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Philosophical Presuppositions of Theoretical Approaches to Counseling


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Title: Philosophical Presuppositions of Theoretical Approaches to Counseling

Philosophical Presuppositions of Theoretical
Approaches to Counseling
  • Psychoanalytic deterministic, topographic,
    dynamic, genetic, analytic, developmental,
    historical, insightful, unconscious,
  • Adlerian holistic, phenomenological,
    socially-oriented, teleological,
    field-theoretical, functionalistic
  • Person-centered humanistic, experiential,
    existential, organismic, self-theoretical,
    phenomenological, person-centered,

  • Gestalt existential, experiential, humanistic,
    organismic, awareness-evocative,
    here-and-now-oriented, client-centered,
  • Transactional Analysis cognitive, analytic,
    redecisional, contractual, interpretational,
    confrontational, action-oriented,
    awareness-evocative, social-interactive
  • Behavioral behavioristic, pragmatic, scientific,
    learning-theoretical, cognitive, action-oriented,
    experimental, goal-oriented, contractual
  • Rational-emotive therapy rational, cognitive,
    scientific, philosophic, action-oriented,
    relativistic, didactic, here-and-now-oriented,
    decisional, contractual, humanistic

  • Reality therapy reality-based, rational,
    antideterministic, cognitive, action-oriented,
    scientific, directive, didactic, contractual,
    supportive, nonpunitive, positivistic,
  • Trait and factor scientific, empirical,
    decisional, informational, educational,
    vocational, evaluative, data-based,
    past/present/future-oriented, action-oriented,
    technological, person/environment-interactive,
    problem-solving, objective, systematic, didactic,
    interpretive and
  • Eclectic integrative, systematic, scientific,
    comprehensive, organismic/environmental,
    cognitive, past/present/future-oriented,
    behavioral, educational, developmental,
    humanistic, analytical, decisional.

Psychophilosophical Foundations of Guidance and
Counseling in the Philippines
  • The Philippines, although young as a republic,
    has a long history.
  • Its culture is laden with several layers of
    Eastern and Western influences.
  • Although located in Asia, home to the worlds
    greatest religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism,
    Mohammedanism, Shintoism and Confucianism, it has
    become and remained Asias only Christian
    country. This is partly because of its
    geographical location and of its core religion
    which is animism.

  • Rediscovered by its colonizers not as a nation
    but as composed of different groups of people
    tracing their roots from the barangay, in essence
    small independent family units.
  • The people bowed to the cultural and other
    influences of those who visited its shores and of
    those who stayed to dominate it and yet
    preserved its own indigenous cultural artifacts.

Bases for Philosophical Assumptions in the
Philippines (Axel, 1993, as cited by Wehrly,
  • Key Beliefs or Ethical Life
  • Christianity

  • Gods love for all creatures is a basic belief.
    Salvation (saving from sin or resurrection from
    death) is gained by those who have faith and show
    humility towards God. Brotherly love is
    emphasized in acts of charity, kindness, and
    forgiveness. Jesus teachings insist on justice
    and mercy toward all people.
  • Buddhism attempts to deal with problems of human
    existence such as suffering and death.
  • Life is misery, unhappiness, and suffering with
    no ultimate reality in the world or behind it. An
    endless cycle of existence (birth and rebirth)
    continues because of personal desires and
    attachments to the unreal self.
  • Understanding the cause of all human suffering
    and misery as due to desire, and the ultimate
    transcendence of all desires, leads to
    nirvana(blowing out), a state of happiness,
    peace and love.
  • The middle path of life avoids the personal
    extremes of self-denial and self-indulgence.
  • Visions can be gained through personal meditation
    and contemplation good deeds and compassion also
    facilitate the process toward nirvana, or
  • The end of suffering is in the extinction of
    desire and emotion, and ultimately the unreal
    self. Present behavior is a result of past deeds
    overcoming attachment to personal desires and
    worldly things leads to nirvana.

Bases for Philosophical Assumptions in the
Philippines (Axel, 1993, as cited by Wehrly,
  • Key Beliefs or Ethical Life
  • Animism

  • All living things are related. Respect for powers
    of nature and pleasing the spirits are
    fundamental beliefs in order to meet basic and
    practical needs for food, fertility, health, and
    interpersonal relationships and individual
    development. Harmonious living is comprehension
    and respect of natural forces.
  • God is just and merciful humans are limited and
    sinful. God rewards the good and punishes the
    sinful. Mohammed, through the Koran, guides and
    teaches people truth. Peace is gained through
    submission to Allah. The sinless go to Paradise
    and the evil go to Hell.

