There are many methodological ways to answer these questions. As a philosopher, you would prefer to use the basic tools of logic by offering a definition, an explanation and an argument. Categorization is another method that is used in many works and books written about philosophical counseling and practice. This method entails the recognition and the understanding of the essential characters of philosophical counseling and the differentiation of them from other areas. In addition, dialectic – examining the opposing ideas, is a very useful way to answer these questions. In the history of thoughts, many influential philosophers, such as Socrates, Kant and Hegel, used this method for intellectual investigations and discussions.
In this Reflection, I will use the dialectic approach to answer the inquiry on philosophical practice. That is to say that by articulating what philosophical counseling is not, I will infer what it is.
• It is not a study on the ideas of philosophers, on arguments about various ideas and on arguments about arguments about various ideas.
◆ Rather, it is a critical contemplation about one's own ideas, one's reasoning process and the influences of these elements on one's life.
• It is not a problem-oriented approach which requires to explore one's background and childhood, which lasts for years, even for a lifetime.
◆ Rather, it is a solution-oriented approach where the practical resolutions are derived in short time, through a challenging and stimulating dialogue.
• It is not a life coaching that focuses on personal achievements, goals and motivations.
◆ Rather, it focuses on the awareness of personal attitudes, judgements and mental processing in everyday life.
• It is not any kind of therapy, psychology or psychotherapy where the aim is healing the unhealthy client.
◆ Rather, it directs individuals to explore their mental functioning, which inevitably transforms their life attitudes and conditions.
• It is not a diagnostic labeling according to particular standards for mental health.
◆ Rather, it goes beyond external and rigid judgements, where the person makes his own reflection, analysis and identification of himself.