Philosophy Practice: An Alternative to Counseling and Psychotherapy

Philosophy Practice: An Alternative to Counseling and Psychotherapy

Philosophy Practice: An Alternative to Counseling and Psychotherapy

Philosophy Practice: An Alternative to Counseling and Psychotherapy

Synopsis

Although philosophy has become a purely academic discipline over the last few centuries, it once played an important role in the politics of many Western nations. Now, the end of the 20th century, philosophy seems to be returning to its original practical purposes, thanks to the new practice of philosophical counseling, which is now emerging as an alternative to psychoanalysis and other clinical approaches. This volume describes the main theoretical aspects of this practice based on an open-ended dialogue between a philosophical practitioner and a client or a group, and places it in a historical context, while contrasting it with various forms of psychological counseling. To illustrate how philosophy can be beneficial, the author, a practicing philosophical counselor, also presents several case studies from her own practice.

Excerpt

We can determine the nature of philosophy only by actually experiencing it. Philosophy then becomes the realization of the living idea and the reflection upon this idea, action and discourse on action in one.

Karl Jaspers, Way to Wisdom

Most philosophers through the ages did not philosophize purely for the pleasure of it. For people of ancient times philosophy was a necessity. Today, improving technology seems to be what people need most. Our technological age has smoothed the rough edges of physical existence, but it does not offer people solace in their search to understand themselves or their lives. Moreover, traditional philosophical areas of study, which emphasized reflection on oneself and one's way of life for the purpose of gaining philosophical self-knowledge, have been technologized; for example, research into the psyche has led to psychology, a discipline with scientific status.

The contribution of the human sciences such as psychology and sociology to the understanding of the intangible side of human life is to be appreciated and respected. Nonetheless, these "sciences," because of their scientific technological approach, are limited in their understanding of people. Could a philosophical approach--that is, philosophical psychology or philosophical anthropology--free the human sciences from their methodological constraints and thus . . .

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