basic issues in philosophy are concrete problems.
Philosophical inquiry begins with questions arising directly from human
experience, on social or individual levels.
is based on the ancient view that emotional, moral and other problems
are of a philosophical nature. Conversation with a professional
philosopher can clarify a client’s personal problems and transform
them into resourceful aspects of his or her life.
a client may bring to a philosophical counsellor
include: moral dilemmas; experience of illness; troubled
relationships’ conflicts from his or her past; professional crises;
confidence crises; or less defined experiences such as depression,
anxiety, despair. Topics may also include foundational questions about
the meaning of life, God, freedom, death.
is also a professional academic philosopher who is experienced in the
study of such topics from a great variety of historical and contemporary
perspectives. Because personal problems are of a philosophical nature, a
philosophical counsellor is committed to philosophy primarily as an
activity arising directly from lived experience.
is dialogue about unique individual experiences.
Philosopher and client engage together in a search for the philosophical
ideas most illuminating and useful for the client. In consequence
personal difficulties may be transformed from hostile to empowering
forces, whether or not they can be entirely resolved.
of a philosophical idea or method emerges from a client’s situation,
not from the counsellor's
theoretical or personal convictions.
of philosophical counselling
does not depend on a client’s formal education. The attitude of
inquiry and the goal to make sense of one’s experience are sufficient.
counselling is therapeutic because it aims to enliven and
empower a person. It does not work through diagnosis and treatment;
rather it is a supplement or alternative to psychotherapy. A
philosophical counsellor may, in some situations, refer a client to a
psychotherapist or psychiatrist; equally, a psychotherapist or a
psychiatrist may refer a client to a philosophical counsellor. Different
areas of expertise may thus be conjoined for the benefit of a client.
counselling typically involves a fee set in advance by the counsellor.
This may or may not depend on the means of the client. Client and counsellor
determine the frequency and number of sessions. For many counsellors, the
first session is free.
philosophical counsellor is committed to strict confidentiality.
of Petra von Morstein,
board member and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of