Philosophical counseling is a unique practice that is deeply rooted in philosophy. What this means in terms of approach is that our way of addressing your needs & goals — from strategy to application — is uniquely informed by the theories, methods & attributes of philosophy. OK….sounds great. But what does this mean?
Let’s say you’re having trouble dealing with the loss of a loved one and are looking to find a way to better manage your grief. As philosophical practitioners, there are a variety of techniques that we might employ. These techniques will be informed by philosophy, aimed at helping you successfully navigate the challenges associated with death & dying, and designed specifically for you. The use of systematic doubt, logic, and analysis of belief justification are just a few examples of philosophical methods that we might engage. In addition, because our mission is help you find your way with philosophy, we strive for more than just simple application. We want you to be well-equipped to deal with whatever life presents. As such, helping you cultivate these (and other) sorts of philosophical skills & dispositions is integral to our practice.
Our philosophical counseling approach aims to help you cultivate & apply philosophical skills and dispositions to your particular area of concern so you can achieve a healthier, happier & more meaningful (deeply satisfying) state of being.
Our approach to philosophical counseling (& consultation) is humanistic (positive, person-centered), philosophically dynamic, and largely informed by the unique cognitive-behavioral practice advanced by Dr. Elliot Cohen — founder of the National Philosophical Counseling Association & Logic-Based Therapy (LBT). As philosophical practitioners, our general methodology consists of a variety of philosophy-based activities. These include:
- Examining clients’ arguments & justifications
- Clarifying, analyzing, & defining terms and concepts
- Exposing and examining underlying assumptions & logical implications
- Exposing and examining conflicts & inconsistencies
- Exploring philosophical theories & their significance for client issues
- Other activities that have historically been identified as philosophical
Our philosophical counseling practices adhere to the Standards of Ethical Practice as stipulated by the National Philosophical Counseling Association. You may view these standards in their entirety on their website.
What is Logic-Based Therapy?
Developed by Dr. Elliot Cohen, Logic-Based Therapy (LBT) is a philosophical variant of Albert Ellis’ Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), the pioneering form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. LBT shares with REBT numerous qualities, including:
- The hypothesis that many (though not all) behavioral & emotional challenges are rooted in irrational thinking
- A belief in the positive correlation of rational thought & health and happiness
- A strong alliance with empirical science
- The same three-pronged concept of ’emotion,’ which holds emotions to consist of cognitive, physiological, and behavioral components
- And more…
LBT differs from REBT in its explanation of emotions & behaviors, the increased magnitude of fallacies with which it works, and with respect to its provision of ‘guiding virtues’ aimed at helping individuals overcome fallacious reasoning.
The Steps of Logic-Based Therapy
There are six basic steps of Logic-Based Therapy (LBT). These include helping individuals:
- Identify their emotional reasoning
- Check for fallacies in the premises
- Refute any fallacy present
- Identify the guiding virtue for each fallacy
- Find a philosophy for the guiding virtue
- Apply the philosophy
Our philosophical practitioners will help you navigate your challenges with the steps of LBT and its various exercises, including willpower strengthening, the provision & encouragement of “homework assignments (e.g., bibliotherapy, humor), emotive techniques (e.g., role playing, rational- emotive imagery), and behavioral techniques (e.g., relaxation protocols, self-monitoring). To learn more about REBT & LBT see pages 26-28 of this article.