Philosophical Consulting

David Pittaway, PhD

Consulting Philosopher: Intro

Primary Areas of Focus

Adding  Value

Testimonial Comments

Contexts in Which I Work

Experience and Background

Some Things I Pride Myself on

Arrange a Session with Me

Pricing

Contact me for a free 30-minute introductory session

Hi – I’m David Pittaway, a consulting Doctor of philosophy with a passion for helping individuals and groups of people work with perspectives and benefit from the power of philosophical thinking and practices (and a few other practices too).

Part of what I do is help broaden the context in which one thinks about problems, goals, and opportunities, and about what it means to live authentically, happily, purposefully and meaningfully.

I direct attention via uplifting philosophies towards guiding virtues, and help construct action plans for achieving results.

I offer a safe space where clients’ concerns and aspirations remain completely confidential, and I commit to giving clients my full attention with the aim of providing (to the best of my abilities) the most suitable philosophical input for their individual needs.

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My Primary Areas of Focus:

Logic Based Therapy* for
◦ working constructively through emotional reasoning
◦ proactively addressing problems of living
◦ developing tailor-made philosophical action plans
(*please visit the NPCA for more about Logic Based Therapy)

Philosophical Re-framing Activities for
◦ contextualising happiness and purpose
◦ identifying unexplored and uplifting conceptual territories
◦ broadening perspectives and shifting attention to actionable ideas

Philosophy as a Way of life for
◦ fostering philosophical perception
◦ re-contextualising mindfulness practice
◦ making the search for wisdom, meaning and purpose, actionable

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Some Ways in Which I Add Value:

• You will leave with something actionable from each session
• You are assured of confidentiality, non-judgement, and respect
• You are empowered to work proactively towards being your authentic self
• You will work with a facilitator who has an excellent track-record of putting philosophy into practice

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Testimonial Quotes

“I was referred to David by a psychologist friend who thought I would benefit from a less traditional approach. At the time I was having marital problems, stemming from years of litigation and my own past traumas. David’s approach was certainly unique. We would never met in an office or professional setting, rather in outdoors in nature which allowed me to relax and open up more than I normally would. David’s approach was to allow me time to get comfortable and when I was ready to do the real work, he brought me into a more structured, traditional type of session, leaving me to do the work afterwards to great effect. I did not feel rushed, judged or even as if I was ever in therapy, which I really appreciate. I would really recommend David to anyone who is ready to do the work. Thank you David.” – Mark

“I am grateful for my session with David. I left feeling empowered to deal with the pitfalls of my view on life and those around me. Our meeting has also helped me question my initial thoughts and reactions which has helped me work towards building better relationships with those I love. Thank you.” – Monica

“Thank you so much David for your time. It was a refreshing relief for me to speak openly and honestly with you and for you to listen and comment with care and genuine understanding.” – Barry

“Upon arrival I was taken away. The location and approach presented by David opened a new perspective to my situation. Focusing rather on the company of the journey than the goal, what importance my role plays in MY adventure of life.” – Shaun

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The Contexts in Which I Work:

One-to-one
Groups
Schools
Businesses

One to one
• Philosophical counselling consultations using the 6 step Logic Based Therapy process
• Re-framing sessions for making philosophically informed decisions and for goal setting
• Action planning for nurturing philosophical perception, the fertile ground for happiness

Groups
• Small-group philosophical counselling consultations using the 6 step Logic Based Therapy
• Discussion-group facilitation using philosophical questioning and critical thinking tools
• Context-broadening consultations for problem resolution and opportunity spotting

Schools
• One-to-one philosophical counselling consultations using the 6 step Logic Based Therapy process (for individual learners or teachers, or groups of either)
• Interactive presentation: Philosophical Ideas that you Probably Didn’t Know are Relevant for Life

Businesses
• One-to-one philosophical counselling consultations using the 6 step Logic Based Therapy process (for individual employees or employers, or groups of either)
• Interactive presentation: Philosophical Ideas that you Probably Didn’t Know are Relevant for Business

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A Bit about my Experience and Background:

I started studying philosophy in the year 2000, tutoring it in 2004, lecturing it part-time in 2006 in South Africa, teaching it full-time in England from 2008 to 2012, and lecturing it again in South Africa from 2013 until 2017. I started a philosophy PhD is 2014 and graduated with my doctorate in 2017, leading to a position as a post-doctoral philosophy researcher at the Nelson Mandela University in 2018. The first post-doctorate position, ending in April 2020, has led to a second similar position, which will keep me largely in the university context until mid-2022.

The philosophy context is one in which I always thrived, and during my time as a student, lecturer, and post-doctoral researcher, philosophical consulting is something that just tended to happen. As a student, philosophy jumped off the page and out of the lecture venue, insisting on having impacts on my trains of thought, decisions and actions. As a full-time A-Levels teacher in the UK, philosophy provided the frameworks necessary for me to deal proactively with the demands placed upon me, and to strategise my way into a new chapter of my life.

As a teacher and lecturer, one or more students would invariably approach me after lectures and ask questions about implications of the topic we had covered in class. These students recognised that philosophy offers frameworks for living authentically and happily, and with meaning and purpose, but they could not see clearly to making philosophy actionable.

For a variety of reasons, by the end of my undergraduate degree, I found it easy to implement various aspects of philosophy, and I could see quite clearly how the conceptual nutrition provided by philosophy results in tangible fruits of living, so to speak. These qualities are recognisable strengths of my character, and have made philosophical consulting something that I naturally just do with people.

Philosophy has helped me every step of the way along my journey so far, sometimes nurturing me and motivating me, and at other times challenging me and putting me out of my comfort zones. I have seen it help others, and I have facilitated helping others with it. I take very seriously the role I fulfil in the lives of others as a philosophical consultant, and I commit to upholding the highest professional and ethical standards.

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Some Things I Pride Myself on:

• Consistently making philosophy actionable in an accessible and uplifting manner
• Being adaptable, understanding, non-judgemental, authentic, and friendly
• Walking the walk rather than just talking the talk – I put philosophy into practice in my own life
• Giving clients my full, undivided attention and personalising my feedback for them
• Always offering clients something useful to can take away from our time together
• Not trying to swim in waters I am not qualified to swim in, i.e. psychology or psychiatry

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How to Arrange a Session with Me:

• Email me or send me a Whatsapp message to arrange our free introductory session
• The free 30-minute session lets us establish if my services are appropriate for your need

• Payment is made in advance for our first full session together
• Sessions can continue to take place online, or if you are near Port Elizabeth, in person

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Pricing:
  • Contact me for pricing options

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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)

Philosophical Counseling Practice (Robert D. Walsh)

An Existential Perspective on Addiction Treatment: A Logic-Based Therapy Case Study (Guy du Plessis)

Philosophy as a Way of Life (Full Book) – Pierre Hadot