Philosophical Approaches

Jenna Brownson, JD, uses a variety of philosophical tools in her coaching, including critical inquiry, logical analysis, and dialogue. While Jenna’s training exposed her to a wide range of philosophical frameworks, she has found that Stoic, Existentialist, and Buddhist interpretations of human life are the most transcendent and the most realistic to implement in Socratic Coaching.


Three Great Sources of Knowledge

Stoicism provides guidance on an approach to living life with virtue, truth, and knowledge in order to come to an understanding about one’s desires. Stoicism helps people find a path to happiness on life’s terms by cultivating space for reflection and critical thought. Great Stoics include Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Plato.


Existentialism questions the meaningfulness of human existence with a recognition of each person’s intrinsic uniqueness. Notions of individuality, isolation, connection, and authenticity abound in the writings of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kafka, de Beauvoir, and Sartre.

Buddhism seeks to end suffering by grasping the notion of impermanence and finding the Middle Way between craving and aversion. The practice of staying present with what is, alongside the deep recognition of the interconnectedness of all things, can help refine and temper our daily lies and lead to the discovery of no-self.

Your principles cannot be extinguished unless you snuff out the thoughts that feed them, for it is continually in your power to reignite new ones . . . . It is possible to start living again! See things anew as you once did–that is how to restart a life. ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.2

Man is not the sum of what he has already, but rather the sum of what he does not yet have, of what he could have. ~ Jean Paul Sartre

Self-confidence is not a form of arrogance. It is trust in our capacity to awaken. It is both the courage o face whatever life throws at us with . . . the humility to treat every situation we encounter as an opportunity to learn something. ~ Stephen Batchelor


A View from the Acropolis. Athens, Greece (2017)

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