ELIZA MCDERMOTT, MA
hello and welcome. i'm eliza mcdermott and this is my practice in applied philosophy, a tradition known as 'philosophical counseling,' where i work 1-1 with individuals who are looking for support or a facilitator to help them take a deeper look at their lives. i help people develop a deeper sense of self-understanding and solve personal or interpersonal problems by examining the values and beliefs that shape their world-view.
i started doing this 1-1 work with clients in 2015 after earning my certification in philosophical counseling from the american philosophical practitioners association. at that time, i was not completely sure what it meant to be a philosopher engaging 1-1 with clients in deep dialogue and personal reflection. but i knew from my years of teaching and doing crisis-counseling that my approach to working with individuals, framed by my academic training in philosophy, led to great outcomes for those folks. i wanted to explore how philosophical frameworks & methods could be useful for responding to the problems of life for people not interested in the academic field. so i went to nyc where i studied philosophical counseling with appa and decided to pursue this practice alongside my work as a non-profit program manager and educator.
i've studied philosophy formally since 2004. i graduated depaul university with a ba in 2008 and american university with my masters in 2012. my main fields of study are moral philosophy, ethics, existentialism, critical theory. i'm certified by the national philosophical counseling association and hold other certificates from national and international training programs.
my academic and career work has been especially concentrated in feminist ethics, critical theory & reproductive justice and corresponding community-based programs and services. since 2008, i've worked as a crisis-counselor/interventionist and taught in an array of alternative learning programs. i've designed and launched dozens of classes, community education projects, public programs, etc with organizations and businesses in new orleans, dc, colorado, chicago, cape town, south africa and more, applying these same analytical and strategic thinking lenses.
i help my clients by asking pointed questions and providing context, frameworks and formal logic guidance. clients do not read or engage with philosophy literature or history. philosophy in this context is a tool/resource that i employ to help clients navigate complex ideas and situations, similar to the way a therapist employs psychology theories & modalities in their mental health counseling practice. i love doing philosophical counseling with clients even if it is still somewhat unconventional in the philosophy world! people i work with are excited to try out new points of view and have fruitful, critical dialogues about their lives. they want to understand the internal complexities and conflicts that cause anxiety & unhappiness and are excited to take some time out of their hectic lives to think deeply about what is meaningful to them and why.
if you think you are interested please reach out for a consultation. if it doesn't seem like a great fit i can recommend other resources!