"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."--Emerson



This journey through life, as Emerson reminds us, is more of a zig-zag route than a straight path, and the sense of misdirection can sometimes be confusing. Certainly, there are times when we can all use assistance. Perhaps we simply require reassurance we are on the correct route, or it may be that a course correction is called for. Under such circumstances, to whom do you turn?  Things like serious depression, crippling anxiety, or obsessive disorders that interfere with our basic functioning certainly require the help of a mental health professional:  a trained psychologist or psychiatrist. But there is much that can get in the way of a smoothly functioning life that is short of a diagnosable mental illness. Questioning the meaning and purpose of life, feeling lost and adrift, being morally confused—none of these are by their nature diagnosable mental illnesses. Anxiety, sadness, grief, frustration, confusion, and anger as well are often not symptoms an underlying illness but part of the normal toll of living. Throughout time, countless individuals have found a comprehensive worldview to be of great assistance in dealing successfully with the big and small issues of the human condition. For many, their religious and spiritual traditions provide such a foundation.  But there exists a growing number in America without a fixed religious or spiritual center. Atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists fit this description, as do lapsed Catholics, the “spiritual but not religious,” and a host of other non-conventional perspectives.

For those thus situated, philosophy can provide a similar overarching framework. A philosophical practitioner can place the history of philosophy and the art of philosophical reasoning at your disposal in order that you might draw wisdom, solace and inspiration, whether from the Stoic advice on equanimity, Aristotle’s view  on the good life, Camus’ thoughts on the absurd, or the Transcendentalist reflections on nature. However, unlike the spiritual guide or religious leader, the philosophical practitioner is not there to espouse one particular point of view but to explore with you the rich and varied tapestry that is philosophy and assist you in gaining whatever guidance you can from it and in taking it where you will.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, contact me for a free first consultation to discuss your current situation.




What should I expect at first session?

In the first session, we get acquainted. You tell me your story, or as much as you want to at that time, and why you want to work with me, and I let you know what you can expect from our shared journey/collaboration in the world of philosophy. At the end of the first session, I will tell you whether I think philosophical counseling is suitable for you and, if so, provide you with a clear road map on where I see things going to help you make the determination on whether philosophical counseling is for you.

How long will I need to see you for?

It is not unusual for your issues to be resolved in one or two sessions, but it is also the case that many people want to explore issues in more detail. Still, philosophical counseling does lean toward short, goal oriented work. A not uncommon path is to meet weekly for about a month and then once a month for about half a year.

Do I require prior philosophical experience in order to see you?

Although many clients are familiar with at least some aspect of philosophy, no previous philosophy is required.

What is the meaning of life?



After two decades as an academic philosopher, I decided I wanted to take philosophy outside of the confines of the classroom. In fact, I had been engaged in this process for some time, writing several books aimed at an audience of non-professional philosophers. After being introduced to the field of philosophical counseling, I sought my certification from the American Philosophical Practitioners Association, founded by Dr. Lou Marinoff, author of Plato, not Prozac.

I am greatly inspired by the philosophical traditions of ancient Greece, China, and India, and have devoted a substantial amount of time to the study of each of these cultures.  As diverse as they are, they likewise contain a core of shared truth that can enrich our lives and guide our actions. The Stoics are a special interest of mine, and it is no surprise that several schools of contemporary psychological thought draw upon Stoic writing for inspiration. I have published a book, Don’t Worry, Be Stoic: Ancient Wisdom for Troubled Times, which attempts to apply Stoic wisdom to our current condition. But I am not only inspired by the ancients. To give just one example, the Existentialsts as well offer much that I find compelling and that speaks to many of the situations we face. Far from rejecting the world’s religions, I believe that they have much to say regarding the human condition, and if I am especially partial to Buddhism it is because this is the system that most closely resembles philosophy.

I am trained not only in philosophy; in addition, I have a Masters of Social Work which gives me a solid grounding in current best practices in mental health. Positive psychology, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness are all techniques from the mental health profession that I have studied and integrate into my philosophical practice.

My wide range of interest and expertise allows me to bring a large amount of resources to draw on in my work with you.


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