Could you benefit from talking to a philosophical consultant?
I have recently started a philosophical consulting practice connected with my blog. And because philosophical consulting is somewhat unusual, I thought it would be good to tell you a little bit about it.
While people are not very familiar with philosophical consulting, most people are familiar with regular psychological counseling and therapy for mental health. So, some people might wonder how philosophical consulting is different from psychological counseling.
To answer this, it might help to consider a few experiences common to the human condition:
Experience #1: Emma goes along in life for quite a while with a certain set of beliefs. And then suddenly, a life crisis causes her belief system to crash. She discovers that several of her once-cherished beliefs are not true. This discovery leaves Ella with a deep sense of confusion and disorientation. She wants to rebuild and restructure her belief system but she doesn’t know how to do so.
Experience #2: One day Monet realizes that she is living her life according to what everyone else thinks she should do instead of what she thinks she should do. And suddenly she realizes that she doesn’t clearly understand her life purpose or her philosophy for living. She wants to be the boss of her own life, but she doesn’t know how to do it.
Experience #3: Gabriel suddenly realizes one day that he is a good friend to everyone else except himself. In fact, in thinking about the matter, he realizes he doesn’t have a good sense of himself at all. He hears people talk about self-love, mindfulness, and self-confidence. But he is not sure what these things mean. In fact, he doesn’t really know what a self is or if it exists. He thinks maybe the inner self is just a fiction. But he’s not sure and wants to have a better relationship with his own self if there is one.
Experience #4: One day at work, Perry runs into an ethical dilemma with a co-worker, and she realizes she doesn’t know what to do. In fact, in considering the matter, Perry realizes she doesn’t really know how to make good ethical decisions.
Experience #5: Partway through life, Davon realizes that he no longer enjoys his job and feels like he is stuck on a never-ending treadmill. It seems like he works himself to death just to buy a bigger house and a new car and to go on a fancy vacation. And he feels like there is more to life than buying stuff and going to the Bahamas. But he doesn’t know exactly what it is or what he is searching for. He wonders how he got in this predicament and how he can get off the treadmill.
Notice that in each of the experiences above, the person had deep questions about the meaning of life.
They may have felt some depression or anxiety along with their questions. However, their main concern was not how to address depression and anxiety. Rather, their main concern was how to address the questions they had about life, meaning, and purpose. In other words, they were dealing with philosophical questions.
Because of this, the people in the above scenarios may not have needed primarily to talk to a therapist. Rather, they may have benefited more from talking to someone who could help them resolve their philosophical questions. For instance, they may have benefited from talking to a philosophical consultant.