What is Philosophical Counseling?

Philosophical counseling can be a very important platform in your self-understanding and self-development. Philosophical counseling, also called philosophical practice, provides a unique counseling method that is rooted in the Socratic tradition, which viewed philosophy as a therapy for the “soul.” Philosophical counseling offers a philosophical way of living and provides practices to explore and bring about integrated, meaningful and happy life. It aspires individuals to live life based on principles that leads to fulfillment and happiness.

Philosophical counseling focuses on three main goals:

1. It seeks to help individuals identify and reach a sense of meaning by extending their limited perspective to a broader and more detached view.

2. It promotes a greater sense of integration between “conflicting” commitments, rolls, desires and different parts of their personality to establish greater sense of wholeness. By integrating the parts within the self, individuals no longer feel in chaos or alienated but integrated and intact.

3. It brings a peace of mind and equanimity that follows inner tranquility and acceptance.

Philosophical practitioners help people with some of life’s persistent afflictions. Philosophical counselors may help clients to clarify, articulate, explore and comprehend philosophical aspects of their belief systems or world views. Some of the challenges that clients my request a philosophical counseling include issue related to:  work-life balance, mid-life crises, career transition, anxiety, dealing with emotions, meaning of life, Illness, death and dying, assertiveness, job stress, divorce,the economic downturn, parenting issues, love etc.

Also, when problems become too complex.  For example, when options and values seem to conflict, when facts appear contradictory, when reasoning about a problem becomes trapped within a vicious circle, or when meaning of life becomes unclear, a trained philosopher can be of greater help.

Some activities philosophical counselors may use during their philosophical sessions include:

  • Definition of clients challenges and dilemmas
  • Examination of clients’ case, its arguments and justifications
  • Clarification, definition and analysis of important concepts and ideas
  • Exposure and examination of underlying assumptions and logical implications
  • Analysis of inconsistencies and conflicts
  • Performance of cost-benefit analysis of a complex decision making process
  • Exploration of traditional philosophical models and their importance for client issues
  • Other related philosophical issues

In simple words, philosophical counseling is concerned with helping individuals develop their character and become their best selves.

Please visit author, Moshe Ratson at his Google+ Profile: +Moshe Ratson


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