Canadian Society for Philosophical Practice
Société Canadienne pour la Pratique Philosophique

Member Profiles
(as volunteered by listees; does not include all CSPP members)

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Hakam Al-Shawi

Andrew Brook

Stanley Chan

Wanda Dawe

Cheryl Leis

Petra von Morstein

Michael Picard


Hakam Al-Shawi (Member of the Board)

Hakam Al-Shawi, ABD, is a philosophical counsellor in private practice and a PhD candidate in philosophy at York University, Toronto, Canada, completing a dissertation "On the Philosophical Foundations of Insight-Oriented Psychotherapy." He holds a BA with distinction in Economics and an MA in philosophy (Thesis: Nietzsche's Perspectivism). He is a founding member of the CSPP, a former vice-president and secretary of the society, and a current board member. His views on PC may be found in his paper "A General Framework for Philosophical Counselling," Philosophy in the Contemporary World, vol. 5, no. 4, 1998, pp.1-9. E-mail:

Andrew Brook (Honourary Member)

Andrew Brook is Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Chair of the Cognitive Science Management Committee at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6. The Cognitive Science Management Committee administers a four-year undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science and Canada's first free-standing, fully integrated Ph.D. in Cognitive Science. The Ph.D. Web site contains links to a wide selection of cognitive science sites, as does the Philosophy and Cognitive Science list. He is a graduate of the Universities of Alberta and Oxford (D.Phil. in Philosophy, 1973) and is President of the Canadian Philosophical Association. 

Web site: 

Stanley Chan

Mr. Chan is a trained psychotherapist and a certified philosophical counsellor with over thirty years of clinical counselling experience. Apart from the early ten years of his professional life in Child Welfare, Family and Marriage Counselling, and Psychiatric settings, he has also spent twenty years in Canada's largest cancer hospital, providing therapeutic healings to cancer patients and their loved ones. His focus was not only dealing with the psychosocial issues of the onset of the diagnosis, treatment, recession and recurrence stages, but more frequently the deeply soul-searching, existential issues of life, death and beyond. He is well- versed in existential therapy, logo therapy and time therapy. He has also taught high school courses and part-time courses at Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario.

Mr. Chan took his undergraduate studies in Psychology and English Literature at Hong Kong Baptist College, 1963. He completed his post-graduate studies in Educational Psychology, M.Ed, at the University of Ottawa, 1968 and his Masters of Social Work (MSW) in Individual and Family Counselling at Wilfrid Laurier University, 1971. He finished one year of family therapy clinical internship at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto. His post-graduate studies in Philosophy with a focus on philosophy of time ,applied ethics and ethics of human life and death is presently followed with a Ph.D. dissertation on time and dying, University of Wales, the basis of which will become his forthcoming book on time therapy.

Mr. Chan is a member in good standing of the following professional bodies: Certificate Member of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association, Fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association, Registered member of the Ontario College of Social Workers.

To visit Mr. Chan's website, click here


Wanda Dawe

Dr. Wanda Dawe received her Bachelor of Arts (English), Honours, from Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador, in 1991 and her Masters Degree in Philosophy from the same institution two years later. In 1998, Dr. Dawe received her Doctorate of Philosophy (Philosophy) from the University of Ottawa, Ottawa. She completed certification programs in client counselling and group facilitation through the American Philosophical Practitioners Associations at City College, New York, in 1999 and 2000.

    Having taught at universities in Canada and the United States, Dr. Dawe decided to take up the practice of philosophical counselling full time. She operates a clinic in St. John's, Newfoundland, where she offers services across the full range of human experience, disturbance, and conflict. Dr. Dawe also works from time to time as a co-therapist with a psychiatrist, and as a public speaker offering presentations on a number of topics. She is interested now in setting up a philosophy cafe and perhaps interesting a group in participating in a Socratic dialogue.

    In her leisure time, Dr. Dawe enjoys active participation in the social and political life of her community, serving a number of boards, associations, and groups as a chair, member, or volunteer. The text of her brochure on philosophical counselling can be found here.

    Dr. Dawe can be contacted at wanda.dawe@

Cheryl Leis, Ph.D.

401 Kelvin Blvd. Winnipeg, MB, R3P0J3

Tel: 204-888-1989, E-mail:

Dr. Cheryl Leis is a management consultant and counsellor.

The University of Toronto awarded Cheryl the Doctor of Philosophy degree for her research in the field of Philosophy of Religion. In recognition of her academic achievements she received Social Sciences and Humanities Research Fellowships from the Canadian Government, Ontario Graduate Scholarships from the Ontario Government, and the University of Toronto Alumni Travel award for her research in Germany.

Cheryl is a fellow of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association and is a member of the Canadian Society for Philosophical Practitioners. Her work is based on the principles of practical philosophy, which aims, through critical thinking, to bring new insight and direction to problems and situations encountered at both personal and corporate levels.

She leads organizations through strategic planning sessions, guides and carries out feasibility studies, speaks at conferences, and designs and leads corporate seminars and workshops on topics such as: commitment, change, values, ethics, mission and vision, power and integrity, leadership dilemmas and development, and money and morality. Recently, CBC TV hired her for a national six-part series called “Beautiful, Filthy Money and the Search for Soul.” Her task was to establish the show’s philosophical parameters and line of questioning and appear as a panelist.

Much of her counselling work is in a mentoring and coaching capacity with persons at senior levels of organizations. Clients in the midst of career transition or mid-life questioning, consult with her when seeking a way to bring together their values and a sense of meaning with their professional contribution. Others see her when faced with personal or professional moral quandaries or issues of power and integrity. Several clients have come back to her recently with issues related to their relationship to money.

For nine years, Cheryl served on the Board of Directors for the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre, a non-profit organization that owns and operates two professional performance spaces. She also served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (ON).

Cheryl, her husband, David, and their children, Sophie and Adrien, live in Winnipeg.


Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Calgary. Long time philosophical counsellor. For a brief statement of her understanding of philosophical counselling, click here.

For more information, visit 

For an article on Professor Morstein, click here.


Michael Picard (President)

To visit his website, go to:

I am a philosopher practiced in the art of collective inquiry, and dedicated to aiding the application of critical and ethical thinking in personal and organizational contexts.

    As associate faculty at Royal Roads University, I have assisted in the design and delivery of leadership and environmental management courses; taught creative, critical, and evaluative thinking skills in applied contexts; and worked within and beyond the classroom to promote and provoke dialogue that is oriented toward argument, evidence, reason and truth, while yet permitting the free flow of opinion and remaining open to varied and shared feelings. I am currently Adjunct Professor in the Science Technology and Environment division. I am also a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Victoria.

    Outside of Royal Roads, I maintain a private practice in philosophy, seeing individuals and groups concerned with personal or shared issues and interests, meeting both counselling and educational needs. Also, weekly for over seven years, I have hosted Cafe Philosophy, a public well of local opinion, gifted characters, and participant driven content. Other Cafe Philosophy series have been set up for special audiences or interest groups, including Royal Roads University graduate programs, conferences, community education centers, home school, and religious, political and friends groups. Victoria's public Cafe Philosophy is affiliated with Simon Fraser University's extensive Philosophers' Cafe program, and I serve as acting President of the Canadian Society for Philosophical Practice.

    I have teaching experience in various capacities at MIT, Harvard, Western Michigan University and the University of Victoria; but the most exciting experience of all has been at Royal Roads University. I enjoy teaching in community, and for over two years conducted public reading and discussion groups in Eastern and Western philosophy. Salon Philosophy, as these sessions were called, was later offered as a University of Victoria Continuing Education program.


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