Hi, I'm Dr. Danielle LaSusa. I have a Ph.D. in Philosophy, and have been a passionate teacher and coach for the past thirteen years. I love helping people use philosophical thinking to transform their lives.
My Credentials and Approaches
- Ph.D. in Philosophy and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from Temple University (2010)
- Certification in Philosophical Counseling from the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. (2011, Re-certified in 2017)
- 13 years of teaching philosophy and history in public and private universities, colleges, and high schools
- Multiple 10-day silent Vipassana meditation courses with S. N. Goenka
Above all, my role is to listen. Listening attentively and compassionately, and doing my best to inhabit and understand the worldview, curiosities, and needs of my clients is critical to serving them well. I have robust experience with meditation training and practice, which helps me to remain open, present, and discerning.
I use a variety of philosophical tools in coaching and consulting, including critical inquiry, logical analysis, and dialogue, but I also understand that many issues are highly emotional and not always rational. Thus, I also sometimes use sitting or walking meditation, creative expression, and other less discursive methods.
Although I make use of a wide range of philosophical frameworks, I am most influenced by existentialist, Buddhist, and feminist approaches and perspectives:
- Existentialism asks questions about the meaning and value of human existence, and considers how we might live more authentically. It is particularly suited for addressing issues of anxiety, fear, freedom, boredom, absurdity, time, alienation, and death.
- Buddhism seeks to end suffering through the deep recognition the interconnectedness of all things and the detachment from the ego.
- Feminism, for me, simply means that I understand social and political impact of one's identity and experience in the world, at the intersection of race, gender, class, sexuality, age, ethnicity, physical ability and other axes of difference.
My love affair with philosophy began during a freshman ethics course while an undergraduate student at Millikin University. It was the first time I really questioned my beliefs about God, truth, morality, and meaning, and it rocked my world. I was hooked. I earned a B.A. in Philosophy (2004) and was the first woman in my school's history to go directly to a Ph.D. program in philosophy.
After earning my Ph.D. in Philosophy and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies at Temple University (2010), I had the incredible privilege of teaching philosophy and history to high school age students as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Social Studies at Bard High School Early College in Queens, NYC (2011-2015). While there, I served as the UFT union chapter leader and on the School Leadership Team for two years, was a committee member Bard Strategic Planning Committee, and spearheaded the first annual Symposium Day, a conference featuring 60+ sessions and 650+ student and faculty participants. Additionally, while in New York, I co-founded the NYC Public Philosophy Network, which held public salons for philosophical conversations.
I have also been an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN (2010-2011) and a teacher of high school Global Studies at De La Salle North Catholic High School (2016-2017). I currently teach philosophy at Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus in Portland, OR, and I have a bi-weekly podcast called Think Hard, which brings accessible, lively philosophical conversations to issues in culture, politics, and art. See my entire curriculum vitae for my full history.
My podcast Think Hard aims to bring a philosophical perspective to everyday issues in culture, politics, art, and society, through fun, lively, and accessible conversation. Every episode, I chat with my good buddy and fellow philosopher, José Muñiz, about everything from travel, to political protests, to feminism. Check out our website and subscribe.
I've published essays, short stories, journalism, and academic articles as well as a variety of musings on Medium.com. Here's a short list of my publications:
- "White Noise," Literary Mama, September 2017. This is a piece of narrative nonfiction I wrote about my experience with postpartum psychosis.
- "In a Profession Plagued by Homogeneity, a Philosophy Conference Delivers Diversity" Truthout, August 16, 2014.
- “Sartre’s Spirit of Seriousness and the Bad Faith of Must-See Tourism” Sartre Studies International, v. 19, n. 2 (2013) 27-44.
- "Possession of the Material World in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness” Severally Seeking Sartre (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013) 83-95.
- "Eiffel Tower Keychains and Other Pieces of Reality: The Philosophy of Souvenirs" The Philosophical Forum, v. 38 (Fall 2007) 271-287.