February 24, 2024

Amir is becoming one of quite a few philosophers that offer one-on-one counseling. In the U.S, there are two professional associations for philosophical counselors, listing many philosophers who can provide assistance. Italy as well as Germany, India, Spain, and Norway have several organizations for this type of counseling, as well as an Austria, Italy, and Romania, offering master’s degrees in the field. Amir is a big proponent of the study of philosophy. She believes that philosophical counseling is essential due to the lack of individuals studying it. She points out that she merely enabled David’s transformation by introducing him to philosophy, and that philosophy itself was responsible for his change. Born in Paris to a Jewish Holocaust survivor, Amir moved to Israel as an infant. After traveling around the world, she decided to pursue undergraduate studies in math and philosophy at the University of Tel Aviv. Eventually, she shifted her focus entirely to philosophy and wrote a dissertation on redemption concepts in Spinoza and Nietzsche. Her major goal was to quit smoking and overcome her fear of flying. Her doctoral advisor suggested that she use her personal experiences in her work, which is when she discovered the limitations she wanted to surpass. In the 1980s and 1990s, she taught philosophy and eventually started private, paid sessions. Amir argues that philosophy is a natural but unusual way to help people solve life’s problems. Ancient philosophies such as Stoicism and Buddhism focused on practical ethics and techniques to reduce suffering. Amir also made me realize that I would have to experience a session to fully understand philosophical counseling. We met at an international conference on philosophical counseling in Timişoara, Romania, where she was the keynote speaker. Amir argued that traditional psychotherapists cannot offer the ideals and world views that philosophy can provide. During our one-on-one session, Amir challenged my perception of success and the power of philosophy to gain peace of mind.