Philosophical Counselling can take you to the next level...

It is a proven breakthrough approach to trauma recovery and self-actualization.


Providing life-changing Philosophical Counselling since 2006, the Mind-Body Healing Centre is home to one of Canada’s first and leading philosophical counsellors: Patricia Arnold, PhD, who offers her counselling expertise for individuals; couples and families; groups; as well as consulting for organizations.



Supporting the journey to yourself...

During individual sessions we will engage - sometimes Socratic and always wholistically investigative - dialogues that aim to support self-discovery and authentic alignment between your best self and your actions in the world. We apply philosophical considerations to psychotherapeutic inquiries - somatic, emotional, and thoughtful - to engage deep self-understanding.

This dynamic and thoughtful form of investigation supports the client’s own best definitions and ideals of health and healing. Clinically speaking, clients can expect tangible measures of their progress, which will include decreases in anxiety, depression, unhealthy expressions of anger, as well as improvements in non-reactive, purposeful communication.

Couples & Families

Couples & Families

Cultivating the relationships you've always wanted...

I provide dynamic counselling for couples and families, empowering you and yours to explore individual values and motivations as well as those dynamics that influence how individuals relate to each other.

Together, we will engage new approaches to support authentic communication. This therapeutic environment facilitates sharing and exploring so that participants can engage the potential to understand themselves and their significant other(s) in deep, dynamic, and exciting ways.



Developing a greater relational understanding...

Group work exponentially enhances what we achieve in individual therapy and allows us a space to practice being authentically relational; typically, each group includes 6-8 individuals.


Inspiring a wholistic culture of connection...

Ways a philosopher can help your organization:

- I can facilitate conversation on ethics. This is an important growth and grounding opportunity for progressive corporate environments.

- There is an increasing need for organizations to provide Philosophical Counselling, and philosophical investigative skills, for their employees as it provides efficient tools to enhance communications. This helps actualize the facilitation of harmony and dynamic engagements in the workplace and to integrate wholistic and humanistic objectives. 

- Philosophical Counselling can also assist corporations in developing positive public images. This is supported by embracing a strong ethical base, then seeking coherence between values and tangible actions and communications. As a Philosophical Counsellor, I can assist your organization to resolve employee engagement challenges; especially those that interfere with work and team performance.

- I also facilitate workshops and consult Boards to improve corporate ethics, define and execute mission statements, improve codes of ethics, or design appropriate training, including dilemma or integrity training. 

We are creative team of designer who has a vision

We are creative team of designer who has a vision

We are creative team of designer who has a vision

We are creative team of designer who has a vision


Below are some of my key values...


Coherence of mind, body, and spirit...

Being coherent feels good. It feels better than being out of sync with ourselves. When our actions and thinking are in sync with our best self, we feel and see the coherences in relationships, emotions, and contributions. I can offer practical and useful ways to examine and support your coherent objectives. Therefore, we can think of feelings of discontent as alerting us to the need to be more self-reflective and self-manifesting.


Freedom to create and direct one's life...

Agency is a result of self-reflective practices. We create and engage our humanity by enacting our freedom, and wholistic freedom is coherent with one’s values. Philosophers who have researched freedom throughout the ages often claim that "the freer we are, the more human we are." (Isaiah Berlin)

We can expand our practical agency by identifying the forces (social, genetic, thoughts, and beliefs, for example) that shape us. The more we see how we are shaped by various (often unconscious) forces, the more opportunities we create to decide whether those forces will continue to shape us. Philosophical thinking encourages us to decide which forces continue to influence and shape us.

We can be more and more free - by way of coherent self-reflection. This is a key way in which freedom stands in relation to authentic happiness or eudaimonia. More self-actualized individuals enact more agency. Often, when we feel that we lack agency, clinical symptoms like depression and anxiety can be signals to encourage more alignment with self. 


Relating oneself to another self....

Phenomenologically speaking, empathy is a tool, and a cultivated skill, of relating healthily to another person’s experiences. To empathize effectively, the practitioner aims to grasp the beliefs, approaches, and experiences that shape the individual. Thus, to say that empathy is an epistemological tool is simply to acknowledge that it is a way of obtaining knowledge about another person’s way of thinking, reasoning, and being in the world.

When clients experience empathy, they can open more easily to themselves, as well as more easily share empathy with others. Practically speaking, of course, empathy - and the care that in practice accompanies empathy - are key elements of psychological resilience, maturing, and growth; and, they make the world a bit kinder, gentler, more understanding.


