For individuals, groups, and businesses.

Contact me to book a philosophical consultation.

[email protected] / 072 767 3459

Curriculum Vitae Link

You may not have heard of it, but philosophical consulting has formally been around as a profession for a couple of decades already – see, for example, the The National Philosophical Counseling/Consulting Association (NPCA) website (where I am listed as a philosophical practitioner): NPCASSOC.ORG 

I completed my training in the official methodology of philosophical therapy and consulting (called Logic Based Therapy, or LBT) in 2019. LBT has its roots in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT). As a LBT consultant, I offer an appealing alternative to counselling approaches where there may be a tendency to diagnose a person with a disorder. Instead, in LBT, we seek to work through a person’s emotional reasoning, and then work together to promote antidotal reasoning via uplifting philosophies, guiding virtues, and viable action plans for improving a person’s manner of thinking that was getting them ‘stuck’ in the first place.

In its less official and formal format, however, philosophical consulting has been occurring since the birth of philosophy, whenever this birth took place. For my purposes, I will locate this starting-point in Ancient Greece, specifically in the philosophising of Socrates.

Socrates’ student, Plato, wrote The Dialogues . In a comment that emphasises the importance of Plato’s work, Alfred North Whitehead commented that the “safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.” The Dialogues can be described as a series of long philosophical consultations, which is to say a series of conversations wherein philosophical themes are explored in order to re-align the thinking of one of the ‘interlocutors’ (which means ‘participants in conversation’). This is relevant considering that one of the participants (maybe a group of people too) in philosophical consultations may benefit from a philosophical context in which perspectives are broadened to the extent that old problems or challenges are seen in a novel light. Note that my website is called the perspective project, a title with roots in my philosophy background.

I started teaching philosophy in the year 2006 (and other subjects before then), and after every lecture a student or several students would approach me and ask if they could continue talking about the content that we covered in class. These students always wanted to explore further how the philosophical theory we had covered in class was relevant to their lives. Philosophy, more so than any other subject, had a way of broadening students’ perspectives in ways that allowed them to think differently about their problems, their roles, their relationships, their aspirations, their society, and so on. Philosophical consulting was taking place. In hindsight, I realise that I too bugged some of my lecturers because the ideas they taught to their students have so much ‘implementation implications’.

Having taught philosophy (and various other subjects in the Humanities) since 2006, I have been consulting with students ‘behind the scenes’ for more than a decade. As the years passed and the number of philosophical conversations increased, I realised that many of my friends and colleagues also turn to me for philosophical guidance. In recent years, the people turning to me have also been looking for perspectives that are of relevance to their jobs or businesses, and also to an array of challenges that people face.  

Some of the people turning to me for philosophical guidance have, at best, been let down, and even worse, been further alienated or disempowered, by psychologists, psychiatrists, and the general practitioners of the bio-medical model. Philosophical consultations can help in remedying this short-coming by facilitating a perspective-broadening process where individuals or groups of people work through their various ‘sticking areas’.

Perhaps an individual has no sense of ‘being stuck’ for whatever reason, but simply needs some guidance in developing their conceptual frameworks as a step in their personal development.

The broadening of perspective, and the expansion of conceptual frameworks, are perhaps among the best methods of equipping people in a business context to be able to solve problems and foresee opportunities that default ways of thinking have failed to achieve.

For groups of people (for example, families), the broadening of perspective facilitated by philosophical theory and practice, and by engaging in philosophical dialogue, can be a powerful process of revealing unrealised factors that prevent cohesion.

Essential reading: 

The Philosopher as a Personal Consultant (J. Michael Russell)

To change our thinking: Philosophical practice for difficult times (Helen Douglas)

Philosophical Counseling is not a Distinct Field: Reflections of A Philosophical Practitioner (J. Michael Russell )

Giving Birth to Derrida’s Mother: Philosophical Practice at the End of Philosophy (Helen Douglas)

Did You Ever Consider Consulting a Philosopher?

Philosophical Counseling as a Practice of Emancipation (Helen Douglas)

Janus Head (Journal) – edition focusing on philosophical practice