Welcome to PHILOSOPHY CLINIC (PC) of Philosophy Department of MADONNA UNIVERSITY, the first Private University in Nigeria, an institution that is built on two strong pillars of Decency and Morals (the two determinants of good human actions and sustainable developments) where students are exposed to quality education that is blended with good moral character formation for life of excellence and authentic existence.
Madonna University, has the first ever Philosophy Clinic in Nigerian Universities. It is an innovation from the
saddle of the Department of Philosophy to demonstrate the practical dimension of philosophy in human existential realities. It is incubated and hatched by the golden mind of a scholar of rare genius, Sr. Prof. Purissima Emelda Egbekpalu, as a result of her encounter with Logo-Therapy and her desire to make life a lot more meaningful to our people.
It firmly serves the existential needs of contemporary Nigerians that incessantly calls for purposeful growth and meaningful development, by assisting to give more meaning to life which leads to more authentic existence. Human existence is characterized by innumerable challenges as a result of which many are beginning to doubt the meaningfulness of their existence.
Understandably, philosophy illumines and liberates the mind, PC is therefore a practical
dimension of philosophical studies from logo-existential perspective that exposes individuals to a deeper
concrete existential approach to life for self-help and for assisting others in purposefully facing the stark reality of human life and existence. It is an interplay of thought and action that renders the study of philosophy more relevant in our time as it critically interrogates the events of life especially the current existential experiences through analytical insights and creative reasoning into the issues that border on human life and dignity.
Philosophy clinic is a novel area and a practical dimension of philosophy. It was born out of the existential needs of the contemporary society. Man, especially in recent years has been so evidently plagued with palpable daunting challenges that question the meaning of human life in general, the value and worth of human existence and consequently lethargically wane the dignity of man and human life in general. The idea of the clinic which was meant to offer critical insight into man’s concrete existential experiences was theoretically conceived for a long time but the innovation of it was actualized in October, 2021 in first semester of 2021/2022 academic session when some practical measures were put in place resulting from series of departmental board meetings that eventually gained faculty and senate approvals, respectively. The initiator and the Founder of the clinic was Sr. Dr. Purissima Egbekpalu who first presented the idea to the rest of the staff in the Department as a way of helping the wounded Nigerians especially the youth. Together with the rest of the staff then in consultation with the former and the current Presidents of the National body- Association of Professional Philosophers of Nigeria (APPON)- Prof. JCA Agbakoba and Prof. A.S Ihuah respectively, the idea of the Philosophy clinic was further shaped.
To this end, Madonna University now becomes the very first University in Nigeria to house Philosophy Clinic in her Philosophy Department. In second semester of 2021/2022, a designated part of ‘Seat of Wisdom Building’ which serves as Philosophy Department was designed with the necessary facilities and staff to appropriate the activities of the clinic. Since then, students’ consultation rate has been on the increase. It is actually a thing of pride. That is also a clear sign that the good effect of the clinic is felt within the clinic. The clinic has seasoned professors and other lecturers as well as external consultants from other relevant humanitarian fields for service delivery of the centre.
Philosophy Clinic grew out of curiosity for more meaningful and authentic existence and concern for the people with the understanding that philosophical endeavour is man-oriented and that philosophy remains relevance in as much as it critically examines human activities of each age and proffer practical solutions. Philosophy is to human life what the soul is to the body. It gears towards ‘healthy mind in a healthy body (mens sana in corpore sano)’.
Philosophy clinic considers the fact that man is constantly confronted with new situations that obviously challenge his life and dignity. It therefore seeks to respond to the existential fact that there is a very practical need for contemporary Nigerians to give more meaning to their lives amidst the turbulent moments and incessant perilous circumstances that lethargically wane the meaning of human life which automatically filter in hopeless conditions.
It aims majorly at x-raying the individual conditions of life in order to instil courage and hope to live more meaningfully through creation and recognition of new meanings and responsible actions in life even in worst situations despite the seemingly endless life’s challenges. It intends to aid man towards a more self-discovery and to equip him with life-changing skills for constructive living. Its methods include widening the horizon of life, educating the mind to tap into the inner core and psychic power in order to mindfully, responsibly and meaningfully navigate through the struggles and adversities of life.
