Certified Memberships are offered to experienced philosophical practitioners–client counselors, group facilitators, or organizational consultants–who meet APPA requirements. Certified Members are listed in the APPA Directory of Certified Practitioners, and are eligible for referrals and other professional benefits. Certified Members are bound by the APPA Code of Ethical Professional Practice, and are committed to regular professional development.
There are three ways to become a Certified Member of the APPA: by invitation, application, or training.
- Invitation: In consultation with its Boards of Professional Examiners and its National or International Advisory Boards, the APPA may invite recognized or experienced philosophical practitioners to become Certified Members. Distinguished practitioners may be invited to join the APPA Faculty.
- Application: Experienced philosophical practitioners of counseling, facilitation or consulting who satisfy APPA requirements may apply to become Certified Members. For detailed application criteria, please click here.
- Programs for Adjuncts: The APPA conducts programs for Adjunct Members who seek certification as counselors, facilitators or consultants. The APPA is working to establish accredited University programs in philosophical practice.
- Programs for Affiliates: The APPA conducts programs for Affiliate Members who seek Certified Affiliate status as counselors, facilitators or consultants. The APPA is working to have these programs accredited as CEUs.
The APPA offers intensive certification training programs in counseling, facilitation and consulting. Completion of a Level I (primary) program satisfies the APPA training requirement for primary certification as a counselor, facilitator or consultant. Completion of a Level II (advanced) program satisfies the APPA training requirement for full certification as a counselor, facilitator or consultant. All certification training programs are conducted or supervised by APPA Faculty. Members are notified of schedules and fees by mail and e-mail; pertinent program data are also posted at our website, under “Programs.” Programs have been held in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Argentina, England and Italy. Programs may be scheduled in other locations according to demand.
The APPA is committed to professional virtues of expertise, excellence and integrity. Inasmuch as the APPA pursues official recognition of client counseling, its certification standards in that category are the most stringent. All Certified Members are bound by the APPA Code of Ethics.
Level I & II Training for Counselors:
Level I counseling programs are introductory. They cover the basics of philosophical counseling, address the most frequently asked questions, and provide the tools necessary to start a practice. Those who complete Level I training may engage in practice with a primary certificate, under supervision from fully certified practitioners. Distanced supervision is conducted via submissions of audio-taped counseling sessions or written case studies, with taped or written analyses from supervisors.
Level II counseling programs are advanced. They are intended for practitioners who have completed Level I training and who have practiced under supervision for at least one year. Level II programs cover special problems encountered in practice, analyze specific cases, sharpen the skills of practitioners, and hone marketing strategies. Those who complete Level II training are eligible for full certification.
Level I & II Training for Facilitators:
Level I facilitation programs are introductory. They cover the basics of practicing philosophy with groups outside the classroom, and provide the tools necessary to establish a Philosopher’s Café in a bookstore or other public venue. Participants engage in a Nelsonian Socratic dialogue or other formal philosophical method of group facilitation. Those who complete Level I training receive primary certificates.
Level II facilitation programs are advanced. They are intended for practitioners who have completed Level I training, who have moderated public forums, and who have participated in at least a second full Socratic dialogue or other formal philosophical method of group facilitation. The theory of Nelsonian Socratic dialogue is explored in depth. Those who complete Level II training are eligible for full certification.
Level I & II Training for Consultants:
Level I consulting programs are introductory. They cover the basics of practicing philosophy with organizations, including basic principles of organizational and corporate structures and the relevance of philosophical skills and principles to organizational contexts. A specific methodology will be taught, chosen from the empirically established inventory of reliable, marketable philosophical consulting tools. Those who complete Level I training receive primary certificates.
Level II consulting programs are advanced. They are intended for practitioners who have completed a Level I program, and/or who have demonstrable experience as philosophical consultants. A second specific methodology is articulated and explored in depth. Those who complete Level II training are eligible for full certification.
Scopes of Practice
Certified Members have demonstrated professional competency in the following scopes of practice:
- An APPA Certified Counselor is able to help individual clients, through techniques and skills of philosophical analysis and dialogue, to manage or resolve personal, logical, teleological, axiological, conceptual, existential or ethical problems adversely affecting their lives; and to recognize problems outside the scope of philosophical counseling and make referrals to appropriate professionals.
- An APPA Certified Facilitator is able to moderate public philosophical discussion groups, and is familiar with philosophical principles of small and large group facilitation, conflict resolution, and the dynamics of consensual, adversarial, and formal group discussion formats (e.g. Nelsonian Socratic dialogue).
- An APPA Certified Consultant is able to render philosophical services to organizations by virtue of familiarity with philosophical principles of corporate structure, management and strategic planning, as well as familiarity with a range of philosophical skills and methodologies applicable to organizations.
Certified Affiliates are practicing professionals — e.g. in law, medicine, psychology, social work — with abiding philosophical interests.
- An APPA Certified Affiliate is a practicing professional in a recognized (e.g. licensed, certified, registered, etc.) field other than philosophy, with its own scope of practice (e.g. medicine, psychology, law, social work).An APPA Certified Affiliate sustains interests in philosophical aspects of his or her field, and demonstrates expertise in philosophical applications within it.