Counseling

I am offering philosophical counseling as a philosophy practitioner certified by the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. You can contact me using the form below for an initial inquiry, if you wish. First, though, a few preliminaries.

What is philosophical counseling? It has been described as "therapy for the  sane," but in fact it is not a form of therapy, if by that term one means a psychological or psychiatric approach to healing a mental health problem. Rather, philo-counseling is an educational activity, a dialogue between client and counselor during which the client seeks rational advice on a range of personal problems, advice informed by the rich philosophical traditions of the West and the East, including but not limited to Stoicism, virtue ethics, Epicureanism, Existentialism, feminist philosophy, Buddhism and Taoism.

How does it work? If you are interested in philosophical counseling, we will set up an initial consultation to explore whether your problem may fit in my scope of practice. I will then give you an idea of the road ahead and we will agree on a (usually small) number of one-on-one sessions to explore the philosophical dimensions of whatever problem brought you to consult me in the first place. After that we will re-evaluate together whether additional sessions may be beneficial, or whether you now have the philosophical tools for reflection about your life that you were seeking. I will send you reports on your progress, as well as suggest introductory readings that may be useful in the course of our interactions. 

Not in New York? Philo-counseling is available via Skype. I do in-person consultations only for people living in the greater New York City area (NYC's five boroughs as well as parts of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island). However - like other practitioners - I am experimenting with remote counseling sessions using the freely available Skype software. If you are interested, please mention this in the contact form below. Obviously, the same degree of confidentiality as with in-person consultations is assured.

What sort of problems are amenable to philo-counseling? Any personal problem you think may benefit from a rational analysis and from the accumulated insight and wisdom of millennia of thinking about the human condition. This includes, but is not limited to, life changing events (moving to a new city, new career, loss of a job, new relationship, divorce, chronic illness, death of a close relative or friend), an interest in thinking about one's overall life project (eudaimonia), as well as a range of ethical issues (which can rise within one's family, with friends, at work).

What sort of problems are NOT amenable to philo-counseling? If you are interested in exploring the roots of your emotional responses you are better off with a psychologist. There are a number of schools and approaches that may suit your needs. If you are dealing with significant emotional trauma you may want to see both a psychologist and a philosophical counselor. If your problem is neurological in nature, then a psychiatrist is the professional to see. Again, in general, think of philosophical counseling as a type of educational not medical, practice.

What credentials do you have to be a philosophical counselor? I have a PhD in Philosophy, awarded in 2003 by the University of Tennessee, and I am a faculty at the City College of the City University of New York. I have written many technical papers in philosophy, and published a number of books. I have also completed a certification course with the American Philosophical Practitioners Association.

Recent testimonials from my clients

"[Philosophical counseling] has--and is, completely--changing my way of thinking. I am so happy that you started me on this path."

"I feel it was my great luck to meet and speak with you."

"My life has been so much better since I came to see you."

"I feel like someone has finally "seen" me, and understood me."

"Being seen, and understood, for my point of view, makes my life so much less lonely."

"I simply wanted to tell you that my life since [our sessions] has been so much more interesting."


Philo Counseling Contact Form


Please also note the downloadable documents below:

i) APPA code of ethics
ii) informed consent form
iii) Stoicism: the very basics
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Massimo Pigliucci,
Jul 15, 2014, 2:43 PM
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Massimo Pigliucci,
Oct 3, 2014, 8:11 AM
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Massimo Pigliucci,
Jul 16, 2014, 5:53 AM