Philosophy Clinic has triple major objectives. Thus, it serves academic, existential and enterpreneural purposes.
Vision and Mission
The contemporary experiences of life have necessitated a more practical way to philosophize which involves a harmonious interplay of thought and action.
Philosophy clinic is so designed as to equip the graduates well enough to serve for active roles in their various areas of commitments in order to successfully face the challenges of real existence both during and after university studies.
What actually is meant by Philosophy Clinic? Understandably, philosophy illumines and liberates the mind, being conscious of the fact that human activity originates from the mind. With clinic, one imagines health related activities as clinic is understandably a health-care centre. Within the context of this logic, ‘Philosophy Clinic’ therefore means a milieu where man is philosophically made healthy. Here, ‘philosophically’ depicts using philosophical reasoning to liberate the mind by widening his horizon and sense of purpose to think and act responsibly better. This also includes equipping the individuals with life-changing skills that aid them to strike a healthy balance in their dealings with life by responding positively to the challenges and opportunities of life.
Its major role is to offer a healthy outlook to life through creative thinking as well as aiding critical insights into realities of life that permit healthy adaptations and well-being.
Philosophy Clinic (PC) takes into consideration that man lives majorly in three different but interconnected worlds:
Consequently, it bears its torchlight on the study of man from somatic, psychological and spiritual dimensions of human life and existence. As such, it deals with the ontological nature of man, his core essence, his constitutive elements, his ultimate origin, his goal in life and his destiny. It focuses also on freedom of human will, will to meaning and meaning of life as fundamental principles of human existence as it exposes the students to Franklian Logotherapy, theories of meaning in life and to deeper study of existential philosophy and of course in very close relation to others philosophical disciplines. It equally treats human conscience within the context of responsibility as it tries to analyze the content of meaningful existence and advances responsible and dignified pathways to finding meaning in life despite unavoidable sufferings and adversities of life for promotion of human life and harmonious existence within the individual and in the larger society.
The programme is designed as a course with a counselling session. The course is a practical dimension (Philosophy in Praxis) of philosophical studies from logo-existential perspective that exposes students to a deeper concrete existential approach to life for self-help and for assisting others in purposefully facing the stark reality of human life and existence. It is an interplay of thought and action that renders the study of philosophy more relevant in our time as it critically interrogates the events of life especially the current existential experiences through analytical insights and creative reasoning into the issues that border on human life and dignity.
Participation Requirements of Philosophy Clinic
Apart from the mandatory course requirements of the students of philosophy Department, any student or staff who feels the need of the services of PC is allowed to meet with the clinic consultants who decipher their existential needs and act accordingly by way of handling the client or refers him/her to the appropriate place and person.
There is no charged attached to the services offered in the clinic as that forms part of the community services of the Department.
Method of Activities In Philosophy Clinic
At this point, it is important to note that the proposed philosophy clinic adopts above all the principles of existential philosophy for existential counselling. Counselling here does not involve the traditional methods of counselling such as psychological counselling, educational counselling, etc. Rather, it consists of employing existential approach to issues of life based on the freedom of will and responsibility of actions. It gears towards assisting man in widening his scope of life for better self-awareness and conscious decisions regarding his specific values in living more purposefully and
giving more meaning to his life as he responds to life’s challenges. It is more of a person-centred approach to concrete existential experiences of life which does not actually require persuasions but guidance and convictions to one’s values, priorities grounded in one’s personal abilities. The philosophy clinic is also based on existential analysis of one’s life and the disposition to make more meaning out of it even in the most miserable situation(s). This is equally hinged on the assumption of the Austrian logotherapist, Viktor Frankl (2006) who posits that the search for meaning in life is the ultimate force of life. Hence the name of the centre, “Philosophy Clinic- Logo-Existential Perspective”. Logo here is a Greek word that stands for meaning. Note that ‘Logo-Existential’ (vide the picture below) is written in green-red colours which depict that hope (green) prevails despite the challenges or danger threating situations (red) of life.
