Philosophical Counseling and Practice

As an APPA-certified philosophical counselor, I engage in 1-on-1 coaching and philosophical counseling work with clients.  My clients come from a variety of life situations and professions, but what they have in common is a desire to work through issues that are holding them back or presenting problems in their lives, relationships, or careers.

My work involves collaborating with clients to identify, understand, and address central problems and issues.  We also employ resources, insights, and models derived from philosophical sources.

My past and current clients include corporate executives, startup-CEOs, medical professionals, psychotherapists, consultants, retail employees, government workers, retirees, students, as well as many others.

The scope of my practice includes matters such as moral dilemmas, interpersonal relationships, existential crises and concerns, discordant or underdeveloped belief systems, emotional issues, work-life balance, career decisions and coaching, transition between life-stages, and realization of human potential. I also assist clients with engaging in self-reflection, productive decision-making, and realizing their own capacities for incorporating Philosophy to improve their lives, relationships, and careers.

The majority of my sessions are conducted virtually via Skype, but I also meet clients locally for face-to-face sessions in my local area.

My standard rate for a 50-minute session is US$120.00, but I offer a sliding scale fee for lower-income clients.  I work with a limited number of clients eligable for those rates in any given time period.

I also suggest perusing my Scope of Practice,which discusses the discipline and practice of philosophical counseling.  It also highlights areas of my particular expertise and concentration.

If you are interested in considering a course of Philosophical Counseling with me, I’m happy to work with you.  Email me at greg@reasonio.com, for more information or to schedule an initial session

What Is Philosophical Counseling?

As far back as the great philosophical schools in antiquity, philosophers have been been enrolled in practical roles as counselors and advisers, assisting people in making difficult decisions, improving their lives and relationships, and developing greater self-understanding.  Throughout history, practitioners have used philosophy in very practical ways, generating models for fulfilling and thoughtful ways of living.  During the last several centuries, however, philosophy became more and more restricted to an academic, largely theoretical discipline removed from the issues of everyday life.  In recent decades, many of its great practitioners deliberately steered philosophy solidly back to its practical roots and concerns.

This resulted in the emergence of philosophical counseling as a recognized discipline, community, and set of practices.  Philosophical counseling bears similarities to, but is distinct from other types of counseling, such as psychiatric,  psychological, or religious counseling.  Psychiatric and psychological counseling focus largely upon diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, while philosophical counseling works from a non-medical and non-clinical perspectives.  (It is worth noting that historically, great theorists and practitioners in psychiatry and psychology often had training in, and drew upon resources from philosophy).  Philosophical counseling also differs from religious counseling in drawing primarily upon philosophical resources and involving no religious or theological commitments.

Philosophical counseling is also similar to – and in some cases can overlap with – disciplines such as life coaching and professional coaching.  It differs, however, in the types of training and credentialing required for philosophical counseling, and in the more rigorous reliance upon philosophical models, resources, and perspectives in its practice.  An explicit philosophical framework situates the type of work carried out in coaching within broader horizons in philosophical counseling.

My Credentials, Practice, and Approaches.

My certification in philosophical counseling is granted by the American Philosophical Practitioners Association, and I have successfully assisted a number of clients over the years.  After earning a Ph.D in Philosophy from the University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale in 2002, I have designed and taught philosophy courses, with particularly strong focus on Ethics, Critical Thinking, Practical Rationality, Philosophy of Emotion, and the History of Philosophy for over a decade and a half.

Positions I have held in recent years have involved me in working with clients in contexts ranging from faculty development and academic leadership, corporate training and coaching, transitioning to new careers or into retirement, complex ethical problems and dilemmas, personal development, anger management.  I bring into my practice not only a solid theoretical formation and scholarship, but also resources of years of practical experience in helping clients uncover, articulate, assess, and decide about their desires, values, reasoning processes, and assumptions.

My practice is dialogical and conversation-based.  Since I approach each client as an individual, every situation reveals its own particular needs, tempo, opportunities, and directions.  I suggest useful approaches, resources, and perspectives, and I can collaborate in decision-making, but decisions about what to do, what to focus upon, and what to incorporate are always left in my clients’ hands.

My own particular strengths reside in applying Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic, Dialectical, Existential, and Hermeneutic philosophical approaches in my sessions and ongoing work with clients.  Depending on the desires of my clientele, I sometimes suggest readings which we then discuss and apply within their life-situations (a practice called “bibliotherapy”).  I am also a team-member of the Philosophies organization, devoted to the theory and practice of Slow Philosophy, and can bring those focuses into counseling sessions for interested clients.

Resources For Learning More:

For those who wish to learn more about philosophical counseling, there are a number of excellent books and websites available.  Here are several which I endorse as particularly helpful or interesting:

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