Introducing Philosophical Counseling in India
Every crisis opens space for the arrival of new initiatives and provides hope for re-understanding human conceptions, leading to an improved perception of human life. The Covid-19 Pandemic, by affecting every form of human life negatively, also provided a space for a new understanding of human life – insisting on a revised understanding of the relationship between 'self 'and the 'other.' Philosophical Counseling is one such initiative that contributes to the improved understanding of 'human life and its relations' which are affected by the facticity of Lockdown, Quarantined life, and social mistrust. It is in this context that Philosophical Counseling has much relevance to the contemporary situation.
Philosophical Counseling is a contemporary counseling approach where the counselee (client) concerns are resolved via different philosophical tools and methods, enabling clients to cultivate what may be described as their inner philosopher. This process works through an extensive exchange of dialogues and discussions about clients' beliefs, actions, values, purposes, and commitments, not only what they presently are but also whether and to what extent they may or can be modified.
To address the need of the hour, a pan-India group of scholars with advanced degrees in philosophy are certified by the American Philosophical Practitioner's Association (APPA), with a three-week intensive course of study and training. American Philosophical Practitioners association is an established organisation for philosophical practitioners lead by the pioneers of philosophical Counseling Prof Lou Marinoff and Prof Vaughana. For the first time, a course on Philosophical Counseling was offered to an exclusive group from India that includes researchers from the field of Philosophy, Psychology, Medicine, Spirituality and Education.
The following is the report of the course on Philosophical Counseling with American Philosophical Practitioners Association which encompasses the summaries of the course of study and training alongside individual group sessions with different expertise from the field.