מגזין

Three Questionable Assumptions of Philosophical Counseling

על סכנותיה ומגבלותיה של הפילוסופיה המעשית מבחינה עיונית ומעשית.

מאת פרופ' לידיה אמיר. 07-12-2006
Three Questionable Assumptions of Philosophical Counseling

Three Questionable Assumptions of Philosophical Practice

(In International Journal of Philosophical Practice, Vol. 2, n. 1, 2004)

Lydia  B. Amir

Ó 2004. All rights reserved Lydia Amir.

 

Abstract   Philosophical   practice  or  counseling   has   been   described  as  a  cluster  of  methods  for  treating  everyday  problems  and  predicaments  through  philosophical  means.   Notwithstanding  the  variety  of  methods,  philosophical counselors  seem  to  share  the  following  tenets:  1.  The  counselee  is  autonomous;  2.  Philosophical  counseling  differs  from  psychological  counseling  and  3.  Philosophical counseling  is  effective  in  solving  predicaments.  A  critical  examination  shows  these  to  be  problematic  at  both  theoretical  and  practical  levels.   As I  believe  that  philosophical  practice  is  a  valuable  contribution  both  to  philosophy  and  to  psychology,  though  not  devoid  of   potential  dangers  and  misuses,  I  suggest  that  philosophical  counselors  reconsider  the  theoretical  and  empirical  validity  of  their  tenets.   Using  my  experience  as  a  philosophical  counselor,  I  attempt  in  this  paper  to  contribute  to  this  task  while  introducing  the reader to  what  are,  in  my  opinion,  the  main  problems  in  the  field.

Introduction

Philosophical  practice  or  counseling  may  be  described  as  a  cluster  of  methods  for  treating  everyday  problems  and  predicaments  through  philosophical  means.  Three related tenets, which  are  considered  vital  to  the  very  existence  of  philosophical  practice,  seem  to  be  widely  held  by  philosophical  counselors,  though  not  unanimously.  They  are:  1.  The  counselee  is  autonomous;  2.  Philosophical  counseling differs  from  psychological  counseling  and  3.  Philosophical  counseling  is  helpful  in  solving  predicaments. While  it  is  understandable  why  philosophical  counselors  hold  these  views,  the  critical  examination  which follows will shows  that  they  are  problematic  at  both  theoretical  and  practical  levels.

             To put it  bluntly,  the  view that  the  counselee  is  autonomous  serves the purpose of liberating  counselors  from  too  heavy  a  responsibility  towards  their  counselees.  The tenet  that  philosophical  counseling  is  different  from  psychological  counseling  serves to establish  the  legitimacy  of  the  profession.  Finally, the tenet  that  philosophical  counseling  is  effective  serves the same purpose as the latter and helps  to meet  the  counselees'  expectation  of solving  a  personal  predicament.  

Most  counselees do  not  come  to  philosophers  to  leisurely  have  their  philosophical  biographies  discovered  or  to  better  understand  their  worldview  as  a  means  for  a  richer  life.   These may, indeed, be  worthy  and  legitimate  goals  of  philosophical  counseling,  yet,  to  this  day,  I  do  not  know  whether  they  have  been  investigated.  According to my experience, most people  come  to  philosophical  counseling  in  order  to  solve  some  predicament, usually  after also having undergone  psychological counseling,  either  with  regard  to  this  predicament  or  otherwise.  

Philosophical  counselors  do  comply  with  counselees'  needs  in  the  present  social  context  in  which  they  operate,  for  the  obvious  yet  decisive  reason  that  they  cannot  counsel  without  counselees.   At  the  same  time,  they  try  to  establish  philosophical  counseling  as  a  legitimate  and  honorable  profession,  taking  into  consideration  the  prevailing  psychological  hegemony  over  personal  predicaments  and  paying  allegiance  to  their  diverse  philosophical  inheritance.   These constraints have created a  variety  of  views  which,  nonetheless,  have  the three aforementioned  tenets  in  common.   These tenets engender theoretical and practical confusions.

Because  I  believe  that  philosophical  practice  can make  a  valuable  contribution  both  to  philosophy  and  to  psychology, I  suggest that philosophical  counselors  try  to  be  more  critical  about  their  tenets.  In this paper, I will make a modest  attempt  to  contribute  to  this  task. I will, therefore, address the three tenets mentioned above and probe their reliability on both theoretical and practical levels.

1.    The  Counselee's  Autonomy

There is  a  great  emphasis  in  the  philosophical  counseling  movement  on  respecting  the  counselee's  autonomy,  though  we should  clarify  what  is  meant  by  that.   Consider  the  following  views:  "Philosophical  counselors  should  avoid  as  much  as  possible  imposing  their  own  views  on  their  counselees.   They  should  put  aside  any  personal  or  pre-conceived  opinion,  and  empower  counselees  to  make  their  own  free  decisions,  even  if  these  contradict  their  own" (1).  Or:  "Much  emphasis  is  placed  on  the  counselee's  autonomy  in  interpreting  and  evaluating  themselves  to  themselves.   In  this  sense  I  suggest  that  philosophical  counseling  can  be  characterized  as  helping  the  person  to  autonomously  clarify  and  develop  his  or  her  worldview"  (2).

