In addition to your larger questions about life, you may have smaller questions about Philosophical Counseling and working with me.  Below are some of the most frequently asked questions.  If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

How long does Philosophical Counseling last?

A counseling session is one hour in length, and we can do one or multiple sessions.  You can decide upon a set number upfront (e.g. 3 or 5) or determine the right number as we proceed.  Even a single session can be valuable. For longer-term engagements, we will periodically reassess whether continued counseling makes sense.


How is Philosophical Counseling different than psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is provided by an individual with training and licensure in psychological counseling.  It may touch upon philosophical questions, but often the focus is on individual experiences and emotions, stopping short of sustained philosophical exploration of universal issues.  Psychotherapy may help address mental health problems.


Can Philosophical Counseling treat mental illness or substance abuse disorders?

No.  Persons experiencing mental illness or substance abuse disorders should seek appropriate medical attention.  Philosophical Counseling can help explore broader questions and issues around the sources of distress (in addition to exploring whatever else matters).


Is Philosophical Counseling a form of pastoral care/counseling?

Pastoral care or counseling is usually provided by someone associated with a particular religious denomination (though often with an ecumenical orientation).  In addressing issues such as meaning, purpose, suffering, and loss, it can resemble Philosophical Counseling.  Pastoral care is often provided to persons experiencing acute crisis, whereas Philosophical Counseling is most appropriate when there is not an immediate crisis.

Where do we meet?

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings will be via video (i.e., Skype, Zoom, etc). 


What if I cannot afford the cost of Philosophical Counseling?

I want everyone to have access to Philosophical Counseling, and reserve a number of sessions for persons whose financial circumstances make it difficult to afford.  Please inquire about potential sliding-scale or pro bono sessions.


Is Philosophical Counseling covered by health insurance?

Typically it is not included in health insurance plans.  I do not participate in any health insurance provider network.


Is there homework between counseling sessions?

I may suggest topics or practices for reflection between sessions.  Reading is never required, though I can suggest readings for clients with time and interest.


Do you work with groups?

Most clients are individuals, but I also work with couples, families, and groups.  Please inquire. 

“When we are deeply in touch with the present moment, we can see that all our ancestors and all future generations are present in us.  Seeing this, we will know what to do and what not to do – for ourselves, our ancestors, our children, and their children.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step (1991) 


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© 2019 by John Tambornino, Washington, DC, Larger Questions