Shanti (Barbara) Jones (USA)

Shanti (Barbara) Jones (USA) - Ph.D., Transpersonal Psychology, Institute for Transpersonal Psychology. Certified Philosophical Counselor in Private Practice. Teacher of Character Development and Emotional Intelligence in the public schools. 

A Surprising Use of Philosophy: Empowering a Teen-ager to Become the Subjecty of her Life (Lecture)

Evil: Live Spelled Backwards (Cabaret Philodrama )

Presentation language: English

A Surprising Use of Philosophy: Empowering a Teen-ager to Become the Subjecty of her Life (Lecture)

This paper presents the surprising story of successful philosophical counseling with a troubled teen who was cutting herself. I say "surprising" because nowhere is philosophical counseling recommended as a therapeutic approach to adolescent cutting. Utilizing a practical approach to philosophical counseling aimed towards the highest good, elements of phenomenology, existentialism and pragmatism were drawn upon, which enabled the client to become aware of what was meaningful to her, to become the subject of her life, and to flourish within it. The client and I made effective use of philosophy to help her reflect on herself and her life, to help her to stop hurting herself, and to become a budding philosopher. To achieve this end, the use of dialogue, reflective thinking, decision making skills, dream analysis, and parental coaching were also employed in the course of eighteen sessions conducted over less than a year. The client was given the opportunity to evaluate her own judgments, to stand back from her harmful behaviors, and to learn how her desires could be directed to the pursuit of her own good rather than toward her destruction. She acquired an ever-increasing degree of independence in practical reasoning, and a sense of herself as an independent person with agency.

Evil: Live Spelled Backwards (Cabaret Philodrama)

This philosophical cabaret concerns itself with a fundamental human problem - evil. Although evil provokes many unpleasant feelings, it jeopardizes our strivings to live good lives. If we want to flourish, individually and collectively, we must become clear about the nature of evil. Only then will we be able to set appropriate limits around it and focus our limited time and resources on what is good. And, it is only by becoming good that we become free. Through the use of songs, monologues, and humor, "Evil: Live Spelled Backwards" paints an illuminating and entertaining picture of evil. As a result, audience members more easily relate to, and even enjoy, incongruous and unpalatable emotions and ideas they might have about it They are able to develop their view of evil while finding a creative solution to it. Songs by Irving Berlin, Randy Newman, Nina Simone, the Beatles, and others, are used to drive the shows' philosophical points home.