             Following  the  same  line  of  thought,  another  philosophical  counselor  writes  that  "someone  who  wants  to  make  a  dogmatic  use  of  philosophy  and  says:  ‘I would  like  to  open  a  Schopenhauer-practice'  would be an embarrassment to himself"  (3).   Nevertheless,  a  small  number  of  counselors  feel  entitled  to  advocate  certain  views  in  counseling:  Barbara  Norman,  for  example,  believes  in  developing  with  her  counselees  more  holistic  and  relational,  as  opposed  to  cognitivist  and  alienated  ways  of  understanding  (4),  while Leks Tijsse  Klassen  uses  Emmanuel  Levinas'  conceptual  scheme,  based  on  the  notion  of  guilt,  as  a  tool  for  understanding  his  counselees'  personal  problems  (5).

Philosophers are likely to be suspicious of the dogmatic counselor, for she  partakes  in  a  paternalistic  attitude,  which  they  reject.   Such an  attitude is  expressed  in  the  following  assumptions:  I  know  -  while  you  don't  -  what  is  wrong  with  you  (I  have  a  diagnosis),  who  you  should  be  and  how  you  should  feel  and  act  (I  hold  a  view  of  normality)  and  the  way  to  get  there  (I  have  a  therapy).   Trust  me,  and  I  will  cure  you.   Better:  if  you  trust  me,  maybe  I  can  cure  you;  without  your  trust,  I  cannot  even  try.

             Though  psychoanalysis  is  traditionally  associated  with  paternalism,  this is not true of all  psychological  therapies  or  therapists.  Some are influenced  by classical,  individualistic ethics.   Originally  formulated  by  Kant,  such an ethics  states  that  the  individual  is  autonomous,  i.e.,  free  and  therefore,  exclusively  responsible  for  his  or  her  actions.   Extensive  literature  concerning  the  individual's  autonomy  abounds  in  the  medical,  psychiatric  and  psychological  disciplines.   Indeed, the issue of autonomy has been  characterized  as  one  of  the  most  critical  problems  in  the  history  of  psychiatric ethics. (6).  

I  find,  however,  most  of  this  discussion  irrelevant  to  the  present  context,  as  it  concerns  the  mentally  ill,  who  are  not,  to  the  best  of  my  knowledge,  considered to be potential  philosophical  counselees by most counselors.   Hence, it  is  up  to  us  to  interpret  classical  individualistic  ethics,  i.e.,  the  view  that  the  individual  is  free  and  therefore  responsible  for  her  actions,  in  a  manner  appropriate  to  our  context.   As a  descriptive  statement,  it  can be  trivial  in  this  context.  Insofar as  the  mentally  ill  are  excluded  from  philosophical  counseling,  the  counselee  is  a  priori  free  and  responsible  for  his  or  her  actions.  As  a  prescriptive  statement,  it  tells  people  to  become  aware  of  their  freedom  and  take  full  responsibility  for  their  actions.   It  is  none  other  than  the  existentialist  view  of  autonomy.

             In  the  philosophical  counseling  context,  however,  the  issue  of  autonomy  may  be  linked  with  various  issues  of  rationality  (7).   For  example,  the  tenet  of  the  counselee's  autonomy  can  be  understood  in  Socratic  terms,  that  is,  everyone  can  (descriptive)  and  should  (prescriptive)  think  for  himself/herself  and  strive  to  be  more  rational.   Whether  interpreted  in  the  existentialist  or  the  Socratic  prescriptive  senses,  or  in  the  sense  advocated  by  other  traditional  philosophical  systems,  such  as  Spinoza's  or  Nietzsche's  (8),  individual  autonomy  is  a  highly  praised  and  rarely  attained  philosophical  goal.

              In  practice,  most  counselees are  likely to be heteronomous, for  fully  autonomous  people  are  not likely  to  come to  counseling,  philosophical  or  otherwise.   Moreover,  most  counselees  are  not  likely  to  state  their  counseling goal as that of becoming  autonomous.   Rather,  they usually come  to  solve  a  specific  problem  as  quickly  as  possible.   There  are  times,  however,  when  counselees  -  usually  refugees  from  psychological  therapy  -  insist  on  their  autonomy.   In  my  experience,  this  explicit  emphasis  sometimes  turns  out  in  subsequent  sessions  to  be  something  quite  different:   the  counselee  is  in  fact  stating  his  or  her  unwillingness  to  change  the  relevant  behavior  or  view,  while  insisting  on  getting  the  counselor's help  in  solving  the  predicament  in  question.   At  other  times,  however,  heteronomous  counselees  try  to  glean  the  counselor's  views  or  explicitly  ask  for  advice.   It  seems,  then,  that  autonomy  is  a  philosopher's  goal,  not  shared  by  most counselees. In  practice,   the  philosophical  counselor  should  therefore distinguish between her  own expectations and those of the counselee.

