Philosophical counseling is a form of counseling in which the counselor and the client collaborate to explore a topic of interest to the client. Each exploration is unique.
Importantly, philosophical counseling differs substantially from psychotherapy and its relatives. Mental health professionals diagnose and treat mental illness, and a diagnosis is required to collect payments through insurance. In philosophical counseling, the counselor does not diagnose or treat mental illness, but instead collaborates with a client with respect to a topic of interest. One is not a replacement for the other. If a client is mentally ill, by all means the client should visit a mental health professional. Otherwise, please consider discussing the challenges of life with a philosophical counselor.
An example is available in the context of grief.
Stoic therapy is a particular form of philosophical counseling in which a topic of interest is explored with formal reason (deductive logic) in the context of Stoicism. Everything done by the Stoic therapist is goal-directed with respect to the client’s topic of interest.
Although at first it may seem as though the application of logic is impersonal, it is in fact the very tool that personalizes the topic. For example, logic is used to explore the relevant concepts that are unique to the client, piece together relevant and goal-directed connections between concepts, elucidate the topic, and consider implications.
In the end, the Stoic therapist does not solve problems per se, but instead analyzes the topic of interest so that the client can make a well-reasoned decision. Oftentimes, the greatest benefits are tangential and occur as insights, or even the joy of working together.
Above all, Stoic therapy is conducted with the utmost care, concern, and respect.
The mission of Stoic Therapy is to help each client by applying formal reason to their topic of interest, to do so like a conversation between friends rather than a clinical experience, and always with care, concern, and respect.
In short, I aim to have been a dignified participant in it all, and to have made the world a better place than when I found it.
My steady consumption of philosophical literature began in 1993. After graduating with my M.A. in Communication, I had a prosperous career in mathematical statistics. Along the way, I progressed from being a senior statistician to a vice president of analytics, an officer at one of our largest financial institutions.
Through the years, I continued to learn more about mathematics, statistics, and logic, and studied philosophy on the side as a hobby. Despite my blossoming career as a statistician, I questioned if I was content to conduct analytics to the profit of corporate giants, without helping people. This, along with my years of philosophical pursuits, led me to the realization that Stoic logic — one form of analytic logic — may be used to help others; Analytic philosophy is useful.
I have been writing a technical book for a few years now that announces that Stoicism is a logical philosophy. However, it is a slow-going pursuit due to the technical nature of the material, and I am being thorough with it rather than rushing toward publication.
Putting it all together, I have a long history with communication, philosophy, logic, and analytics in general; more importantly, I am down to earth, easy to talk to, and enjoy using analytical skills to help others live according to reason.
I am the first philosophical counselor in Connecticut. When Stoic Therapy was founded in 2019, I was the first affiliate member of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association (APPA) in CT, and I was unable to find any practitioners via the Internet. I am honored to bring philosophical counseling to CT.
I organize a free club for people in central Connecticut who would like to meet and discuss Stoicism. Our symbol is a gesture by Zeno that is described in Cicero’s The Academics (2.145). If interested, please explore Zenonians at Meetup, and click their Join this group button. We look forward to meeting you.
Disclaimer: Although I organize this Meetup, it is distinct and separate from Stoic Therapy. Zenonians is a group that enjoys discussing Stoicism without addressing personal issues within the group, whereas Stoic Therapy is philosophical counseling for individuals or couples with respect to personal issues.
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