Disrupted conventions or diseased selves: the relationship between philosophical and psychotherapeutic forms of questioning

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Abstract

This paper describes the relationship between modernist psychotherapeutic and philosophical forms of “dis-ease.” It shows how modernist psychotherapeutic forms of disease are focused around disturbances of the self whereas philosophical forms of dis-ease are focused around disturbances in the context or conventions in which the self is situated; psychotherapeutic forms of dis-ease are concerned with “means” while philosophical forms are concerned with ends, in modernist psychotherapy it is assumed that patients know what they value but are blocked by internal obstacles from realizing their values while in philosophical counseling it is the very values themselves which are in question. Philosophical counseling provides a framework in which individuals can explore the values that are in question. Examples embedded in the philosophies of Plato, Heidegger, Kuhn, and Gellner are used to develop the notion of philosophical counseling and examples from the writing of Rollo May, Joel Kovel, and Christopher Lash are used to develop the notion of psychotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-55
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophical practice
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • philosophical counselling
  • counseling
  • psychotherapy
  • existentialism
  • means and ends

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