2. Philosophical Counseling  Differs  From  Psychological Counseling

In  an  era  in  which  psychological  therapies  have dominion  over  counseling,  philosophical  counselors  are motivated to  hold  the  view  that  what  they  offer  is  at  least  different  from  psychological  counseling,  if  not  better.   Theoretically  speaking,  this  distinction  is  not  easily  made.   The  easiest  way  is  to  differentiate  philosophical  counseling  from  psychoanalysis,  as  done  by  Ran  Lahav  (9).   Psychoanalysis  is  also  the  best  target  for  accusations  of  paternalism,  as  mentioned  above.   Yet,  to  reduce  psychology  or  psychological  therapies  to  psychoanalysis  (though  Ran  Lahav  does  not  suggest  it)  is  to  ignore  the  evolution  that  took  place  in  that  discipline  in  the  last  decades.   Ethical  or  philosophical  views  were  at  the  root  of  this  evolution,  confirming  once  again   the  continuous  influence  of  philosophy  upon  psychology.   Elliot. Cohen  rightly  emphasizes  the  philosophical  foundations  of  the  counseling  theories  that  undergird  practice.   I  will  mention  only  the  most  recent  ones:  the  roots  of  existential  therapy  in  existential  philosophy,  the  Stoic  basis  of  Rational-Emotive  Therapy,  the  humanistic  philosophical  assumptions  underlying  Person-Centered  Therapy  (10).   These  therapies  are  also  kindred  in  practice  to  what  philosophical  counseling  tries  to  do.   It  is  obvious,  then,  that  some  psychological  practices  make  use  of  philosophy.

             Philosophical  counselors  rightly  emphasize  psychologists'  incompetence  in  dealing  with  philosophical  issues  that  are  incorporated  in  psychological  therapies.   The need to remedy this incompetence is at the basis of the suggestion that philosophical counseling might be a legitimate alternative to psychological counseling.   Formal  psychological  education  and  training,  however,  is  not  a  prerequisite  for  philosophical  counseling.   Thus,  philosophical  counseling  must  claim  complete  independence  from  psychology,  echoing  a  similar  claim  made  by  psychologists  with  regard  to  philosophy  at  the  beginning  of  the  last century.

            Not  all  philosophical  counselors  adhere  to  this  claim.   A  notable  exception  is  Elliot  Cohen  who  developed  a  hybrid  approach,  incorporating  some  Rational-Emotive  Therapy  techniques  and  even  non-cognitive  therapeutic  modalities,  such  as  behavioral  ones,  within  the  corpus  of  philosophical  counseling  (11).   Some  philosophical  counselors  meet  the  problem  of  psychological  incompetence  by  excluding  emotions  as  a  legitimate  subject-matter  of  philosophical  counseling.

             I  am  afraid,  however,  that  this  solution  will  not  do,  for  several  reasons.   From  a  theoretical  point of view,  philosophical  systems  do  include  psychologies  and  indeed,  it  is  hard  to  see  how  philosophy  would  be  of  any  relevance  to  life  if  it  did  not  deal  also  with  emotions.   Philosophy owes  most  of  its  practical  import  to  this  important  fact.   Theoretically,  then,  the  demarcation  between  psychological  and  philosophical  counseling  is  untenable  (12).  

             Moreover,  the  sociological  context,  i.e.,  the  fact  that  most  counselees  come  to  solve  a  personal  predicament  and  not  to  broaden  their  philosophical  horizons  nor  discover  their  philosophical  biography,  does  not  enable  the  philosophical  counselor  to  exclude  systematically  any  discussion  of  emotions.

             It  seems,  then,  that  from  a  theoretical  point  of  view,  there  is  no  need  to  exclude  discussion  of  emotions  from  philosophical  counseling  and,  that  from  a  practical  point  of  view,  it  is  vital  to  the  profession  to  include  it.   However,  the  issue  of  the  emotions,  though  important,  is  just  one  aspect  of  the  problem  of  incorporating  psychology into  philosophy,  and  thus,  into  philosophical  practice.

             The  problem  of  demarcation  between  psychological  and  philosophical  counseling  on  the  theoretical  level  is  reflected  in  practice.   There, I  believe,  psychological  knowledge  and  experience  is  used  as  a  determinant  part  of  philosophical  counseling,  enlightening  the  philosophical  counselor's  way  through  the  labyrinth  of her  philosophical  knowledge  and  assisting her  in  the  choices she makes.   I  would  like  to  demonstrate  this  point  with  examples  from  the  literature  and  from  my  own  experience  as  a  philosophical  counselor.

