Philosophical counseling involves the application of critical thinking -- this process of identifying and evaluating reasons and arguments -- to problems of a more personal nature: difficult feelings, behavioral challenges, struggles in relationships, personal moral dilemmas and more. This type of philosophical counseling is known as Logic-Based Therapy.
Logic-Based Therapy (LBT), founded by Dr. Elliot D. Cohen is a leading modality of "philosophical counseling" or "philosophical practice." Like psychological practice, philosophical practice aims at helping clients address their behavioral and emotional problems. But philosophical counselors stress philosophical methods and theories -- such as identifying and evaluating the reasoning that influences our beliefs and feelings -- above typical psychological ones, such as reflecting on how your family's influence on your thoughts and feelings.
LBT is an offspring of Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) (also known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Cognitive Therapy) developed by, among others, psychologist Albert Ellis in the 1950's. Dr. Ellis's vision was cultivate a form of therapy enlightened by philosophy and logic. There are many videos of Albert Ellis:
And here are some news articles on philosophical counseling:
- Washington Post (August 18, 2011) "Philosophical counselors rely on eternal wisdom of great thinkers"
- New York Times (March 21, 2004) "The Socratic Shrink"
- Cohen, Elliot D. "The Use of Syllogism in Rational‐Emotive Therapy." Journal of Counseling & Development 66.1 (1987): 37-39.
- What Would Aristotle Do? Self-Control Through the Power of Reason (2003)
- The New Rational Therapy: Thinking Your Way to Serenity, Success, and Profound Happiness (2006)
- The Dutiful Worrier: How to Stop Compulsive Worry Without Feeling Guilty (2011)
- Theory and Practice of Logic-Based Therapy: Integrating Critical Thinking and Philosophy into Psychotherapy (2013)
- Philosophy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy (edited with Samuel Zinaich) (2013)