;This essay aims to explore existentialism and philosophical counseling, discussing whether philosophical counseling can be used effectively and how to put it into practice, and how the philosophical counseling of existentialism can deal with the question of existence. First, concerning the philosophical counseling, I discuss theories and methods of Peter Raabe, Lou Marinoff, Gerd B. Achenbach, and Bernard Li to show that philosophical counseling is different from the psychological counseling. The development of philosophical counseling creates a new alternative for helping people. Then, this essay integrates the essential concern of existentialism about human subjectivity, the significance of practical action, and the uniqueness of people, which would correspond to anxiety, emptiness, solitude and other psychological states resulting from the rapid rhythm of modern life and a huge pressure, according to the existentialism of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre and others. Existentialism makes us pay attention to such issues of life again. Finally, I make use of Irvin D. Yalom Existential psychotherapy of the four ultimate concerns, namely, death, freedom, existential isolation, and meaninglessness as the main axis of this study. Irvin D. Yalom demonstrates that when a client faces the fixed facts of the existence, he/she would feel anxious, which is unavoidable for human being in the world. The consultant should be sensitive to these issues encountered by the client in the consultative relationship. There are many characteristics in common between existentialism and philosophical counseling, including focusing on “taking responsibility” of the client, regarding the capacity of “awareness” as the basis for consultation, and stressing “here and now” in the relationship of accompanying.
In addition, from the personal experiences in educational field, I find that the philosophical counseling of existentialism is applicable to the consultation situation for the middle school education. Concerning career exploration, interpersonal relationship, the searching for life meaning, etc., we may lead and stimulate students to think in a philosophical way about the issues of their own existence. This essay attempts to provide a practicable direction and a concrete way to implement the philosophical counseling with an existential approach.