             I  refused  to  accept  for counseling  a  woman who  gave  me  enough  details  about  her  psychological  condition  so  that  I  could  diagnose  her  as  depressive.   She  had  been  in  psychological  therapy  and  on  medication  for  fifteen  years  and  claimed  it  did  not  help  her.   Although  I  thought  that  philosophical  counseling  might  be  helpful  in  this  case,  I  did  not  accept  her  as  my  counselee  because  I  was  afraid  that  she  would  commit  suicide.   My  decision  was  made  solely  on  psychological  grounds.

             Published  reports  of  case  studies  bear  the  mark  of  psychological  skills  used  during  philosophical  counseling.   The  marriage  philosophical  counselor,  Anette  Prins-Bakker,  "senses"  that  something  is  too  much  for  the  still  unstable  marriage.   One  of  the  most  important  insights  her  counselees  can  gain  through  counseling  is  clearly  psychological,  namely,  that  "mutual  understanding  and  acceptance  must  take  place  in  a  dialogue"  (13).   In  a  case  study  labeled  "the  phenomenology  of  a  child",  Ran  Lahav  chose  to  interpret  his  counselee's  worldview  as  that  of  an  adult  believing  he  is  still  a  child.   He  relied  solely  on  an  insight  based  on  Freudian  slips  of  the  tongue,  namely,  his  35  years  old  counselee's  tendency  to  use  expressions  such  as  "when  I  grow  up"  and  "the  adults  out  there  are  doing  such  and  such"  (14).  More recent examples can be found in volume 6, n. 1 of Practical Philosophy: Journal of the Society for Philosophy in Practice (Spring 2003), which is dedicated to case studies (15).

3.    The  Effectiveness  of  Philosophical  Counseling

 

The  third  tenet  common  to  philosophical  counselors  is  the  effectiveness  of  philosophical  counseling  in  solving  predicaments.   Although  most  philosophical  counselors  maintain  that  they  do  not  offer  a  diagnosis  or  a  therapy  (16),  the  tenet  of  effectiveness  must  be  at  least  the  honest  counselor's  implicit  assumption  when  working  with  counselees  who  come  to  resolve  a  personal  predicament.   There  are,  however,  other  alternatives  for  the  counselor,  which  will  be  discussed  below  when  addressing  the  practical  import  of  the  tenet  of  effectiveness.

             At  the  theoretical  level,  the  question  of  the  effectiveness  of  philosophical  counseling  is  raised,  and  answered  mostly  in  the  affirmative,  though  it  is  not  clear  on  what  grounds.   Consider, for  example,  the  following  explanations:

 

Once  you  become  more  aware  of  your  own  basic  views  and  realize  that  they  can  be  corrected  or  changed  by  yourself,  you  will  be  able  to  begin  making  changes  in  yourself  and  your  life  (17).

Or,

Obviously,  there  is  no  magical  formula  to  bring  about... an  extreme  change,  but  I  believe  that  even  the  mere  understanding  of  patterns  in  one's  attitude  involves  a  powerful  insight  that  is  an  important  step  towards  real  personal  progress  (18).

It  seems  that  the  underlying  assumption  of  most  philosophical  practitioners  is  that  a  better  understanding  of  oneself  or  of  one's  predicament  is  helpful,  for  understanding  enables  change.   Some  philosophical  counselors  do  not  explicitly  formulate  this  assumption,  some  acknowledge  that  it  "need[s]  to  be  made  by  philosophical  individual  counseling" (19),  while  others  try  to  argue  for  the  validity  of  the  assumption,  using  theoretical  considerations  (20)  or  empirical  support  (21).   My  own  view  is  that,  until  further  empirical  data  is supplied  or  more  convincing  theoretical  arguments  are proposed,  understanding  is  not  a  sufficient  condition  for  changing  nor  a  necessary  one  (as  was  made  clear  by  successful  therapies  which  are  not  based  on  understanding,  such  as  behavior  therapy).

             A  more  moderate  view  concerning  the  effectiveness  of  philosophical  practice  might  then  be  formulated,  namely,  that  a  better  understanding  of  one's  predicament  is  valuable  in  itself.   Although  this  might  be  the  case,  I  doubt  that  psychological  relief  of  one's  suffering  can  be  attained  in  this  way.   Getting  a  better  understanding  of  one's  predicament  without  a  means  to  resolve  it  may  be  very  frustrating.   Nor  do  I  know  whether  there  is  more  consolation  in  the  interpretation  of  the  hindrance  in  terms  of  irrational  beliefs  which  one  cannot  annul  or  in  terms  of  a  worldview  one  cannot  alter,  than  in  terms  of  hidden  forces  one  cannot  control:  the  apparent  accessibility  of  the  former  and  the  alleged  responsibility  one  has  for  his  beliefs  -  when  coupled  by  impotence  as  regarding  change  -  might  be a humiliating  experience.

