children to overcome their worries. They give the child a small bag containing six tiny dolls fashioned from cloth and wood. Each night, the child tells one of the dollsContinue reading “What Is Philosophical Counseling? Part III – ‘Dolls That Remove Worries’”

What Is Philosophical Counseling? Part Two: The Counselor’s Work

In the first post of this series, I attempted to provide a brief introduction to ‘philosophical counseling,’ and closed on a promissory note to provide a description of the task of the philosophical counselor. Here it is. The philosophical counselor’s job is to be a guide and a partner, helping the counseled explore the issuesContinue reading “What Is Philosophical Counseling? Part Two: The Counselor’s Work”

What Is Philosophical Counseling? Part One: The Basics

Philosophical counseling is committed to the claim that philosophy can aid us ‘therapeutically.’ This is not a novel claim: philosophy understood as therapy has a long and honorable tradition in the history of philosophy. As a recent supplement of the Royal Institute of Supplement dedicated to ‘Philosophy as Therapiea,’ edited by Claire Carlisle and JonardonContinue reading “What Is Philosophical Counseling? Part One: The Basics”

Walking Far Enough To Find Our Way Back To Ourselves

In ‘Running Through Fear,’ an extended excerpt from her memoir Running Home, ultra-marathoner Katie Arnold writes of the aftermath of an assault she suffered while out on the trail: Afterward, in the disorienting fog of sorrow, everything scared me: my babies, so small and vulnerable and precious; my own body, once so strong but nowContinue reading “Walking Far Enough To Find Our Way Back To Ourselves”

Philosophy As ‘Ways Of Seeing Things’

In Confessions of a Philosopher (Random House, 1997, pp. 399-400) Bryan Magee writes: [T]he most important things great philosophers have to give us are to be got at not by analysing the logic of their arguments or their use of concepts but by looking at reality in the light of what it is saying….”Is reality illuminated forContinue reading “Philosophy As ‘Ways Of Seeing Things’”

Virginia Woolf On Autobiography And Not Writing ‘Directly About The Soul’

In Inspiration and Obsession in Life and Literature, (New York Review of Books, 13 August, 2015), Joyce Carol Oates writes: [Virginia] Woolf suggests the power of a different sort of inspiration, the sheerly autobiographical—the work created out of intimacy with one’s own life and experience….What is required, beyond memory, is a perspective on one’s ownContinue reading “Virginia Woolf On Autobiography And Not Writing ‘Directly About The Soul’”

The Self As Prison

In his review of Charles Simic‘s The Lunatic: Poems and The Life of Images: Selected Prose Phillip Lopate makes note of Simic’s “cultivation of awe,” his “opening himself to chance, that favorite tactic of Surrealists” and makes note of this pronouncement: Others pray to God; I pray to chance to show me the way out ofContinue reading “The Self As Prison”

Fearing Tenure: The Loss Of Community

In ‘The Clouded Prism: Minority Critique of the Critical Legal Studies Movement‘, Harlan L. Dalton wrote: I take it that everyone drawn to CLS is interested in specifying in concrete terms the dichotomy between autonomy and community. If so, talk to us. Talk TO us. Listen to us. We have lots to say, out ofContinue reading “Fearing Tenure: The Loss Of Community”