Many people think of philosophy as something esoteric and confined to universities. They forget that every part of our lives is influenced by the way we as individuals, and as communities, think about the world and our place in it. Philosophy can offer practical wisdom for the difficult questions in our lives, and provide guidelines that help us to act in the world authentically, in tune with who we are and how we want to live.
My lived experience is that of a women born in the 1950's, raised to be a wife and mother, whose mind was informed, and formed by, the intellectual ferment of the 1960's and 70's. The expansion of my idea's about myself and the potential of my life, was driven by philosophy. The philosophies that underpinned the civil rights and women's rights movements. That challenged my nations participation in the Vietnam war, apartheid in South Africa, and discrimination in all of its varying forms within the human community. And the philosophies that underpin the conservation and animal rights movements. It was a time of questioning, and I was lucky enough to live in a privileged country in this time, when being a women no longer excluded me from the conversation.
I have studied philosophy, history, and psychotherapy all of my life, and used the wisdom I have gained from this, in my own personal and professional life. Working as a psychotherapist, and as an ethicist in my own practice, participating in a successful marriage and raising happy, well-adjusted children to adulthood, has all been influenced and enhanced, by a philosophical approach to life.
Wisdom is learnt, and its function is to enhance our lives. In both my academic and professional work I have focused on the individual and their relationships. How we become who we are now, and how we do so within the lived experience of our lives, impacts on how we act. What we think about ourselves and our understanding of what we believe is a good way to live, influences the way we relate to others, raise our children, choose our leaders, and live our personal and professional lives. Philosophy speaks to us about living and I believe that it can provide the answer to many of our dilemma's before they become major problems in our lives.
What I do
& What I provide.
Philosophy is a continuous conversation between people who are interested in the both the big, and the ordinary questions of life. This conversation has been exploring what it is to be a human, and how we can live our lives as individuals, and with each other within our societies, for nearly three thousand years.
For the last few centuries it has gradually located itself within academic institutions, however Philosophical Practitioners are now coming back out into the community. Combining the insights of both Philosophy and Psychotherapy, within the context of a counselling process. This approach to Philosophy has been rediscovered over the last few decades both in Europe and North America. It is often called a Socratic approach to Philosophy, because it was Socrates who first took to the streets of Athens to talk to everyone that was interested, about the questions and problems of human life. He focused on Practical Wisdom.
As a Philosophical Practitioner I want to help people to embrace wisdom as they deal with the problems of living.
Through directed questioning and discussion, as individuals and within groups, Philosophy can open up our thinking, and expand our understanding of ourselves. This helps us understand others, and the moral dimension of action in the world. It helps us look at meaning and purpose within the framework of our values, so that the answers we find to the dilemma's of life, are true and authentic to who we are, and who we want to be.
Mentor & Coach
As a Philosophically based mentor and coach I will be able to help you to reflect upon, and examine your life and its problems in the context of your values and beliefs.
Working with a philosopher helps you to clarify your thinking so that you can work on all aspects of your life. This leads to self awareness and self improvement, as well as answering questions that are troubling you.
Together we can focus on:
- Moral dilemmas and conflicts.
- Reconciling experience and belief.
- Questions about personal identity, meaning and purpose.
- Anxiety about changes in career or life goals. Mid Life change.
- Looking for wisdom in your approach to parenting and relationships.
- Grief and loss - facing your own mortality.
As a Practical Philosopher it is my role to help you to understand the problems you are facing and to provide you with an opportunity to find solutions that are compatible with your beliefs within the principles of wisdom that enable us all to live effective lives.
Using a philosophical approach to dealing with life enhances our ability to be aware of self and others, to cope with the problems that confront us on a daily basis, and to develop intellectual skills of critical thinking and analysis.
The advantage of learning to be philosophical in our thinking early in our lives can not be underestimated, when we look at the dilemma's that confront us all as individuals from the time we start to venture out into the world.
I believe that to teach children how to critically reflect on their experiences, and how to evaluate their own responses to life, gives them valuable skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Teaching children ethics in small groups, where they can discuss the problems of life in an age appropriate and safe process empowers them, building confidence and resilience.
I provide small group ethics classes for children aged from eight years to sixteen years. These classes are divided into three age groups - eight to ten year olds.
Eleven to thirteen year olds, and fourteen to sixteen year olds. These are run after school and during school holidays.
As an Ethicist, I am well placed to aid both individuals and organisations to approach their work within an ethical framework.
By approaching Strategic Planning within an organisation, within the guidelines of an overarching Ethical Framework, businesses and organisations can feel assured that the systems they put in place align with the values of their organisation.
As an Ethicist I am able to provide:-
Ethical Audits, develop guidelines for Policy development in the areas of Personnel, Recruitment and Retention, Codes of Conduct and Compliance.
I am available for both short term informal discussions of various issues as well as for more formal strategic consultations.
Programme Consultant to 'Making Good Men Great'.
Together with the founder of 'Making Good Men Great', I have explored the nature of the gender divide that continues exist in our culture as well as in other cultures.
As a philosopher and clinician with 45 years experience this exploration has spanned the human sciences to create an understanding of what is needed in rethinking masculinity and the curriculum for change that men can utilise. In a nutshell I bring the female perspective to the project.
Writing is a constant in all areas of my life. It enables me to share ideas and information and to contribute to the philosophical conversation that underpins all aspects of our society. It enables me to communicate to a broader audience than just my own small circle.
But sharing ideas does not have to be confined to the medium of non fiction. Some of the most important and influential ideas ever communicated are to be found in fiction.
Story telling is both an escape and an enrichment in our lives. As an avid reader of literature and all of the wonderful stories that other writers have gifted to the world, it has been, in my view a natural progression for me to become a storyteller. So, watch this space!