             These  considerations  lead  us  to  the  possible  harmful  consequences  of  philosophical  practice  in  particular  and  of  philosophy  in  general.  Evidence  of  harmful  effects  of  philosophical  practice  has  already  been  recorded  in  the  literature.   Consider,  for  example,  Shlomit  Schuster's  description  of  Hoogendijk's  practice:  "In  thematising,  thinking  becomes  clearer,  but  situations  can  become  more  problematic,  which  could  upset  the  visitor"  (22).   To  take  another  example,  the  marital  philosophical  counselor  mentioned  above,  writes  about  "new  and  more  profound  doubts"  that  come  out  about  the  counselees'  marriage  through  the  use  of  philosophy  (23).   There  is,  of  course,  ample  evidence  of  allegedly  necessary,  though  temporary,  harmful  effects  of  psychological  therapies  in  the  literature  (24),  but  this  could  hardly  count  as  an  argument  in  favor  of  necessary  evils  in  philosophical  counseling.

             The  potentially  harmful  effects  of  philosophy,  though  a  detailed  discussion  of  them  lies  beyond  the  scope  of  this  paper,  should  be  taken  into  consideration:  we  know  from  personal  experience  that  philosophy  can  confuse,  bewilder,  frighten,  discourage.   Perhaps  the  main  advantage  of  philosophical  counseling  over  unmediated  and  unguided  access  to  philosophy,  lies  in  the  possibility  to  supervise  and  thus  minimize  those  harmful  effects.   This  latter  consideration  bears  consequence  on  the  questions  of  the  counselee's  autonomy  and  of  the  counselor's  paternalism  discussed  above.

             At  the  theoretical  level,  then,  both  potentially  beneficial  and  harmful  effects  of  philosophical  counseling  should  be  made  explicit.   Emphasis  should  be  laid,  in  my  opinion,  on  the  theoretical  grounds  of  philosophical  effectiveness  no  less  than  on  the  description  of  empirical  effects:  as  philosophers,  we  want  to  know  whether  -  and  if  yes,  how  -  our  beliefs  relate  to  our  emotions  and  behavior  (25).   Philosophical  counselors'  views  upon  the  relationship  of  beliefs,  emotions  and  behavior  should  be  exposed  to  public  debate,  in  order  to  be  critically  examined,  if  not  empirically  refuted,  by  philosophers,  psychologists  and  fellow-counselors.

             At  the  practical  level,  I  believe  that  the  counselor  should  not  ignore  the  counselee's  expectation  of  solving  his  or  her  predicament.   One  way  of  dealing  with  this  expectation  is  to  make  the  problematic  tenet  of  philosophical  effectiveness  explicit,  as  well  as  the  potential  harmful  effects  of  philosophical  counseling.   At  least  two  other  alternative  ways,  however,  are  open  for  the  counselor  confronted  with  counselees'  expectations  to  resolve a personal  predicament,  namely:

1.    To  say  right  away  that  the  counselor  cannot  solve  it;

2.    To  undermine,  a  la  Achenbach,  the  counselee's  need  for  solving  his  or  her  predicament.   In  his  words:

Rather  than  readily  serving  the  needs  that  are  directed  to  it,  philosophical  practice  should  be  their  most  thorough  critic,  in  the  sense  that  it  should  put  these  needs  in  question.   Instead  of  accepting  the  need  as  it  is,  it  is  its  goal  to  examine  it  in  order  to  develop  it  further.   Philosophical  practice  is  the  cultivation  of  needs,  not  just  their  satisfaction  (26). 

If,  however,  the  counselor  does  believe  that  philosophy  is  effective  to  some  extent  in  solving  personal  predicaments, she  should  share  both  her  convictions  and  doubts  with  the  counselee.   This  is  a  concrete  way  to  combat  the  paternalistic  attitude  which  seems  to  bother  the  philosophical  counselor,  as  we  saw  above.

Conclusion

I  think  that  it  is  clear  by  now  that  the  three  kindred  tenets,  which  form  the  allegedly  necessary  basis  of  philosophical  practice,  are  problematic. (27)  Using  philosophy  autonomously  as  an  effective  tool  towards  change  is  a  very  noble  ideal  attained  by  few  philosophers  and  strove  for  by  many.   Helping others achieve positive change can be  very  rewarding,  yet  philosophical  counseling  brings  novelty  which  is  not  without  risks.  I  suggest  that philosophical counselors  submit  themselves  to  strict  discipline:  public  debate  and  criticism  of  beliefs,  on  the  theoretical  level,  and  complete  sincerity  vis-a-vis  the  counselee,  on  the  practical  level.

Acknowledgments

I  would  like  to  thank  Ran  Lahav for  providing  me  with  valuable  material  and  for  commenting  on  an  earlier  draft  of  this  manuscript.  Yet, the contents  of  this  article  remain  my  sole  responsibility.   An earlier draft of the  paper  has  been  read  at  the  first  international  congress  of  Philosophical  Practice  and  Counseling,  in  Vancouver,  Canada,  1995. I would also like to thank Shlomit Schuster and especially Paola Grassi for her invaluable help with the bibliography. Last but not least, Elliot Cohen's generous and thorough editorial work saved this paper from oblivion.