Accurate and deep understanding...

One reason for providing a safe place in which individuals can share their reflections on their motivations, desires, and cognitive habits, is that safe places facilitate self-reflective insights and critical, yet kind, evaluations aimed at personal growth.

Philosophical Counselling

Philosophical Counselling relies on solid counselling and therapeutic practices; however, where it is exceptional is in adding philosophy and theory that is relevant to you and that you can apply to your life right now.

The Journey... 

What You Really Need to Know

As a unique approach to psychotherapy, philosophical counselling really works because it honours where you are coming from and because there is not a formulaic response to the challenges you are facing or the symptoms you might be experiencing. It is not limited to a diagnostic and prescriptive paradigm. Rather, I assess with you, your gifts, and some of your challenges, and we set a course of action together. It will be a course of action that reflects you, and where you are at, and where your best self wants to go. Of course in this process, we will likely also discuss patterns and challenges that you want to enhance and address.

We do rely on the art and sciences of psychotherapy, somatic experiencing, a deep understanding of psychoanalytic theory as well as attachment theory, and family integration theory. We will include social and cultural analyses and will use a variety of tools to get to where you want to go, including the following: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); hypnosis; meditation training; emotional integration work; and Socratic questioning, as well as clear and insightful discussions.

I don’t believe in hierarchical therapy. Good therapy - at its best - is a collaborative, mutually-honouring process.

While I do have a lot of clinical experience and an exceptional amount of training and modalities from which to draw, I think because I know my discipline and practice well, I can be free enough to meet you in the places from which you are coming - because, really, it is all about you! Clients tell me what they find exciting is the way their minds and spirits expand when theory and thinking is seen to be relevant to them.

Often in life, we become numb to the beauty of daily living, we become reactors. We stop thinking and authentically feeling (i.e., knowing our feelings and trusting them). It’s true that society tends to condition us to be automatons; we’re better workers when we just follow the path of various social forces. But that’s only half-living. I believe that we are more fully human when we act with an intention that reflects the true and inner aspects of ourselves.

In Philosophical Counselling, the mind and spirit are re-invigorated, sometimes by transformational bodywork and sometimes by way of talk therapy.

In many instances the experience can be explained metaphorically in this way: the intellect draws a new outline or perimeter for the psyche and emotional self to grow into.

This description doesn’t mean that the process is only about the mind, because in truth, and in so many ways, the mind and body are one - at least the very minimal we can say about the relationships between mind and body is that they are significantly connected.

Many great teachers will tell you that there is infinite wisdom in the body, so we use the mind and body both to accelerate change and growth. I would love to show you how this approach is relevant to your life.

What is Philosophical Counselling?

I do not promote normalizing and numbing worldviews and instead aim to reclaim the self from the potential monotony of a disengaged day-to-day life.

Philosophers have been doctors of the soul since Hellenistic times. The Socratics, Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics notably encouraged the art of self-reflection as a means to personal happiness. They were specifically focused on the kind of happiness referred to as eudaimonia, which is Greek for the kind of happiness that evolves out of self-knowledge and self-reflection and, as it was philosophical, this happiness also reflected the rigorous and balanced use of reason. It is in this tradition - with a notable formalized revival in the 1980’s - that Philosophical Counselling has re-emerged as an internationally recognized academic domain of research and clinical practice. As such, it meets an important need in wholistic and humanistic approaches to mental health.

For instance, many contemporary philosophers and mental health advocates feel that the agency to influence one’s own well-being and mental health can easily be taken from the hands of patients because thoughtful self-reflection and meaningful self-knowledge are not typically taught or encouraged. Whereas, Philosophical Counsellors, by teaching and encouraging knowledge-based self-reflection, encourage agency and choice where possible and, in this role, they are important mental health advocates and members of mental health teams.

In my clinical experience, and as a member of numerous healthcare teams working with medical doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, I recognize the fact that many members of such teams do not have the time and/or (in some instances) the inclination to encourage these kinds of patient-engaged self-reflections. Nor should they. After all, guiding and supporting cultivated self-reflection is a specialty, just as psychopharmacology is a specialty. In my practice, I have shown the psychotherapeutically grounded practice of Philosophical Counselling to be particularly effective in supporting the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as anxiety and personality disorders.

Contemporary philosophers are rigorous students of the breadth of academic theory. As such, they cannot help but work with, and appreciate the massive contributions of the recently differentiated fields of science: Medicine, Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience. Many scholars in the field note that Philosophy and Psychology were a shared discipline until the late 1880s when some - including, Charcot, James, Janet, and Freud - facilitated the splitting off of Psychology from Philosophy. This split facilitated specialized knowledges by distinct means.

