Philosophical counselling : towards a 'new approach' in pastoral care and counselling

Louw, D. J. (Daniel Johannes), 1944- (2011-05)

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Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

CITATION: Louw, D. J. 2011. Philosophical counselling : towards a 'new approach' in pastoral care and counselling. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, 67(2), doi:10.4102/hts.v67i2.900.


The practice of pastoral counselling was dominated for several decades by the Rogerian techniques of empathetic listening. To a large extent, healing was predominately related to the realm of feelings (the affective dimension). Rational Emotive Therapy opened up other avenues. However, besides Logotherapy, the realm of meaning and its connectedness to world views and ideas (Plato: forms) remained uncharted in many theories for pastoral care and counselling. In this article it was argued that philosophical counselling opens up new avenues for pastoral care and counselling. Philosophical counselling probes into the realm of different schemata of interpretation. A model for the making of a spiritual existential analysis was proposed in order to detect the impact of the Christian spiritual schema of interpretation on the dynamics of existential networking. © 2011. The Authors.

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