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Class of 2025
Education (certification)
张彧畅 (Alice Zhang) is an international undergraduate student at St. Lawrence University double majoring in Psychology and Philosophy. Witnessing people continually suffer from mental health problems without proper help motivated her to become a future clinical therapist. Her passion for philosophy has led her to a unique pathway wanting to...


Sponsoring Department
Summer 2023

"Philosophical Approach to Mental Health" opens up the long-overdue conversation on alternative ways to address psychological wellness concerns. Through this journey of inquiry, I have developed a better understanding of both traditional psychotherapy and philosophical counseling. Philosophical counseling is a supportive approach for helping people confront their problems of living alongside psychological counseling, while it enables practitioners to help the patients explore philosophical questions raised by life problems. Thus, it can bring philosophers and mental health practitioners together to share ideas and to make more effective ways of counseling. 

After comparing and contrasting each approach's advantages and limitations, I refined a new version of philosophical counseling combining the non-clinical, client-centered, dialogical approach with certified clinical experience, focusing on each individual's worldview and needs. The goal of philosophical counseling in the long term is self-improvement and understanding that life is not meant to be problem-free. By applying philosophical content as guidelines, one can learn to process emotions and feelings logically, which benefits mental well-being in the long run. 

Aiming to find the best way to approach mental health concerns has always been my career goal, which is why this fellowship opportunity provided me with a valuable experience to begin my journey in counseling. The battle with mental health will forever be an ongoing project for human beings, and I only wish to contribute more as I become more knowledgeable and skilled.