What is Philosophical Practice?

Philosophical practice is defined by the APPA as a set of philosophically-based activities that include personal action, individual counseling, group facilitation, organizational consulting and educational programing. The intent of these activities is to benefit the public. The activities are non-medical, non-iatrogenic and not allied intrinsically with psychiatry or psychology. The foci of these activities are educational, axiological and noetic.

As human beings, we normally face a variety of problems in life. Some common problems are medical, psychological, social, legal or financial. In such cases, there are lots of trained professionals to help you: physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, lawyers, or accountants.

Human beings normally face other kinds of problems, too. Some problems involve questions concerning meaning, value, purpose, identity, dignity, autonomy, responsibility, happiness, fulfillment, morality or justice. Other problems involve dilemmas, relationships, conflicts with oneself or others, or a need to understand things more clearly. Everyone has a philosophy of life, which is their guide to living. Sometimes one’s life is not all it could be or should be, because one’s philosophy is not all it could be or should be. A philosophical counselor can help you examine your life, and your philosophy of living. By leading a more examined life, you may find new ways to resolve or manage your problems.

Not every personal problem is a mental illness. If you are physically ill or emotionally dysfunctional, see a doctor. But if you want to examine your life, see a philosophical counselor. You’ll get dialogue, not diagnosis. If your philosophy of life is not performing well, maybe it needs a tune-up. Philosophical counseling is therapy for the sane.

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