In due course, I developed a way to conduct philosophical consultations called "clinical" after the original meaning of the word, i.e. "klinikos" (Gr.): going out to meet a person in his or her natural environment in order to understand. In philosophical practice we go out of university or philosophical schools in order to meet and understand persons.
My approach (not a method) is based on identifying philosophical content in the speech, acts or life of a person. In a philosophical consultation, I distinguish three steps:
1. Working on the question
2. Identifying philosophical content
3. working on philosophical content
Starting point of my consultations, is a question or a theme of a client. I approach a client in a Socratic way. When the client presents a theme, I work towards a question. When the client presents a question, I work towards a philosophical question. A philosophical question should be the outcome of the first phase of a consultation.
Next, I try to identify the philosophical content of this question by regarding the history of philosophy on the one hand and the personality of the client on the other hand. The content identified should fit the client. A conceptualization of this content is the outcome of this second phase. I call this the "philosophical diagnosis".
From this identification of philosophical content we move on to a deepening and/or understanding of philosophical content. I consider this understanding, captured in a metaphor (i.e. meaningful story) suiting the situation or life of the client the most valuable outcome of a philosophical consultation.
The structure of my consultations resembles the development in Plato's work on the one hand - from a critical (Socratic) questioning as such to an interpretation by a theory of ideas, to a critical questioning of this theory, etc, - and the reflexive nature of philosophy on the other hand. Thus, by both form and content my philosophical consultations are distinguished from psychology, psychotherapy or coaching, a distinction important for the identity of our philosophical consultation practice.