Notes

(1)                  R. Lahav (1995) "A  Conceptual  Framework  for  Philosophical Counseling:  Worldview  Interpretation",  in:  R. Lahav  and  M. Tillmanns  (Eds.)  (1995) Essays on Philosophical Counseling  (Lanham, Md., University Press of America, 1995) pp. 3-24.

(2)                  R. Lahav (1992)  "Applied Phenomenology in Philosophical Counseling",  International  Journal  of  Applied  Philosophy,  7, pp. 45-52. See also J. A. Tuedio, (1996) "Postmodern Perspectives in Philosophical Practice",in Perspectives in Philosophical Practice: The Proceedings of the Second International Congress on Philosophical Practice, Win van der Vlist (ed.) (Doorwerth, The Netherlands: The Dutch Society for Philosophical Practice), pp. 184-194.

(3)                   M. Schefczyk (1994) "Philosophical  and  Psychological  Individual  Counseling", in Zeitschrift fuer Philosophische Praxis, 5,  pp.  6-11.

(4)                   B. Normann (1995)  "The  Art  of  Ecological  Relationship  and  Interpretation",  in Essays  on  Philosophical  Counseling, op. cit., pp. 49-58.

(5)                   L. T. Klassen (1996) "The Concept  of  Guilt  in  Philosophical  Counseling",  in Perspectives in Philosophical Practice: The Proceedings of the Second International Congress on Philosophical Practice, op. cit., pp. 24-36.

(6)                  N. Laor (1981) "Common  Sense  Ethics  and  Psychiatry", in Psychiatry,  47,  pp. 137-149.

7) See J. Agassi and I.C. Jarvie (eds.) (1987)  Rationality: The Critical View  (Dordrecht, Martinus Nijhoff). The philosophical practitioner who wrote more systematically on rationality is, to the best of my knowledge, Elliot D. Cohen. See, his "The Philosopher as Counselor", in E. Cohen (ed.) Philosophers at Work: Issues and Practice of Philosophy, 2nd edition, Wadsworth, 2000, pp. 457-466; "Logic, Rationality and Counseling", International Journal of Applied Philosophy (1990) 5, 1, pp.43-49; Caution: Faulty Thinking can be Harmful to your Happiness, Fort Pierce: San Diego: Trace-WilCo, 1994; "Philosophical Counseling: A Computer-Assisted, Logic-Based Approach", Inquiry. Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines (1995) 15, 2, pp. 83-90; "Philosophical Principles of Logic-Based Therapy", in Practical Philosophy: Journal of the Society for Philosophy in Practice, Spring 2003, vol. 6, n. 2, pp. 27-35; and What would Aristotle Do? Self-Control through the Power of Reason, New York: Prometheus Books, 2003.

8) For Spinoza's and Nietzsche's ideals of autonomy, See L. B. Amir, Philosophy as Redemption: Comparing Spinoza and Nietzsche, unpublished manuscript, currently under review by Nijhoff, The Netherlands; for a critique of their feasibility for non-philosophers, see L. B. Amir, "Happiness, Virtue and Management: A Spinozistic Approach", and "Autonomy, Sovereignty and Generosity: Nietzsche's Ethics in Management", in Reason in Practice: The Journal of Philosophy in Management (both forthcoming). For an ideal of autonomy based on the Hellenistics' teachings, see Martha C. Nussbaum, The Therapy of Desire (1994), and for a critique of its feasibility within the philosophical counselling framework by Fiona Jenkins, "Therapies of Desire and Aesthetics of Existence: On Foucault's Relevance for Philosophical Counselling", in Practical Philosophy: The Journal of the Society for Philosophy in Practice, 2001, vol. 4, n. 3, pp. 15-24.

9) R. Lahav (1995) "A Conceptual Framework for Philosophical Counseling:  Worldview Interpretation", op. cit.   See also R. Lahav (1993) "Using Analytic Philosophy in Philosophical Counseling", in The Journal of Applied Philosophy, 10 (2), pp.  243-252, for a valuable discussion of the difference between philosophy and psychology. It seems that his thought has undergone an evolution with regard to this issue, for in a more recent paper he suggests "that the  attempt  to  make  a  clear-cut  distinction  between  philosophical  practice  and  existing  psychotherapies  is  questionable  if  not  hopeless". See his "Is  Philosophical  Practice That Different  From  Psychotherapy?" (1994) in Zeitschrift fuer Philosophische Praxis, 1, pp. 32-36.

10)  E. D. Cohen (1995) "Philosophical  Counseling:  Some  Roles  of  Critical  Thinking",  in Essays  in  Philosophical  Counseling, op. cit., pp. 121-131.