  • The Filipino counselor may or may not be
    conscious of it but it is possible that his or
    her philosophical presuppositions are anchored in
    his or her religion or belief system, hence, the
    incongruity of what guidance counselors claim to
    be their philosophy (rooted in the West) and
    their identified focal points and goals in
  • Western philosophy emphasizes the individual
    while Filipino philosophy emphasizes the communal.

Filipino Philosophy(Mercado, 1974)
  • The Filipino looks at himself as a self, as one
    who feels, as one who wills, as one who thinks,
    as one who acts as a total whole as a
    person, conscious of his freedom, proud of his
    human dignity, and sensitive to the violation of
    these two. (p. 71).
  • The Filipinos holistic view of himself,
    his concrete way of thinking, his non-dualistic
    worldview indicates that he thinks differently
    from the Westerners. Logical thinking requires
    abstract thinking which does not seem to be
    present among the majority of Filipinos, hence,
    they reason in a different way. (p. 79)

Filipino Philosophy(Mercado, 1974)
  • The Filipino's thinking is subjective, concrete,
    and imprecise, he has to reason intuitively and
    inductively. This psychological way of thinking
    is ultimately due to the non-dualistic or
    synthetic world view wherein the subject is in
    harmony with the object. (p. 89)
  • Non-dualistic means the difference between the
    subject and object is not stressed so that both
    are in communion.

Filipino Philosophy(Mercado, 1974)
  • Philosophy of
  • Time
  • The Filipino has "harmony with nature" compared
    to the Westerner who has a "mastery-over-nature"
    orientation. To a Filipino, harmony is the theme
    of the universe and he does not tamper with the
    ways of Nature. To a Westerner, nature is a tool
    which is to be exploited so he tampers with the
    balance of nature. (Mercado, 1974 Wehrly, 1998).
    The Westerner then wants to be master of time.
    He can make the night his day. He makes time and
    time does not make him.

Filipino Philosophy(Mercado, 1974)
  • Philosophy of
  • Time
  • Western time is linear, conditioned by the spaced
    linearity of past, present and future (Mercado,
    1974, p. 112). It is a limited resource, measured
    in precise units and is lineal (Wehrly, 1998, p.
  • Cosmic time for the Filipino is cyclic, spiral
    and dynamic. It is not a resource. (Mercado,
    1974 Wehrly, 1998). The past is remembered and
    the present is experienced. The past is
    remembered and the present is experienced.

Filipino Philosophy(Mercado, 1974)
  • Philosophy of
  • Time
  • For the Westerner time wasted is gone forever,
    hence, the saying "Time is gold" or "You can't
    turn back the hands of time." But for the
    Filipino "there is always tomorrow, a philosophy
    which is reflected in his maxims." Examples are
    Paglipas ng dilim may araw pang darating (When
    darkness passes there is still another day) or
    May araw pa bukas (There is still tomorrow).
    (Mercado, 1974, pp. 112-113)

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • Human time for the Filipino is not subject to
    mathematical calculations. It is not oriented to
    space but to man's consciousness. The Filipino
    remembers the past in terms of consciousness and
    not in terms of linear time.
  • Q What time do you turn on the radio in the
  • A When the cock crows for the second time at
  • Q Can you recall when this barrio was split
    into two barrios?
  • A That was the time when the price of rice went
    down to 75 centavos a ganta.
  • Q About how long do you listen to your radio in
    the morning?
  • A Most of the time whenever it is turned on.
  • Philosophy of
  • Time

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • The Filipino has a "non-dualistic concept of
    space". Space to a Filipino is "non-lineal." He
    measures space "through his existence. He does
    not measure his hometown in terms of distance but
    in terms of meaningfulness. A meaningful place
    can be the center of one's life, and other places
    are measured by it." (Mercado, 1974, pp. 127-128)
  • Example Meaning of Uuwi ako.
  • Philosophy of
  • Space

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • The Filipino harmony-with-nature world view
    leads to a synchronistic view of causality. The
    Filipino intuitively delves into the causality of
    phenomena in contrast to the objective mind of
    the West. Health is viewed in relation with
    nature-harmony. Whereas Western physicians
    consider themselves as agents or causes of
    healing, Cebuano doctors of medicine as well as
    local healers (mananambal, herbolario) only
    consider themselves as effecting the conditions
    for the cure, which ultimately is God's work
    (Lieban, as cited by Mercado, 1974)
  • Philosophy of
  • Causality

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • Philosophy of
  • Causality
  • A Filipino then may attribute illness to the
    disturbance of a spirit's abode (such as a tree)
    which was cut without asking permission from the
    spirit which inhabits it. Or he or she may
    attribute it to the disturbance of the spirits of
    the departed.

