Let us not confuse between two different questions:
First, “What is PHILOSOPHICAL counseling?” Second, “What is a GOOD philosophical counseling?”
Compare this to the following two questions:
1) “What is a car?”
2) “What is a good car?”
Obviously, these are very different questions.
“It has an engine and wheels, and it is used for transportation” – this is an answer to Question 1, since it distinguishes between cars and non-cars (between cars and computers, for example, or tables). But it is not an answer to Question 2.
“It is brand new, it has leather seats, and it has lots of electronics” – this is an answer to Question 2, because it distinguishes between good cars and bad cars. But it is not an answer to Question 1.
The same applies to philosophical counseling. If we want to understand which type of counseling can count as “philosophical,” then the issue of “good” counseling versus “bad” counseling is irrelevant. A bad car is still a car. A bad philosophical counseling is still a philosophical counseling.
- So tell me, why is your counseling philosophical?
- Because I listen to my counselee’s everyday experiences.
- Listening to everyday experiences may be a great idea, but why do you insist on calling it "philosophical"?
- Because I think that it is very important to listen carefully to the counselee!
- Very well, if it is important, then go ahead and do it. But "important" and "philosophical" are two different things.
The debate over how to do better philosophical counseling is very different from the debate over what is “philosophical” in philosophical counseling – in other words, the debate over WHAT IS philosophical counseling.