11)  E. D. Cohen (1992) Caution: Faulty Thinking Can Be Harmful to Your Happiness (Fort  Pierce,  F1:  Trace-Wilco).

12)  This  view  of  the  inseparability  of  philosophy  and  psychology  is  similar  to  the  view  advocated  by  Michael  Schefczyk.  He  writes: "One  would  therefore.....make  a  mistake  if  one  were  to  try  to  draw  a  clear  line  between  philosophy  and  psychology. All attempts in  this  regard,  in  my  opinion,  are  in  vain.  Philosophical practitioners use therapeutic techniques; Psychotherapists use  philosophical thoughts  in  their  counseling... psychologists  and  philosophers  should  learn  to  put  up  with  the  situation  in  which  they  are  mutually  dependent  upon  one  another  and  should  help  each  other  in  turn."  In "A Few Remarks on  Philosophical  Practice",  unpublished  manuscript given to me by the writer. Some philosophical counselors think that the main goal of philosophical practice is to educate on the emotions (i.e. Warren Shibbles (1998; 2001)). Others, following Bertrand Russell's view that ‘one could stretch the comprehensiveness that constitutes wisdom to include not only intellect but also feeling' (1956, p. 174), think that developing better feelings is a worthy philosophical goal (i.e. Lydia B. Amir (2002; 2004)).

Various counsellors dealt with the subject of Philosophy versus Psychology, inter alia, Schuster (1999), chapter 3, who argues for a "sincere communication in philosophical practice, based on a free, spontaneous developing conversation for which no method can exist", p. 96, a point she repeats as "beyond-method method" in "Philosophical Counselling and Rationality", in Thinking Through Dialogue, Trevor Curnow (ed.), Oxted: Practical Philosophy Press, 2001, pp. 58-61; see the bibliography at the beginning of the book for more of Schuster's bibliography; Emmy Van Deurzen, who is educated both as a psychologist and as a philosopher, contributed especially to the elucidation of the relationship of philosophy with existential psychology; see, for example: "Predictable Difficulties in Daily Living: Existential Psychotherapy as a Road to Human Understanding", in Henning Herrestad, Anders Holy, Helge Svare (eds.), Philosophy in Society, Oslo, Unipub Forlag, 2002, pp. 143-164; Emmy van Deurzen, "Speech is Silver, Silence is Golden: Psychotherapy and Philosophical Consultancy", Thinking Through Dialogue, Trevor Curnow (ed.), Oxted: Practical Philosophy Press, 2001, pp. 35-41; and " Existentialism and Existential Psychotherapy", in Heart and Soul: The Therapeutic Face of Philosophy, Chris Mace (ed.), London: Routledge, 1999, pp. 215-236 . Other contributions to the difference between philosophy and existential psychotherapy include Ran Lahav, "Philosophical Counseling and Existential Therapy: On the Possibility of a Dialogue between the Fields", Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis, (1997) 9, pp. 129-145; Simon du Plock, "Today We Have Naming of Parts: On Dialogue between Philosophical Counselling and Existential Psychotherapy", Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis (1999) 10, 1, pp. 7-28.  The Psychoanalyst Rachel Blass contributed, inter alia, the following publications, "On the Possibility of Self-Transcendence: Philosophical Counseling, Zen and the Psychological Perspective", Journal of Chinese Philosophy (1996) 23, 3, pp. 277-298; Rachel Blass, "The Person in Philosophical Counseling vs. Psychotherapy and the Possibility of Interchange between the Fields", Journal of Applied Philosophy (1996) 13, 3, pp. 279-296; The Psychotherapist Chris Mace contributed an introduction, entitled "philosophy and psychotherapy", and the final chapter: "Philosophy as Psychotherapy" to the book he edited (1999). Other contributions by Practical philosophers include Dries Boele, "The Art of Living: Philosophical Contributions to Psychotherapy", The British Psychological Society Psychotherapy Section Newsletter (1999) June 25, pp. 25-33; Peter C. Raabe, "The Relationship between Philosophical Counseling and Psychotherapy", in Pratische Filosofiche/Philosophy Practice, 2003, vol 2.; Dona D. Warren, "Healing Trasymachus: the Psychotherapeutic use of Dialogue", in Thinking Through Dialogue, Trevor Curnow (ed.), Oxted: Practical Philosophy Press, 2001, pp. 42-9.

13)  A. Prins-Bakker (1995)  "Philosophy  in  Marriage  Counseling",  in Essays  in  Philosophical  Counseling, op. cit., pp. 135-151.

14)  R. Lahav (1992)  "Applied  Phenomenology  in  Philosophical Counseling", in  International  Journal  of  Applied  Philosophy, 7 (1992), pp. 45-52.

