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Philosophical consultation

What is it ?

Philosophical consultation is a demanding exercise because it requires both rigor and authenticity, but the results are often surprising and enlightening because the process reveals how you think and relate to others. We could also call it existential consultation.

This rigorous exercise consists of:

  • identify, through your speech, the implicit presuppositions which form your vision of the world. This will define the starting point of further deepening.

  • think the other side of these presuppositions, in order to transform indisputable postulates into mere working hypotheses.

  • articulate the generated issues through identified and formulated concepts in order to identify what other existential options you face.

Concretely, you bring a question or a problem, whatever it is, and you leave with one or more answers and generally some revelations about yourself along the way. No prior philosophical knowledge is required. If you don't have any questions, come as you are and we will formulate your "problem" together.


For example, the questions we have already had to deal with were:

  • "should I go back to school?"

  • "What is the meaning of my life ?

  • "Why do I always wait until the last moment to do things?"

  • "why does my company not recognize my value?"

  • "Why am I ashamed of being privileged over others?"

  • "Do I have to do everything to satisfy my customers?"

  • "How do I review my friends?"

  • "How can I express my feelings better?"

How ?

The exercise lasts an hour and a half and can be done:

Are you interested but reluctant to take the plunge?

I offer you a first free informal meeting (remotely by Zoom) where you will talk to me about what you want and where I will explain my approach to you.

Why consult?
The nature of my problem.

You may want to do a consultation because you want to go deeper into a question without knowing how to go about it, to find out what the philosophers would have answered in your place, to have someone who helps you develop your arguments, who pushes you to question them by making objections, which suggests ways to unblock the knots in your thinking. You will find a demanding interlocutor in the person of the practitioner, who considers that you are autonomous to develop your own thinking and find the answers to your questions.

Existential issues
find meaning

Meaning is neither sought nor found, it is created. This is why when a person asks the question of meaning, very often it is because he lacks the habit or method to work on his thought. Because when we think, everything makes sense, everything takes on meaning. Therefore, the problem of meaning is more a problem of action, of commitment. You have to start thinking about your existence, your action, your relationships with others, your values, your reality, and for this the Philosophical Practice is a relevant and powerful approach.

Understand what you want

Many people don't know what they want but rather act by imagining what others expect of them and complying with it. Others knew it or thought they knew it but once they got it they found themselves disappointed: they were expecting something else, although they were unable to define this thing.

It is easier to know what we want if we analyze what we do every day and how we think and behave and deduce what we want without really being aware of it. Thus in a philosophical consultation, the philosopher practitioner helps you to detect what you want by putting you to the test of yourself by his questions. Thus it becomes easier to position oneself and regain control of one's "want" or one's desire.

find energy

Working on one's thinking is an energizing exercise because it mobilizes our cognitive resources to find new ideas, to deepen and clarify others, to eliminate the superfluous in our thinking. Thinking involves concentrating and getting rid of what hinders thought such as unnecessary complications, false desires, superficial constraints and other duties that we impose on ourselves out of habit, without being justified.

Thus, paradoxically, learning to think makes us lighter, more flexible, more agile in dialogue with ourselves and others and therefore more dynamic. Often, people come to consultation with a low level of energy, a lack of desire and "conatus" and leave re-energized, revived, invigorated.

Define happiness

Happiness is a very indeterminate notion, and in terms of happiness "everyone sees noon at their doorstep". What is certain is that someone who asks the question "how to find happiness?" :

1 - is not happy

2 - didn't really think about what was valuable to her or gave it up to satisfy another competing desire.

3 - did not identify the thought as a source of joy.


In this articleyou will find some clarification on a possible definition of happiness.

Learn to decide

To decide is to commit to one option among others. This assumes that the options are already clearly on the table, which is not obvious. This then supposes giving up the other options and staying the course for a while, as Descartes invites us to do. But if you are greedy, if you want "everything right now", you will have a hard time deciding. And once your decision is made, it will be very difficult for you to change it because the decision will have cost you a lot. So you have to learn to decide: in a philosophical consultation the philosopher practitioner helps you by proposing hypotheses that you will have to follow to see where they lead you, even if no certainty guarantees that it is the "right one". In doing so, you will develop your intellectual and behavioral flexibility.

Related articles:HEREandHERE

come to terms with imperfection

Perfectionism is a disease of our time. We know full well that perfection, the absolute, is by definition not of this world, that it is at best only a "regulatory ideal" but we act as if it were a healthy and accessible objective. Sometimes we think we are touching it and we are enthusiastic, euphoric. The ace. Soon reality hits and we realize the chasm that separates us from this ideal and we get depressed. This oscillation between phases of enthusiasm and depression resembles the bipolar schema in its structure, even if we are not here in a pathology in the psychiatric sense. It is therefore necessary to get out of this unhealthy cycle by reconciling with its imperfections, that is to say with its humanity quite simply.

Related article:HERE

Relationship issues

Confidence is like a muscle, it works little by little, success after success. Working on one's thinking allows us to regain confidence because we quickly see an improvement in our clarity, our depth, our ability to concentrate, to produce varied and relevant ideas, to interpret texts, speeches or attitudes in a rich and coherent way. We dare to confront ourselves and others, to question and make relevant objections, which allows us, for example, to deconstruct negative and abusive judgments about ourselves and others (sometimes also called "thoughts We develop the power of our mind and our being, which brings subtle and lasting joy.

