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Date: 23/02/22

Author Name: Tejashwini Havannavar

Qualifications: BA Philosophy, MA Philosophy, Logic-based Therapist (specialisation in Philosophical Counselling)

Designation: Former Consultant Counsellor, ACRO Mental Health Services.

Word count: 515 words

Reading time: 6 mins

Reviewed by: Sareem Athar, Aishwarya Krishna Priya, Mariyam Mohd & Ayesha Begum.

What is Philosophical Counselling

In our difficult times we have often heard people uplifting us with positive and strong philosophical conversations, ever wondered where this deep advice, and life lessons that our parents, relatives, or friends always tend to give us when we are low or struggling through something difficult in our lives? (1). For example, if a friend of yours fails an exam, you see how you start uplifting them by telling them that failure of an exam doesn't mean that you're a failure, right? you just failed an exam and everyone fails at some point in their time, so don't be so hard on yourself, it's going to be okay, we will figure this out (2). Now this statement, “ Failure of an exam doesn't mean you're a failure as a person”, is a philosophical antidote (remedy) to a low event in your friend's life, this is exactly what philosophical counselling looks like (3).

Philosophical counselling helps clients deal with the ongoing daily life challenges that bring them stress and anxiety (4). If you are facing a challenging situation like a loss of a loved one, job loss, mid-life crisis, fear of failure, feeling stuck, or procrastination; philosophical counselling can help you find a way to look at your issue from a better perspective (5,6).

The goal of philosophical therapy is to help people deal with life's circumstances in a productive way (7). Therapists who are interested in efficiently assisting clients who need aid to manage life events may find it of interest (8). The approach makes use of philosophical beliefs and promises from both the past and the present (9).

It works from a non-medical, non-clinical point of view, it is different from psychological, and psychiatric modes of counselling (10). It works in understanding the statements formed by the person who has then formed conclusions based on those judgments and has been stressed or anxious about that given life situation (11).

Philosophical Counsellors observe, analyse and come up with an alternative perspective for the said issue by a client (12,13). They give you a different perspective on emotional issues faced by the client to help cope with the situation in a better and less stressful way (14).

As a philosophical counsellor, the counsellor aims to give the client a better understanding of their issue by showing them how their extreme thinking or worrying is based on some kind of faulty thinking (18,19).s that make us believe in conclusions that often bring in stress and anxiety, philosophical counsellors work through these kinds of statements that a client has formed in himself that is bringing him challenges in his life (17).

As a philosophical counsellor, the counsellor aims to give the client a better understanding of their issue by showing them how their extreme thinking or worrying is based on some kind of faulty thinking(18,19).

Through philosophical counselling, you would get a better understanding of your thought, which would then help you reflect on your thought process which will then help you deal with a situation better (20). Often we tend to not communicate our thoughts in a precise way due to our emotional challenges (21). Philosophical counselling will guide you on how to improve your communication, express fully and reflect on your behaviour (22).

It gives people an effective way of dealing with life events that brings them worry and stress (23,24). Philosophical counselling is friendly assistance that helps you shift your perspective on some issue that brings you down (25).

Audio-Visual Credits

1) Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

2) Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

3) Photo by Marcel Strauß on Unsplash

4) Photo by Official on Unsplash


1. Philosophical Practice | NPCA [Internet]. NPCA. 2022 [cited 23 February 2022]. Available from:

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3. What is philosophical counselling? [Internet]. Curious Soul Philosophy. 2022 [cited 23 February 2022]. Available from:

4. Counselor M. Alexander the Great had Aristotle, who do you have? [Internet]. Mark Murynec APPA Certified Philosophical Counselor. 2022 [cited 23 February 2022]. Available from:

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11. “What is philosophical counselling?” Curious Soul Philosophy, 12 October 2022.

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13. CPCR – Centre for Philosophical Counselling and Research, Accessed (Sulavikova)12 October 2022.

14. Slavikova, Blanka. key concepts in philosophical counselling.

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15.Lahav, Ran. “Ran Lahav, What is Philosophical in Philosophical Counselling?” PhilPapers, Accessed 12 October 2022.

16. Brown S. Philosophical Counselling [Internet]. 2022 [cited 1 March 2022]. Available from:

17. Sulavíková B. Philosophical counselling based on dialogical critical thinking. Hum Affairs (Tlacene Vyd) [Internet]. 2013;23(4):680–8. Available from:

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19. What is philosophical counselling? - curious soul philosophy [Internet]. Curious Soul Philosophy - Online Philosophical Counselling, Workshops, and Retreats. 2022 [cited 2023 June 1]. Available from:

20.Raabe PB. Philosophical counselling: Theory and practice. Westport, CT: Praeger; 2000.

21. Bulatović A. Philosophical counselling as a tool to enhance social wellbeing. Book of Abstracts: The 13th International Conference on Philosophical Practice, organised by the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade, 15–18 August [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 June 1]; Available from:

22. Popescu BA. Moral dilemmas and existential issues encountered both in psychotherapy and philosophical counselling practices. Eur J Psychol [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2023 June 1];11(3):509–21. Available from:

23. Martin MW. Ethics as therapy: Philosophical counselling and psychological health [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 1]. Available from: context=philosophy_articles

24. Mochizuki T, Harteloh P. Reading the correspondence between Descartes and princess Elisabeth from the viewpoint of philosophical counselling: Introduction and research questions. jht [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2023 Jun 1];10(1):155–72. Available from:

25. Hagiu A, Bortoș S, Tamaș I. A new method in philosophical counselling (IPAA). Postmod Open [Internet]. 2023;14(1):46–61. Available from:


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