Guy du Plessis
Addiction Specialist - Philosophical Practitioner - Author 

Philosophical Counselling

I am a philosophical practitioner certified as a Logic-Based Therapist (LBT) by the Logic-based Therapy and Consulting Institute (USA), National Philosophical Counselling Association (NPCA). 

According to the Preamble of the NPCA Standards of Practice, "a philosophical practitioner helps clients to clarify, articulate, explore and comprehend philosophical aspects of their belief systems or world views." My primary methodology is LBT, but I also employ other philosophical practice methods, for example Socratic Dialogue, Philosophical Contemplation & Bibliotherapy. 

As part of a world-view analysis and restructuring process I teach Wilberian integral meta-theory which is a 'psychoactive' worldview, in the sense that it can profoundly alter one's being-in-the-world by providing an overarching conceptual framework that allows for the integration of a multitude of epistemological orientations. 

My approach is further informed by the philosophy of Stoicism, Virtue Ethics, the work of existential philosophers (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre & Camus) and existential psychologists (Frankl, Boss & Yalom). 

Philosophy as a Way for Life for Addiction Recovery

My approach is informed by the premise that "philosophy as a way of life is a compelling and legitimate recovery pathway for individuals in addiction recovery, as one of many pathways" (Du Plessis, 2022, 160). 'Philosophy as a way of life' is an idea and practice that can be traced back to ancient Greece where “philosophy was a mode of existing-in-the-world, which had to be practiced at each instant, and the goal of which was to transform the whole of the individual’s life” and “a method of spiritual progress which demanded a radical conversion and transformation of the individual’s way of being” (Hadot, Davidson & Chase, 1995, 265). Simply put, the notion of 'philosophy as a way of life' is a view that emphasizes philosophy's practical and transformative features - an an art of living and a life guided by reason (ex ducts rations vivre).

More recently philosophers like Pierre Hadot, Michel Foucault and Elliot Cohen have contributed to a resurgence of interest in the Hellenistic philosophies as arts of living and of 'philosophy as a way of life' as a transformational practice. My articulation of 'Philosophy as a Way of Life for Addiction Recovery' is informed by Friedrich Nietzsche’s conceptualization of philosophy 'as therapy' (Hutter, 2006; Ure, 2008), Pierre Hadot's (2017) notion of philosophy as 'spiritual exercises' and techniques self-transformation (askesis), and Elliot Cohen's (2003) application of uplifting philosophies and guiding virtues as a rational framework for confronting problems of living.

I assist my clients in recovery in integrating philosophy as a way of life as part of their recovery lifestyle. 

Download my article "Philosophy as a Way of Life for Addiction Recovery: A Logic-based Therapy Case Study" in the International Journal of Applied Philosophy. 35(2), 159-170 for a discussion of philosophy as a way of life for addiction recovery.

Visit the Phronesis Institute's website. The Phronesis Institute collaborates with philosophers, addiction researchers, addiction treatment professionals, and psychologists in the development of the theory and practice of Philosophy as a Way of Life for Addiction Recovery.

Download my article An Existential Perspective on Addiction: A Logic-Based Therapy Case Study, in the International Journal of Philosophical Practice, as an example of the application of logic-based therapy. Moreover, this article highlights the value philosophical counselling has for addiction treatment and recovery coaching. 

Review by Matthew Sharpe of my article Philosophy as a Way of Life for Addiction Recovery: (Author of Philosophy as a Way of Life: History, Dimensions, Directions, with Michael Ure).

"Guy du Plessis’s article “Philosophy as a Way of Life as a Pathway to Recovery for Addicted Individuals” is the first of its kind (known to this reviewer) to bring the last decades' research on the idea of philosophy as a way of life (hereafter PWL) stemming primarily from Pierre Hadot into this therapeutic field.  There is a growing amount of work being done by some psychologists, led by Tim le Bon and Donald Robertson, to use Stoic philosophy in conjunction with contemporary forms of practice. This is one of the more exciting interdisciplinary possibilities opened up by Hadot’s key idea, since pursued by a host of others: that philosophy, as a search for wisdom, for a long time took its primary task to be the transformation of individuals’ ways of living, including in the face of adversities and life challenges.  But the possible application of PWL techniques and ideas specifically to addiction therapy is something which I believe du Plessis’s article is pioneering." 

Review by Michael Chase of my article Philosophy as a Way of Life for Addiction Recovery: (Translator of Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault by Pierre Hadot and Arnold Davidson)

"Thank you for this fascinating article. I am sure my late teacher Pierre Hadot would have been pleased to see his ideas put into practice with a view to improving the lot of some of the less fortunate of our fellow human beings. Congratulations."


My Personal Philosophy Library

Here is a link to my philosophy book collection in my personal library (Library Cat Database), which my clients can peruse to explore philosophical literature to be used in bibliotherapy. 

Each book is linked to the Library Thing Database which provides reviews and some background information of the book and author. 


No one can build the bridge on which you in particular will have to cross the river of life - no one but yourself. 

Of course there are countless paths and bridges and demigods ready to carry you over the river, but only at the price of your own self. 

In all the world, there is one specific way that no one but you can take. 

   - Friedrich Nietzsche