Philosophical Consulting: Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a psychological or medical thing?

No. My training is in philosophy. I am not a psychologist, clinical therapist, or medical doctor. (I don’t even play one on TV!)

Philosophical consulting draws upon the humanistic methods of philosophy to help with the ordinary challenges and struggles of life. It does not diagnose, treat, or cure illnesses or other medical, psychological, or psychiatric conditions.

Questions of meaning and purpose, moral dilemmas, interpersonal conflicts, grief and loss, and other similar challenges are normal parts of being human, which most healthy people will experience at some point in their lives. For over two thousand years, philosophy has helped human beings to understand and navigate these kinds of ordinary challenges of living. Philosophical consulting continues that tradition into the modern world.

So what are your qualifications?

I hold a Ph.D. (and an M.A.) in philosophy from Princeton University, and have spent nearly two decades studying the philosophical traditions of Greece, India, and Europe, and applying those traditions and techniques in my own life.

I have completed certification programs in client counselling with the American Philosophical Practitioners Association (APPA), and in Logic-Based Therapy with the National Philosophical Counselling Association.

Are these consulting services confidential?

Yes, to the extent permitted by law, and consistent with preventing immanent harm to you or others.

Do I need to have studied philosophy?

Not at all! Philosophical consulting is designed for people of all backgrounds, experiences, and walks of life. In our consultations, I use my expertise in philosophical methods—including the art of asking good and effective questions, clarifying terms and concepts, and noting inconsistencies and hidden assumptions—to help you address and resolve the challenges you’re facing. I also draw upon the accumulated wisdom and experience of 2,500 years of philosophers in Greece, India, and Europe to suggest practical solutions and strategies which you can choose to apply in your own life.

How long does it take?

Each consulting session is normally about one hour.

How many sessions will we need to resolve your situation? That depends upon you and your individual needs. We can work through some relatively straightforward problems in 1–2 sessions. More complicated situations may benefit from regular consultations over a period of several months.

In every case, my goal is to have you thriving independently, as soon as reasonably possible. (If you want to keep learning and exploring philosophy after that, I offer a variety of other educational opportunities for groups and individuals.)

Will my insurance cover this?

In most cases, unfortunately not. Really, this makes sense, precisely because philosophical consulting deals with the ordinary challenges of a healthy human life, and does not address medical or psychiatric disorders.

To make these services widely available to as many people as possible, I offer my rates on a sliding scale.

Sliding scale? How does payment work?

Within the range of per-session rates, you choose what to pay, based on your own financial circumstances. No questions asked. (If even these rates are too much of a challenge, I invite you to discuss your situation with me, so that we can work something out.)

Like every part of the philosophical consulting process, the sliding scale is based on trust. By paying in the higher part of the scale (if you can afford to), you help make philosophical consulting available to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. Thank you!

Why are in-person consultations cheaper?

Because I believe that it’s important to support my local community. Whether or not we have ever met before, those who can meet in person are my neighbors, and deserve consideration as such.

This sounds great! How do I make an appointment?

Please see my main philosophical consulting page for rates and information, then contact me to schedule an initial consultation.