“The point of philosophical counseling is not to tell anyone how or what to think. It is rather to encourage them to think for themselves: philosophically, practically, and responsibly.”
Our lives are besieged with problems, even in good times, some of which can become overwhelming. How we deal with the ordinary and unexpected challenges of the human condition is often a philosophical problem, which means building the skills to better cope with whatever befalls us, better knowing ourselves and adjusting our own mindset if necessary, examining the soundness of the ways we reach our beliefs and morals, fully grasping what our fundamental values are, and becoming more aware of what gives us our greatest sense of purpose and meaning. These are human concerns, which philosophers have been wrestling with for thousands of years, leading to a variety of useful philosophical practices that we can learn and exercise in our daily lives.
Painted Porch Counseling works with each individual client to help them discover their own answers to these perennial problems that, if unaddressed, can make our lives difficult. We then tailor philosophical practice to your own process of philosophical discovery. Some of these practices may include:
- Active Mediation: Learning and Practicing how to productively ruminate about important matters.
- Bibliotherapy: Reading books and articles that can foster a transformative mindset.
- Self-Mentoring: Learning to imitate, then integrating, the behaviors and mindsets of those you most admire.
- Socratic Dialogue: In which your philosophical counselor asks probing questions to help you more clearly recognize your own assumptions (by making explicit what has been implicit).
- Objective Representation: Learning to express ourselves, and listen to others, in a way that separates value judgements from hard facts and empirically based statements, to better evaluate the soundness of what we say and hear.
- The Kerdcera Method: (Pronounced “curd-car-ah”) this method of reasoning, developed by Dr. Eklof, makes logical thinking accessible to everyone, without the need to understand logical form or rules.
- PEACE Process: Developed by APPA founder Lou Marinoff, this is a five step approach to problems that begins with identifying the Problem, then acknowledging the Emotions it provokes, followed by Analysis of the potential options and solutions available, Contemplate the matter by taking an objective bird’s eye view of it, and through this process reaching Equilibrium about the situation and its outcome.
“Carpenters fashion wood; fletchers fashion arrows: the wise fashion themselves.”
Dr. Eklof schedules one-hour sessions with clients in person or online. Their purpose is to help you work on resolving immediate issues, or to help guide you in your longer-term endeavor to develop philosophical vigor as a way of life.
He is also available for group seminars, group trainings, and is an experienced keynote speaker.