NEW YORK, Aug. 23 (UPI) — A new breed of counselors — philosophical counselors — say they don’t prescribe drugs or discuss your childhood, they assign a reading list.
Lou Marinoff, president of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association and author of “Plato, Not Prozac! Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems,” says a person trying to overcome the grief of losing a job in a bad economy should try reading the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism.
“He taught that every loss comes bundled with gain, for they are inseparable manifestations of yin and yang,” Marinoff tells The Washington Post. “In other words, instead of focusing on the loss, focus on the gain: Losing a job, you have just gained an opportunity to develop a latent talent and to enter a more suitable career path.”
Marinoff, a professor and philosophy chairman at the City College of New York, is working to make philosophical counseling a well-respected profession.
But there are critics. Elliot D. Cohen, who has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is a certified practitioner of rational emotive behavior therapy — therapy that combines philosophical elements and established mental health techniques says philosophy should be integrated into mainstream therapy.
One client said philosophical counseling helped deal with his grief after the death of his spouse — mainly because he was so distracted by heavy reading assignments of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Blaise Pascal.