What is Philosophical Counselling – by Peter B. Raab

[Source: A Philosophical Counselling Website]

Simply put, philosophical counselling consists of a trained philosopher helping an individual deal with a problem or an issue that is of concern to that individual. Philosophical counsellors know that the majority of people are quite capable of resolving most of their problems on a day-to-day basis either by themselves or with the help of significant others. It is when problems become too complex – as, for example, when values seem to conflict, when facts appear contradictory, when reasoning about a problem becomes trapped within a circle, or when life seems unexpectedly meaningless – that a trained philosopher can be of greater help than the average friend or family member.


The philosophical counsellor’s aim is not simply to resolve a client’s immediate problem and then send him on his way. The philosophical counsellor also offers to educate the client in more effective ways of thinking so that if a problem arises again the client will be better able to deal with it on his own. The philosophical counsellor is concerned with both the mitigation of problems and their prevention. She is therefore both a counsellor and a teacher, helping the client to think clearly about the issue at hand while at the same time giving the client the tools that will improve his thinking in future. In this way the philosophical counsellor ensures that individuals who have come to her for counselling will not become dependent on her to solve all similar problems in future.


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