Psychology, notably, committed to scientific method in a way that Philosophy could not. Yet, Philosophy has a long history of influencing Psychology and since the 1900s Psychology has a rich history of doing the same for Philosophy. The legacy and potential of this history is why the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 24 (Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology) recognizes the importance of these distinct academic fields working together to enhance each other.

Philosophical Counselling for Patients, Doctors, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists

Over the years - as I have a good rapport with the medical and academic community - many of my patients have been referred to me by their medical doctors. Oftentimes, these patients have been on medication and want to reduce or come off of it. I am not necessarily medication opposed and I work with many of my colleagues to evaluate the effects and benefits of medication for my patients; however, it is often the case that medication does not address the core causes of discontent. Philosophical Counselling, if you are willing to pay for it and do the work, allows us the time and space and non-normative - or not only normative, or consciously normative - engagement to go deep enough into your psyche to address the causes of discontent.

Happiness is possible and more and more happiness can be a part of life. Philosophical Counselling supports self-reflective and authentic happiness. It is especially rewarding for me to work with individuals who are living with PTSD. Finding authentic wisdom and happiness in integrating some of life’s more profound challenges is very rewarding work.

Life can be difficult and humbling at times and we can choose to learn to live wisely in the face of it. In Philosophical Counselling, we look our particular lives in the eye and go deep inside ourselves to learn as profoundly and as deeply as each individual can, why they are going through the hurts, challenges, and expansions they are living through. In Philosophical Counselling, we look to see what meaning individuals will make of their experiences and lives.

As a researcher, clinician, and academic, I specialize in psychological trauma recovery, which includes recovery from abusive relationships, loss of a loved one, near-death experiences, random injurious traumas, incest recovery, sexual-abuse recovery, rape, physical assault, and home invasions. I also specialize in sexual health issues, including sexual identity and sexual lifestyle issues and challenges.

Philosophical Counselling – A Brief History

The term Philosophical Counselling may be new, but the practice is not. Socrates was actively providing philosophical assistance as far back as 5th-Century B.C. The philosophical schools in Greece and Rome viewed philosophy as a means for addressing human suffering as well as social challenges. For the last two thousand years, philosophers from Epicurus (who considered philosophy "therapy of the soul") to Descartes (who counselled Queen Christina of Sweden) to Locke (who counselled the Earl of Shaftesbury), have used their philosophical insights to solve human problems.

Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering. ― Epicurus

The modern Philosophical Counselling movement is said to have re-emerged in 1981 when Gerd Achenbach opened his practice in Germany to try and return philosophy to its original mission of addressing the everyday challenges and traumas of human life. He applied philosophy in private consultations creating a space for people to develop their own thoughts on matters of concern using philosophy as the foundation. This movement is growing and expanding to other European countries, Israel, India, South Africa, the United States, Canada, and South America.

Philosophy as Therapy

The practice, and discipline, of philosophy is rooted in the desire for human flourishing and happiness. The idea of a practical and compassionate philosophy - "a philosophy that exists for the sake of human beings, in order to address their deepest needs, confront their most urgent perplexities, and bring them from misery to some greater measure of flourishing" is an idea that can be traced back to the origins of the ancient practice.

Martha Nussbaum, for example, notes that:

The Hellenistic philosophical schools in Greece and Rome – Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics – all conceived of philosophy as a way of addressing the most painful problems of human life. They saw the philosopher as a compassionate physician whose arts could heal many pervasive types of human suffering.

They, and philosophers practicing today, see philosophy not as a detached intellectual technique dedicated to the display of cleverness, but as an immersed and worldly art of grappling with human miseries and challenges. What distinguishes philosophy from other contemporary forms of medicine is that we do not pathologize, or mark as "wrong," human sufferings and challenges, but rather see them as an important part of life that can initiate learning and deeper understanding of one's self and one's world. As a therapy, its cures and remedies come from practices that are oriented to learning from, in, and in some instances, (metaphysically speaking) beyond life. The etymology of the word "therapy" references "change." Thus, philosophy is oriented towards wisdom and truth, so philosophy as therapy advocates a process of learning and changing into, or evolving into, your authentic, or truest, self.

Code of Ethics

As a certified member of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association (APPA), the American Psychological Association (APA), the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals (OAMHP), and the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), I abide by a code of ethics. To read a version of the code of ethics I abide by, click here.