Dr. David Brendel is a philosophical counselor with full certification from the American Philosophical Practitioners Association (APPA). He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is an expert at applying a host of philosophical theories in his work as a philosophical counselor, psychiatrist, and executive coach. He helps his clients to identify their assets and strengths, enhance their capacity for self-reflection, and achieve peak performance in their personal and professional lives.

What is Philosophical Counseling?

Many people in need of guidance are now turning to philosophical counselors to help them resolve specific problems and to better understand their situation.

The philosophical counselor is highly trained in academic philosophy, but works with clients on real-world problems in a practical way. The philosophical counselor employs an understanding of philosophical ideas and theories to help healthy clients attain deeper insight, fulfillment, and functioning in their day-to-day lives.

Although philosophical counseling has some attributes in common with psychiatric and psychological counseling, it assumes a non-medical and non-clinical point of view. Psychology and psychiatry concern themselves with diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Philosophical counseling, on the other hand, looks at problems from a broader perspective and focuses on enhancing client strengths. It aims to support healthy individuals in gaining greater self-understanding and achieving peak performance. It can help individuals resolve existential concerns, relationship challenges, or moral dilemmas, thereby empowering them to lead more fulfilled and productive lives.

Philosophical Counseling Counselors
Dr David Brendel MD PhD Executive Coach Photo
Dr. David Brendel’s Philosophical Counseling Credentials
  • Ph.D. in philosophy (University of Chicago)
  • Full Certification from the American Philosophical Practitioners Association (APPA)
  • Faculty Fellow, 2001-02, Harvard University Center for Ethics & the Professions (now the Edmond J. Safra Center)
  • Author of multiple publications in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, American pragmatism, and ethics
  • Highly trained in metaphysics, epistemology, and logic
  • Expert on existential and humanistic approaches to counseling
  • Years of experience as a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, teacher, mentor, consultant, administrative leader, and counselor

In The Media


Listen to Dr. David Brendel’s discussion with Dr. Lou Marinoff (founding president of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association) on the Leading Minds VoiceAmerica radio show.

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Scope of Practice Statement

American Philosophical Practitioners Association (APPA)

Philosophical counseling is intended for clients who are rational, functional, and not mentally ill, but who can benefit from philosophical assistance in resolving or managing problems associated with normal life experience. The most suitable candidates for philosophical counseling are clients whose problems are centered in:

  1. Issues of private morality or professional ethics; or
  2. Issues of meaning, value, or purpose; or
  3. Issues of personal or professional fulfillment; or
  4. Issues of undetermined or inconsistent belief systems;
  5. Issues requiring any philosophical interpretation of changing circumstances.

From Marinoff, Lou. Philosophical Practice. San Diego: Academic Press (2002), p. 252.

Also, see Strategy of Mind, the philosophy training company I recently co-founded.