Related article:HERE

Understand the issues

In a relationship, there are often hidden issues for one or the other or both protagonists: desire for seduction or recognition, to obtain a service or an implicit favor in exchange for another, envy or jealousy, complex of superiority or inferiority. A philosophical consultation or a group workshop will make these issues appear quite clearly in order to deconstruct them and distance oneself from them.

Facing the conflict

A conflict arises when a confrontation drifts towards affect: anger, feeling of injustice, exacerbated sincerity, bad faith are often the ingredients. When we do not have a mediator in a conflict, as there is with the courts for legal disputes with high stakes, it is up to us to become our own mediator. For this it is imperative to take some distance with oneself and others and to analyze the situation objectively, clinically, coldly, in order to have an enlightened diagnosis and to take a fair decision which allows to get out of the conflict. The first conflict to resolve is first of all the internal conflict, the one we have with ourselves. Often it occurs when our desires are not clear to us, when we do not formulate clearly the issues, the contradictions, the competing desires, the fallacious representations and beliefs that make us uncomfortable. The work of philosophical consultation deals with this problem notably through cognitive empathy and phenomenological reduction.


Related article:HERE

Engage in dialogue

A philosophical consultation is a dialogue in which the practicing philosopher asks you questions and asks you to make assumptions about yourself, about the reasons for what is happening to you or what you are doing or thinking and this without certainty. Commitment demonstrates your confidence in your own speech and reason, which is why it is a first training to gain self-confidence. You will be, after a few consultations, yourself able to enter into dialogue with others in a more confident and assertive way, motivated by the pleasure of discovering the Other and their thought pattern. You will thus develop more authentic relationships with your loved ones, which will be a source of serenity and perhaps even joy.

Emotional issues
The fear

- of dying: The fear of dying is quite banal and natural in humans. It corresponds to his desire for eternity which is a form of excess since we all know that we will die one day. This somewhat irrational fear is, however, a good opportunity to discover our "being-for-death", i.e. the value we place on existence, for which we think we do not deserve to die. So this fear is a door to discover the reasons for which we live, or at least to make them more conscious, more objective and thus to lead a more lucid, more authentic and therefore richer life._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_

- of nothingness: The fear of being nothing, of nothingness, is quite classic, even if it is rarely formulated or made aware as such by the Subject. Pascal had identified that the human being was a "nothing suspended between two infinities, the infinitely small and the infinitely large" and that the awareness of his own nothingness made him dizzy and pushed him into a constant entertainment like work, war, sex or power. To be aware of one's nothingness thus testifies to a healthy thought since we can objectively be considered as nothing in the face of the immensity of the universe. Pascal would have added a "thinking nothing", which makes all the difference since it is thought which can create out of nothing, and which moreover needs nothingness in order to duplicate itself: only nothingness thus allows the dialogue of the soul with itself, what is called thinking.

- to lose meaning: xxxxxxxxx

- to suffer: Suffering is part of our humanity. However, when the suffering seems senseless or unjustified to us, the feeling of the absurd is added to the suffering itself, which doubles and prolongs it. There may be objective reasons to fear suffering physically because we are going through illness or psychologically because we are dealing with the abandonment or disappearance of a loved one, for example, but in general these fears are well tolerated by the Subject. . What is less so is not being able to give meaning to one's suffering and to add the feeling of the absurd to the suffering itself. Thus during a consultation he will be tempted to give meaning to suffering or to entertain his suffering by working on his thoughts. 

- to be abandoned: xxxxxxxxx

- to be stupid: This is one of the great fears of our time. However, being stupid has some advantages, such as being blissfully satisfied with superficial things or not being too much asked by others (because who would want to be helped by someone who is stupid and therefore generally incompetent?) and therefore to be calm . Very quickly we realize that it is an irrational fear. If the person thinks he is really stupid, the consultation generally shows that it is generally either a method problem, or a lack of self-confidence and self-censorship, or even a form of emotional chaos that makes it difficult to think. If the person is afraid of appearing stupid when they don't think they are stupid, it will then be a question of reflecting on the reason why they would be afraid of revealing something that does not exist.

- to be nasty: This fear is generally caused by anger or chronic jealousy which leads to violent words or acts. The Subject finds himself excessive and unfair afterwards and feels guilty. He wonders if his outbursts do not betray his atavistic wickedness, if he is not fundamentally a "bad person" which saddens him deeply because she generally has a high idea of his morality and a demand for benevolence. and generosity to others. But in the presence of certain people who crystallize her jealousy, even her hatred and her anger, she cannot control herself and surprises herself with words that she later regrets. During the consultation it will be a question of working on this anger, of reporting it in order to circumscribe it and to find alternative behaviors.


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The emotional contagion

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The guilt

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Develop thinking skills for fun and performance

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Practice new attitudes

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I'm just curious about the application of philosophy in my practical life

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"Why am I not reaching my full potential?"

Is it vain to wait for happiness?

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