15) Volume 6, n. 1, of Practical Philosophy: Journal of the Society for Philosophy in Practice (Spring 2003), which is dedicated to case studies, illustrate my claim, to wit, that in practice, philosophers use also psychology in their counselling. See also P. B. Raabe (2001) Philosophical Counseling: Theory and Practice, (Wesport, CT.: Praeger), part III: Practice, Schuster (1999) chapters 6-12, and Marinoff (2003), for more cases, in which this claim can be substantiated.

16) S.C. Schuster (1991) "Philosophical Counseling", in Journal of Applied  Philosophy, 8 (2), pp.  219-223.

17) A. Prins-Bakker,   "Philosophy in Marriage  Counseling", op. cit.

18) R. Lahav (1992) "Applied Phenomenology in Philosophical Counseling", op. cit.

19) M. Schefczyk (1994) "Philosophical and Psychological Individual Counseling", op. cit.

20) E. D. Cohen (1995)  "Philosophical Counseling:  Some  Roles  of  Critical      Thinking", op. cit.

21)R. Lahav (1995) "A  Conceptual  Framework  for  Philosophical  Counseling:   Worldview  Interpretation", op. cit.

(22)   Schuster,  S.C. (1991) " Philosophical  Counseling", op. cit., p. 222.

(23)             Prins-Bakker,  A. (1995)  "Philosophy  in  Marriage  Counseling", op. cit., p. 137.

(24)             See, for example, A.  Ellis  (ed.)  (1971) Growth Through Reason  (Palo  Alto,  California:  The  Institute  for  Rational  Living). In the introduction, he writes: "When  I  practiced  psychoanalysis  and  psychoanalytic  psychotherapy.... I  warned  my  clients  that  before  they  improved  as  a  result  of  seeing  me,  they  might  well  get  worse.   And  I  was  frequently  right!   Many  of  them  ultimately  got  better  -  but  only  after  they  had  undergone  considerable  suffering  concomitantly  with,  and  quite  probably  as  a  direct  result  of,  treatment.   For  revealing  to  an  individual  some  of  his  hidden  traits  and  motivations  may  finally  do  him  some  good,  but  in  the  short  run  it  aggravates  his  suffering.   This can  happen  in  rational-emotive  therapy,  too"  (p. 1).

(25)             Some  important  recent  work  on  the  emotions  has  been  done  by  philosophers.   See, for example, M.C.  Nussbaum (2001) Upheavals  of  Thought: The  Intelligence  of  Emotions (New York:  Cambridge  University  Press);   R.C.  Solomon (1993) The Passions: Emotions  and  the  Meaning  of  Life   (Indianapolis/  Cambridge:  Hackett);  and  A.  Ben  Ze'ev (2000)  The  Subtlety  of  Emotions  (Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press). See also some practical philosophers' work on the emotions, such as W. Shibles (1978), P. B. Raabe (2000) and E. D. Cohen (1988, 1990, 1998).

(26)   G.B. Achenbach (1987) Philosophical Practice (Philosophische Praxis,  (Koln: Jurgen  Dinter),  pp.  51-56. More recent work by Gerd B. Achenbach in which he expresses similar opinions are, inter alia, "Philosophical Practice Opens up the Trace to Lebenskőnnerschaft", in Henning Herrestad, Anders Holy, Helge Svare (eds.), Philosophy in Society, Oslo, Unipub Forlag, 2002, pp. 7-16.

Gerd B. Achenbach, Lebenskőnnerschaft, Freiburg: Herder, 2001.

Gerd B. Achenbach, Vom Richtigen im Falschen. Wege philosophischer Lebensknnerschaft, Freiburg: Herder, 2003.

(27) Peter B. Raabe made recently a much more comprehensive attempt to clarify and criticize the various methods of philosophical counseling, and to offer a model of his own. Though most of his remarks are very valuable and the scope of his work impressive, my goal has been different: to uncover the basic tenets of philosophical counseling and to show both their (at least prima facie) necessity and the problems they create theoretically and practically. Still, the reader will be rewarded by complementing my paper with P. B. Raabe's critical synthesis of various views on the client's autonomy (chapter 2 and 5), on the relationship of philosophical counselling and psychology (chapter 3) and on the effectiveness of philosophical counseling (scattered remarks, note 1, p. 108, for example). See P. B. Raabe (2001) Philosophical Counseling: Theory and Practice, (Wesport, CT.: Praeger) and its sequel (2002) Issues in Philosophical Counselling, (Wesport, CT.: Praeger), in which he states that though philosophical counselling is not therapy, dialoguing with a philosopher may be therapeutic. Louis Marinoff's recent book (2003) can be helpful too, as well as Tim LeBon, Wise Therapy, London: Continuum, 2001. Especially relevant is Elliot Cohen's last book, What would Aristotle Do? Self-Control through the Power of Reason, New York: Prometheus Books, 2003. Finally, I apologize for my incapacity in such a limited space to cite or refer to many good and interesting philosophical counselors' ideas on the subject I have been addressing.

Bibliography

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