Philosophical counselling is an especially ideal approach for individuals who have not had much success with traditional psychotherapy; who are reluctant, for whatever reason, to work with mental health professionals; or who are experiencing emotional challenges that don’t really fit under the label of ‘mental illness’.
These challenges can include:
- Guilt, shame, and regret
- Experiences of loss (e.g. diseases and injuries, the death of loved ones, the end of valued relationships, the loss of property, unrealized hopes and aspirations, etc.)
- Social isolation, disconnection, and alienation
- Moral uncertainty, confusion, and dilemmas
- Anxiety and worry related to politics and the state of the world
- Stress and fear caused by involvement in the legal system
- A sense of meaninglessness and purposelessness
Philosophical counselling is a form of one-on-one counselling that can sometimes complement, and sometimes be an alternative to, traditional psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy, or psychological counselling, aims to help people by regarding their challenges as mental illnesses or symptoms of mental illnesses, which are to be treated with drugs, behavioural change, or the emotional resolution of difficult childhood experiences and past traumas.
Philosophical counselling, by contrast, views most of our challenges as the normal and expected challenges of being human. Rather than working on changing your emotions or your behaviours, philosophical counselling is focused instead on investigating your beliefs and exploring alternative perspectives.
Like psychotherapists, each philosophical counsellor has a different approach. My approach begins with an attitude of acceptance and non-judgmentalism–I don’t have a worldview or theory that I want you to adopt. Instead, we will explore a range of philosophical, spiritual, and scientific perspectives to try to identify new ways of looking at your challenges–and specifically, ways that make sense to you and fit with your values, beliefs, and personality.
We will explore these ideas through dialogue, mental and cognitive exercises, and reading and writing exercises. (I only use exercises that have a long and scientifically-supported track record of effectiveness.) My aim is to help you develop the insight, wisdom, and courage to transform your challenges into an opportunity to strengthen yourself and develop a deeper sense of satisfaction and purpose in your life.
For more information about billing and how I offer my services, please read the “Services” page. If you are unsure about whether philosophical counselling is right for you, please contact me for a free consultation or for more information.