The Franklian assertion that search for meaning in life is also based on Nietzschean position that “he who has a why to live bears with almost anyhow. All these demonstrate that life has meaning even in the worst situations.
Philosophy clinic is actually a philosophical position that offers a meaning-centred counselling based on existential analysis of life that helps to widen the scope of life for more positive responses to the challenges and opportunities of life. It involves posing more consciously existential questions such as: Who am I? where am I? What am I living for? What meaning has life for me? What response have I for life? What do I really want in life? etc. This will go a long way to authenticate human existence in our contemporary time.
Based on the vision and mission of Philosophy clinic, its motto runs as seen above: ‘A meaningless life is not worth living’. It therefore sets itself to offer unique opportunities for more meaningful existence.
Job Opportunities Through Philosophy Clinic
The participants of PC may eventually be issued with a certificate of participation to enable them set forth the mission of the PC. Interested candidates who avail themselves for three months active participation in the weekly seminar and workshops of the Clinic will equally be given certificate of participation for the same exercise. This will serve as a basis for Logo-existential journey for the candidate who may further engage him/herself with working with both the government and private agencies, school and other settings where human beings exist, the youths at various levels and domains, the highly challenged, the internally displaced persons, etc.
The Assumption of Philosophy Clinic
The Philosophy Clinic is built on the assumption that:
Based on these assumptions then, philosophy clinic offers a meaning-centred and a value-based approach to individual’s situations within the concrete existential experiential context with applications of philosophical principles and Viktor Franklian meaning-centred outlook to life in order to advance healthy lifestyle
Philosophy clinic as a new dimension of philosophical endeavour appears to offer much hope through practical rationality for more authentic existence. Considering how significantly depressed, frustrated and in fact bizarre that many Nigerians feel at this perilous period which shroud their lives, philosophy clinic seems to serve best by helping them to attain deeper self-awareness in order to re-discover and recognize more sense of purpose and more profound meaning in life. As they mindfully respond to life events, they are encouraged to stay more positive at difficult moments.
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT’S REMARK
PHILOSOPHY CLINIC is a new development and perspective of the philosophic enterprise as a whole. As clinical dimension of the discipline, it aims at crystallizing the abundant resources of the philosophic endeavour into ideas, principles and methodology for direct and practical application in human conditions for the restoration of holistic existence.
As a logo-existential professional outreach, PHILOSOPHY CLINIC further explores the best in the existentialist tradition in relation to concrete human conditions whereby intervention is needed to restore existential balance or functional equilibrium.
The reference to CLINIC is specifically philosophic especially in its preclusion of the denotation in the health professions. The clinical concept assumes more precision and clarity in the methodology proper to its operation. The logocentric methodology is the methodology of choice for application in the PHILOSOPHY CLINIC. The clinical application of the logocentric methodology finally results in logotherapy.
In the light of the above, the CLINIC looks forward to reaching out to the expected clientele base – young people especially University students and adolescents who are experiencing existential and developmental challenges in one form or the other. The idea is to encounter them in a spirit of freedom and non-judgmental exchange of information, mood-relaxation, self-understanding, expansion of horizons and perspectives on life, deepening of insights, dispelling of illusions and, or delusions for the sake of the overall alleviation and, or total eradication of perceived discomforting or de-stabilizing existential challenges.
One can only hope that through the application of the above methodology of approach, the clients must have benefitted from the encounter through the gaining of
deep insight into their situation, grasping of the true state of affairs and the regaining of balanced perspectives in their world of being.
Logotherapy may have achieved its full mission when a client is able and determined through relational encounter with the CLINIC to continue to build on existing resources for the sake of not only the maintenance of existential balance but also achieving and promoting optimum functional levels. Finally, one can only look forward to expanding the clientele base over time.
