petak, 19. srpnja 2013.

Philosophical Consultations

1. What are Philosophical Consultations?

   Philosophical counselling or philosophical consultations present a guided dialogue between philosopher and their clients, by which using philosophical methods (such as maieutics, argumentation, conceptualisation, etc.) concrete, everyday life problems are solved. Though philosophical dialogue is old as philosophy itself, philosophical counselling as method has developed more intensively in last 30 years, since Gerd Achenbach started his philosophical practice. Today there are several different schools or approaches to philosophical counselling/consultations. The mere difference in terminology with these two terms - counselling and consultations - tells us about the nature of approach to clients and their problems. While some philosophers name this practice as counselling, others insist on using the term consultations. Usually, if philosophers do counselling, they give counsel/advice on how to solve the problem, or what clients should/shouldn't do when faced with the problem, which makes philosophical counselling similar to psychological or religious counselling, with certain differences in content. On the other hand, during philosophical consultations philosophers do not give advices to their clients, but rather question their clients, using socratic dialogue, enabling clients themselves to find the solution. Philosophers posses certain dialogical skills, which are connected with logical, analytic and synthetic thinking and also with questioning skills, which is a key problem solving skill in guided dialogue. During philosophical consultations, philosopher uses those skills in order to guide his client trough possible situations until clients reach final solution. Problems which clients have could be connected with any life situation or simulated/hypothetical situation, like: lack of sleep, problems related to job or family, bad self conception, relationship problems, decision making, moral dilemmas, personal loss, etc. Clients for philosophical consultations could be children, teenagers, adults or senior citizens. Also, clients could be of any profession, whether they are students, PhD's or common workers, with or without any background in Philosophy. Unfortunately, we all have problems.

2. How do Philosophical Consultations work?

   Using method of guided socratic dialogue, especially by guidelines by French philosopher Oscar Brenifier, philosophical consultations start in a way that a client states his/hers problem in form of a question. For instance, if a client has trouble with sleeping, they could ask 'Why do i have problem with nightmares?', or if they have relationship problems 'How can i overcome jealousy?', or if it's personal problem 'How can i be more open to others?', etc.

   After they state their initial question, clients do not ask any more questions, but rather they give answers to philosopher, which will eventually lead them to solution. By doing that, both engage in socratic dialogue, as seen in Plato's dialogues, where one of interlocutors states certain problem to Socrates. After the problem is defined, Socrates continues the dialogue where he asks the questions, while interlocutor answers to him, using various philosophical methods, until they both reach solution. However, the solution isn't always pleasant to clients, because it is possible that solution demands certain sacrifice or renunciation, or change in approach towards the problem, but by doing consultations we can always reach the solution. Philosophical consultations usually last for one hour, during which we examine different approaches to a problem and possible solutions, while after the consultations itself we leave some time to evaluate where client has a chance to grade philosophers work and the process of consultations, but also the solution to their problems and future actions which could lead to realization of proposed solution.

3. What do you get by doing Philosophical Consultations?

    As said before, unlike psychologist, philosopher won't give you counsel on what to do when confronted with problem. Philosopher won't tell you how to solve your problem. Philosopher will talk with you and guide you to discover solution to your problem on your own, no matter what the problem is. Mostly, clients know the answer to their problem, but they can't see it for some reason. Philosopher is there to point the best possible way to finding solution. Often we block ourselves and we don't allow ourselves to think, which would solve our problems - philosopher is in better position to perceive the situation and enable clients to think clearer, to find arguments or present clients with hypothetical situations which all leads toward solution. Philosopher will never blame someone for a problem, nor will he/she search deeper traumas in order to help you solve the problem. Philosophical consultations help clients in process of thinking, in overcoming the blockade, in finding  optimum solution - but that doesn't mean they are miraculous. Philosophical consultations do not promise happiness, love, well being or wealth. Philosophical consultations are used to question what is happiness, why do we need love, what would we do with wealth, etc. After one answers these questions, new questions will arise, with new possibilities, new answers, new solutions. At the end, philosophers are there to guide you with questioning, it is up to you to find the answers.

4. How to get in contact with Philosophical Consultant?

   This is the easiest part. If you are determined to do philosophical consultations and you think it is the right way for you, you can contact Zoran Kojcic on any of social network profiles. 

   Zoran Kojcic has masters degrees in Philosophy and Philology. Zoran is philosophical practitioner, teacher, workshop facilitator and philosophical consultant, attended Oscar Brenifier's Philosophical Practice summer seminar at La Chapelle st Andre in France in 2012, and holding Philosophical Counselling International Certificate by Portuguese Gabinete Project@.
You can contact Zoran Kojcic to schedule consultations via Skype or Facebook:

email -
Skype - zoran.kojcic
Twitter - @zorankojcic