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • Western ethics stresses rights, like the right to
    liberty and the right to the pursuit of
    happiness. Filipino ethics stresses duty doing
    good is an obligation. Another aspect of the
    Philippine philosophy of law is its interiority.
    "The Filipino views the law from its interior
    aspects whereas the Westerner looks at it from
    without." (p. 150)
  • Philosophy of
  • Law

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • The Filipino wants to be in harmony with himself,
    with his fellowmen, and with nature. And if he
    aspires for harmony, he does not need external
    laws for that. The 'law' is within himself. Even
    if he thinks concretely, his intuitive mind leads
    him to be attuned in general to such harmony ....
    to impose a thing which is foreign will
    ultimately be ineffective, because the unwritten
    law which is behind the Filipino's behavior will
    be followed.
  • Philosophy of
  • Law

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • In short, the Filipino (1) emphasizes the "duty"
    aspect of the law and less the "right" aspect
    (2) sees the law as predominantly interior and
    (therefore unwritten) and considers (3) the law
    in the concrete. All three characteristics are
    customary, and affect the nature of Philippine
    society. (pp. 152-153)
  • Philosophy of
  • Law

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • To the Filipino, God's existence is a fact. There
    is no need to prove as he intuits God's existence
    through nature and because of his harmony with
    and closeness to nature.
  • In short the Filipino's philosophy of God is a
    reflection of his social philosophy as well as
    his general philosophy of harmony.
  • Concept of
  • God

Filipino Philosophy (Cannel, 1999)
  • We believe in "tawos (people that we cannot see)"
    and that "these tawos are as many as there are
    those who can be seen. Like ordinary people,
    these tawos are male and female, adult and
    children. There are those who are maboot (good)
    and some are aggressive (maisog). Their world is
    co-existent with the visible world, but is also
    misaligned to it or is an inversion of the world
    we see.
  • Concept of
  • The spirits and the departed ancestors

Filipino Philosophy (Cannel, 1999)
  • What we see as ricefields may be a road for the
    tawo, and they may have their houses (which are
    often said to be palatial) where we have our
    water-pumps or pigsties sometimes a house and
    the tawo's houses actually partly overlap. From
    this arises the main inconvenience which causes
    illness, for unwary ordinary people are forever
    bumping into them, treading on them, or most
    unfortunately, urinating on them." (pp. 84-85)
  • Concept of
  • The spirits and the departed ancestors

Filipino Philosophy (Cannel, 1999)
  • Filipinos venerate their departed ancestors as
    well. There is a continuous relationship between
    the living and the dead. It is not unusual for a
    son to "talk to his departed father" for guidance
    as the Filipino assumes that the departed souls
    are still interested in the living members of
    their family. Hence, on All Soul's Day, it is not
    unusual to see Filipinos flock to the cemeteries
    to be with their loved ones. Among the rich, it
    is not unusual to see the burial place of members
    of their family to have living rooms, toilet and
    bath and dining rooms.
  • Concept of
  • The spirits and the departed ancestors

Filipino Philosophy (Cannel, 1999)
  • They celebrate important family occasions with
    the dead as they believe that these departed
    family members are also entitled to be part of
    family gatherings. The dead are believed to share
    the food of the living. A butterfly seen during
    family gatherings is interpreted as a
    representation of the departed member of the
    family who is perceived to be present during this
    important family occasion.
  • Concept of
  • The spirits and the departed ancestors

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • The Filipino generally believe in the innate
    goodness of man as manifested in the concept of
    'mercy' (luoy/awa/asi). Luoy connotes compassion
    or pity. It is also connected with giving." (p.
    175) The use of pagkalooban (sharing one's
    interiority) as another word for awa is an appeal
    to one's human-heartedness, or to show innate
    goodness. Awa as benevolence or kindness
    corresponds to kagandahang-loob and
  • Filipino Behavior

Filipino Philosophy (Mercado, 1974)
  • Luoy/awa/asi converge into the Filipino interior
    dimension of natural goodness.... The Filipino is
    ordinarily vulnerable to the pleas for mercy."(
    p.176) A person uses the plea of mercy as his
    "last" possible means for helping himself. This
    plea is not based on the title or merit or on
    something deserved. Rather, it is a request from
    someone superior to share his innate goodness.
    Someone who does not show mercy is called "walang
    habag" or is "matigas ang puso" or "matigas ang
    loob." Hence, most Filipinos tend to show
  • Filipino Behavior

Filipino Psychology (Jocano, 2002 Mercado, 1974)
  • The
  • Filipino
  • as a
  • Social
  • Being
  • Philippine society is based on seniority.
  • "Ranking and seniority with corresponding
    authority exists in the family... The eldest has
    rights and authority over the younger. ...
    Parental authority is so strong that it extends
    to the choice of the children's profession.
    Likewise the interests of the family prevail over
    individual interests.