Dr. Eruka C. Raphael
HOD and Adviser, Philosophy Clinic
Philosophy clinic firmly serves the existential needs of contemporary Nigerians that incessantly calls for purposeful growth and meaningful development, by assisting to give more meaning to life which leads to more authentic existence. It brings to limelight the principle of existentialism that existence precedes essence. In other words, man first came into existence through no choice of his but then shapes his life through the daily dainty free choices he makes including transcending his predicaments and limiting existential conditions of human life. It also accentuates Logotherapy as a useful practice in harmony with philosophical rational activities. The Frankl’s logotherapeutic motto which is built on Nietzschean dictum that, “he who has a why to live, can bear with almost any how” shapes the activities of the clinic which is built on the principle that whoever is alive should live meaningfully for “that which does not kill, make us stronger.” On this note, man is able to live and die for his values and ideals.
In Franklian understanding, “man is a being whose success lies in his disposition to life. With Sartre, he declared that in freedom, “man invents himself, he designs his own ‘essence’; what he essentially is, including what he should be, or ought to become.” Frankl’s philosophy of logotherapy reveals that “if there is purpose in life at all, there must be a purpose in suffering and in dying. But no man can tell another what this purpose is. Each must find out for himself and must accept the responsibility that his answer prescribes.” It further enlightens that “suffering ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.” For “life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfil the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual…”
Based on his experience in Nazi concentration camp, where he eventually found himself in prison life, Frankl revealed that “a man who could not see the end of his ‘provisional existence’ was not able to aim at an ultimate goal in life. He ceased living for the future .” As a medical doctor and as a psychotherapist and through his own existential experience in the camp, he illustrates that despite all extreme conditions of life, it is still worth living. He was stripped to naked existence and exposed to unimaginable harsh conditions of life; he lost every possession including all members of his family except her sister, hunger, chronic lack of food, humiliation, forms of extreme brutality, physical and emotional abuses, mental agony, constant anxiety of waiting for extermination, etc. In all these, he concluded, that “human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes – within the limits of endowment and environment- he has made out of himself.”
Sr. Dr. Purissima Emelda Egbekpalu
Director, Philosophy Clinic
PHILOSOPHY is the foundation of human Knowledge. In human history, communities and nations that have made significant advances in technology and well-being of their citizens take their bearing from different strands of PHILOSOPHY.
This is done mainly by using what is usually known as CRITICAL THINKING. Through CRITICAL THINKING and other strands in PHILOSOPHY, we realise that FACTS and THEORIES are both enveloped in numerous THEORIES. Sr. Purissima Emelda Egbekpalu (who is the main brain behind the PHILOSOPHY CLINIC) correctly quoted Friedrich Nietzsche, “thus: THERE ARE NO FACTS, ONLY INTERPRETATIONS.” These multiple or rival theories are also known as RECEIVED VIEWS. The PHILOSOPHY CLINIC has a series of quotes from EXISTENTIALISM of Euroamerican extraction in the majority. This does not negate the objective of the CLINIC.
The PHILOSOPHY CLINIC is a unique place for sober reflection where Scientists, Lawyers, Medical professionals, Engineers, Social and Management Science practitioners (students and lecturers) who aspire to make a positive contribution in the world converge to RE-EXAMINE what we hold to be the Absolute TRUTH in all academic disciplines. Indeed, it is an outlet for intellectuals who wish to make Discoveries and Inventions in their respective of the Knowledge Industry like: Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, Jurisprudence, and Engineering.
THE PHILOSOPHY CLINIC INVITES YOU TO COME, FOR US TO REASON TOGETHER.
