“To be clear-headed rather than confused; lucid rather than obscure; rational rather than otherwise; and to be neither more, nor less, sure of things than is justifiable by argument or evidence. That is worth trying for.”

—Geoffrey Warnock, (Philosophers, by Steve Pike)

About Me

Hi, I’m Dr. Sara Ellenbogen, and I’ve loved philosophy since I can remember. Because philosophical dialogue has helped me in so many ways – providing both comfort and stimulation – I want to make it available to everyone.


PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto (1998)

BA in philosophy and psychology from the University of Massachusetts/Boston (1989)

Certification in client counseling from the American Philosophical Practitioners Association (2004)


Above all, my role is to listen attentively and compassionately. I’ll also try to get a sense of how you understand the situation that troubles you. We may look into the assumptions that underlie your thinking and see if you are committed to these.

I’m influenced by the analytic philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. One thing Wittgenstein said was that we sometimes see ourselves as facing dilemmas only because we’ve made an assumption that is actually unfounded.

Sometimes in philosophical counseling a client will discover that a problem that seems unsolvable is only unsolvable if we assume what she has assumed. Another analytic philosophical counselor, Ran Lahav, has described how that happened when he counseled an “eternal student” unable to choose a career and feeling pressured to make a decision. Lahav suspected and confirmed from her that she assumed there was an objectively correct choice and was afraid of making a mistake. When she questioned that assumption and stopped seeing the task before her as one of discovering a pre-existing truth, she was able to make a choice based on her own preferences. Questioning the assumption that there was an objective truth about what she should do enabled the client to resolve her problem. That’s the kind of problem that requires philosophical dialogue to resolve.

Thinking philosophically is helpful in all sorts of situations. It can help you to forgive yourself and others for mistakes. It can help you find ways of responding to injustices that feel right. It can help you to come to terms with what you can’t control, and to choose confidently. Besides, it’s fun!

People seek philosophical counseling for all sorts of reasons: because they’re suffering from low self-esteem, because they’re facing difficult choices and are feeling indecisive and confused, because they’re struggling to deal with loss, grief and resentment, and because they simply want to explore a philosophical issue of interest to them with a trained philosopher.

Email me at philosophicalpractice@gmail.com.