Filipino Psychology (Jocano, 2002 Mercado, 1974)
  • Companion' (kuyog/kasama/kadwa) seems to
    characterize the Filipino's social orientation.
    From birth a baby is never left alone. Neglectful
    parents are censured for leaving
    (pasagdan/pabayaan/bay-an) a child alone." (p.
    95) When one is sick, he or she is expected to
    have a bantay (companion) even if in a private
    room in a hospital. When one dies, the corpse is
    never left alone during the wake.
  • The
  • Filipino
  • as a
  • Social
  • Being

Filipino Psychology (Jocano, 2002 Mercado, 1974)
  • The companion phenomenon on a larger scale is
    the Filipino's communitarian spirit. He tries to
    be in harmony with the community. The anti-social
    or the non-conformist is branded as pilosopo
    (literally, philosopher). 'Magpilosopo' is to
    think and behave independently in a
    non-conformist way and is not appreciated.
    Whereas the American child is trained to act
    independently, the Filipino child is trained to
    be dependent on his family and reference group
  • The
  • Filipino
  • as a
  • Social
  • Being

Filipino Philosophy (Jocano, 2002 Mercado, 1974)
  • A successful Filipino businessman will not
    consider his office as individual, for his sakop
    has a moral claim to it. So he thinks it is
    natural for him to hire his relatives and friends
    for he thinks that they can be trusted.
  • When conflict arises between deciding on the
    individual's interests and that of his group, the
    latter usually prevails
  • The
  • Filipino
  • as a
  • Social
  • Being

Filipino Philosophy on Social Relationships
(Quito, 1991)
  • The Filipino philosophy on social relationships
    (pilosopiya ng pakikipagkapwa-tao). This is
    reflected our positive and negative views of the
    nature of man. To the Tagalogs, "isang uri ng
    karunungan ang gawaing pakikibagay" (working for
    harmony is a form of intelligence). To the
    Ilokanos, "kung masarap ang iyong ulam, patikman
    mo ang iyong kapitbahay"(if your viand is
    delectable, let your neighbor have a taste of
    it). (p. 22) Man is bad if it is difficult to
    deal with him ("mahirap pakisamahan") or if he is
    selfish ("makasarili").
  • The
  • Filipino
  • as a
  • Social
  • Being

Filipino Philosophy A Summary
  • The Filipino is more communitarian than
    individualistic. Blessings and punishments are
    collectively reaped by a Filipino's sakop.
    His/Her misdeeds would tend to be felt by his/her
    sakop resulting in a collective form of
  • According to Mercado, the "following are
    instances where one earns 'curse'
    (gaba/busong/lunod) disrespect of older person,
    disobedience to parental authority, harming a
    priest, ridiculing others for their physical
    deformities, abusing the natural resources (which
    are considered the gifts of God) such as wasting
    food or not sharing surplus food with others.
    (pp. 183-184)

Filipino Philosophy A Summary
  • The mabuting tao (good person) is someone who has
    may hiya, may utang na loob, at may pakikisama.
    All of these three spin off from the concept and
    value of pakiramdam (feeling for another)
    (Mataragnon, 1986, as cited by Enriquez, 1990).
    Meanwhile, the masamang tao (evil person) can be
    characterized as one who does not exhibit the
    accommodative values of hiya, utang na loob, at
    pakikisama. If one is walang hiya (one who lacks
    a sense of karangalan or honor/propriety), people
    might just say that the person was not taught
    properly by his parents.

Filipino Philosophy A Summary
  • If one is walang utang na loob (lacks adeptness
    in respecting a shared identity, karangalan and
    kagandahang-loob), others might just avoid this
    person. If one is walang pakikisama (inept at the
    level of adjustment), he/she can improve
    him/herself by learning how to relate with
    others. But if one is walang kapwa tao, he or she
    has reached rock bottom. (Enriquez, 1990). The
    person has no shared identity with fellow humans
    (kapwa). According to Enriquez (1990), "without
    kapwa, one ceases to be a Filipino and human."
    (p. 293)