Prof. Princewill I. Alozie
President, Philosophy Clinic
The ‘Philosophy Clinic’ of the Department of Philosophy, Madonna University, Nigeria, is the first of its kind in the country. It offers a self-degraded candidate the opportunity to be rejuvenated and come alive and active again. It is a home for rational and natural therapy, assisting a candidate to achieve meaningful existential living. At Philosophy Clinic, candidates, especially students, are taken through rational tour of self-discovery and recovery in the use of his/her God-given rational ability, transiting, therefore, from rational prodigality to rational sensibility. It is logotherapeutic – seeking meaning through rational healing. “What is rational is actual and what is actual is rational” – G. W. F. Hegel
Dr. T. A. Oparah
Administrator, Philosophy Clinic
Philosophy Clinic is an innovation from the saddle of the Department of Philosophy, Madonna University, Nigeria, to demonstrate the practical dimension of philosophy in human existential realities. It is incubated and hatched by the golden mind of a scholar of rare genius, Rev. Sr. Purissima E. Egbekpalu, as a result of her encounter with Logo-Therapy and her desire to make life a lot more meaningful to our teaming youths
who seem to have lost hope in life. Human existence is characterized by innumerable challenges as a result of which many are beginning to doubt the meaningfulness of their existence. Philosophy Clinic helps the human person to see meaning in his/her existence, to draw from the inner strength in order to successfully wade through the ups and downs of life. Many, indeed, have graduated into depression because they have lost hope in life. In the Philosophy Clinic we help people to find personal meaning in life; the miserable is helped to be happy again; loss is replaced with recovery; and the hollows of life are replaced with humps. The saying goes that ‘the dried bones shall rise again’, in the same vein, one can still find hope and meaning in a life that was once seen as hopeless and meaningless.
Life is filled with painful conflict situations, moments of anxiety, occasions of despondency and frustration but in all these, reason remains the most critical faculty with which we can overcome. At Philosophy Clinic, we do not reason for you because you are you; we rather teach you how to reason, we assist you in redirecting your thought so that where you see negativity, you begin to see positivity; where you see hopelessness, you begin to see hope; where you see meaninglessness, you begin to see meaning; ultimately, when you see misery, you begin to see happiness.
We encourage activity not passivity; working not idleness; and attraction to life not revulsion. Very importantly, we try to correct the faulty narrative about Philosophy that it has no practical relevance, by arguing that thought begets action and the finer the thought the better the resultant action. Hence, if the man is trained to reason well, he will most likely act well and if the people reason well they will act well and the society will be better for us all.
Coordinator, Philosophy Clinic
ACADEMIC STAFF OF THE CLINIC
Prof. Princewil l I. Alozie
Sr. Prof. Purissima Emelda Egbekpalu
Dr. Raphael C. Eruka
Dr. Thaddeus A. Oparah
Dr. Martins S. Udom
John Paul A. Ugwu
PRINCIPAL OFFICERS OF PHILOSOPHY CLINIC
Head of Department of Philosophy
Dr. R. C. Eruka
Prof. A.I Alozie, FAPPON
PhD (Philosophy), LLM
Sr. Prof. Purissima Emelda Egbekpalu
BA, MA, PhD (Philosophy), PGD, MSc (Psychology)
VFI Certificate in Logotherapy
Dr. Oparah Thaddeus
BA, MA, PhD
EXTERNAL CONSULTANTS OF PHILOSOPHY CLINIC
Prof. P.E.O. Oguno
LLB, LLM, PhD,
Clinical Consultant (Psychologist)
Valentine Ucheagwu, PhD, MRIPsych.
Clinical/Counselling Psychology and Behaviour Neuroscience
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
Social Welfare Consultant
Sr. Dr. Paula Ude, DSW, LMSW
Asst. Professor of Social Work and Sociology
Concord University, USA
PHILOSOPHY CLINIC BOARD
The President of Philosophy Clinic
Director of Philosophy Clinic- Chairman
The Coordinator of Philosophy Clinic
The Administrator of Philosophy Clinic
All Full-Time Teaching Staff
The External Consultants of the Clinic
1 Madonna University Road
P.M.B 05 Elele,
Rivers State Nigeria.
Registrar’s office: 09035055624, 08135955826
Okija, Anambra State Nigeria
Okija Admission: 08078129083
Akpugo, Enugu State Nigeria
Deputy Registrar: 08158055206,
Mon – Fri 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.