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Copyright 1997 Shlomit C. Schuster
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Shlomit C. Schuster, (1991) "Philosophical Counselling," Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 219-223.

A new phenomenon in the philosophical discipline, philosophical practice--or counselling--is introduced to the reader through the description of three different approaches to philosophical practice. What is common to these approaches is that an academical trained philosopher philosophizes together with a "sane" person--the visitor--on questions and problems relevant to the visitor.

The essential difference between this and psychological counselling is that philosophers do not use therapeutic methods or make diagnoses. The philosophical practitioner triggers in his dialogue partner a didactic philosophical process, which enables the visitor to become an authentic thinker and eventually to arrive at philosophical answers by her/himself. The effectiveness of the language used in philosophical practice is not so much in applying philosophical ideas or theories as in the philosophical knowledge, skills and attitudes attained by the visitor.


Shlomit C. Schuster, (1992) "Philosophy as If It Matters: The Practice of Philosophical Counseling," Critical Review, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 587-599.

At the close of this psychotherapeutic century, an alternative to psychotherapy has begun to emerge: the use of philosophy as guidance in order to ameliorate everyday life situations. This new approach to so-called psychological problems, consisting of various forms of open-ended dialogue and reflection on life, may prevent or resolve many of the "illnesses" for which people would seek psychiatric or psychological treatment. If successful, philosophical counseling would mark not only a radical shift in the direction of psychological care, but a radical return to the original, practical purposes of philosophy.


Shlomit C. Schuster, (1995) "The Practice of Sartre's Philosophy in Philosophical Counseling and in Existential Psychotherapy," Iyyun, The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 99-114.

After a brief introduction to the new profession of philosophical counseling, the utilization of Sartre's philosophy in different counseling settings is clarified. By comparing the description of a Sartrean perspective in philosophical counseling with existential psychotherapy, essential differences are found to exist in method, aim and content. The incompatibility of Sartre's philosophy with psychoanalytic theory leads the way to a radical conception of existential psychotherapy. Sartre's understanding of humankind transcends the possibilities of therapy, however Sartre's thought does allow for change and transformation. The use of Sartre's thought in philosophical counseling is further illustrated by a case-story.


Shlomit C. Schuster, (1995) "Report on Applying Philosophy in Philosophical Counseling," The International Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 9, No. 2., 1995, pp. 51-55.

In philosophical counseling theoretical and practical matters of life are questioned in an ongoing way. The difference between applied philosophy, psychotherapy, and philosophical counseling is in a personal "tone" and the "accent" on equal relations between dialogue partners. A case story shows how discussing topics as optimism, "false" needs, and Russell's happiness helped a desperate woman. Depression, alcoholism, unemployment, and child abuse were discussed as human, meta-clinical problems that have philosophical connotations.

The author describes her private philosophy practice during 1989-92. Part of the practice is a nonprofit first-aid telephone service for existential problems and ethical dilemmas.


Shlomit C. Schuster, (1996) "Philosophical Counseling and Humanistic Psychotherapy," Journal of Psychology and Judaism, Vol. 20, No. 3., pp. 247-259.

Philosophical counseling is introduced to the reader through comparing characteristics of Achenbach's philosophical counseling with two types of humanistic counseling; i.e. the ideas of Buber and Rogers on healing and growth.

A description of four philosophical counseling sessions will further illustrate the adequacy of philosophical dialogue on problematic issues in life situations.


Shlomit C. Schuster, "Sartre's 'Words' as a Paradigm for Self-description in Philosophical Counseling," in Perspectives in Philosophical Practice (Doorwerth: Verening Filososche Praktijk, 1997) pp. 20-34.

In the first section of this paper I describe what I mean by philosophical counseling. The original characteristics of philosophical counseling are Achenbach's notions of "Auslegen" (to lay open or to interpret) versus "Unterlegen" (to put under or to conceal), and philosophical practice as a "free place." In the major section of this paper I show that Sartre's Existential Psychoanalysis of himself in The Words is a free philosophical interpretation of himself, an "Auslegen." His description of his childhood is a philosophical self-praxis by which he achieved self-transcendence, although his objective was to achieve self- transformation. In the conclusion I demonstrate with a case- history how "Auslegen" replaces "Unterlegen" in philosophical counseling sessions.


Shlomit C. Schuster, (1997) "Philosophical Narratives and Philosophical Counselling," Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis, Vol. 8. No. 2, pp. 108-127.

In this paper I recommend the study of philosophical narratives to philosophical counsellors, their counselees, and anyone else who is interested in developing a philosophical understanding of life.

The paper contains three sections. The first section presents a short history of philosophical narratives with some modern examples of the genre, and I show how philosophical narratives differ from psychological narratives.

The second section describes philosophical counselling, its aim and method and how it differs from other types of counselling.

Section three, "A Portrait of David," is a narrative account of philosophical counselling sessions. The endeavor to view the counselee's problems from a philosophical perspective changed his way of life and his self-understanding.

I conclude that to master the art of interpreting life philosophically, much can be learned from ancient and modern philosophical narratives.


Shlomit C.Schuster (1998) "Sartre's Freud and the Future of Sartrean Psychoanalysis," The Isreal Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 35. No. 1, pp.20-30.

I describe Sartre's analysis of Freud as an exemplary case in Existential psychoanalysis, a kind of anti-psychiatric analysis; in addition Sartre's analysis of Freud is presented as a practical critique of the latter's theory. Sartre's overall aim is revolutionary, not primarily concerned with healing people; his method transcends the traditional aims of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.


Shlomit C. Schuster (1998) "On Philosophical Self-diagnosis and Self-help," International Journal of Applied Philosophy Vol.12, No. 1, pp.37-50.

In this paper I describe and analyze the need for an alternative, non-clinical approach to counseling, i.e., philosophical counseling. Throughout the first part of this paper, I aim to prove pragmatically the truth or validity of this new non-clinical approach to counseling by describing its effectiveness in a case study. In the second part, I suggest that many philosophers have made use of philosophical self-diagnosis and self-help to improve their own well-being, although for their private practice of philosophy they did not use the words I have chosen here. I exemplify this by analyzing the representative life narrative of Jean-Jacques Rousseau as a case study.


Shlomit C. Schuster (1998) "Revisiting Hope Now with Benny Levy; A Note on the 1996 English Edition of Hope Now," Sartre Studies International Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 63-75.

I introduce the discussion on Hope Now with a review of the controversy surrounding the text. My reading and summary of the text differs from Ronald Aronson's; I describe the Sartre -Levy project as a "fresh beginning" of Sartre. The Sartre-Levy relationship is analyzed as an Existential psychoanalytic relationship. The paper includes an interview with Levy held in Jerusalem, January 1997.


Shlomit C. Schuster (1998) "Everybody's Philosophical Counseling" The Philosopher's Magazine Vol.1, no.3, pp. 44-45.

The paper presents : a) An introduction to philosophical counselling and its recent history. b) A chart of the elementary "road signs" of Dr. G. B. Achenbach's approach to philosophical counseling and novel developments in this new profession. c) A report of the authors experiences in operating a first-aid hot-line for existential problems and ethical dilemmas.


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