The first, unbidden, word into my head, without much evidence to go on, was "idiotic!"
An article in The Washington Post suggests that there is a new vogue in treating the psychologically-discombobulated -- feed 'em the wisdom of the ages.
They’re like intellectual life coaches. Very intellectual. They have in-depth knowledge of Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist theories on the nature of life and can recite passages from Martin Heidegger’s phenomenological explorations of the question of being. And they use them to help clients overcome their mother issues.
God Almighty! Anyone capable of grasping or wading through the wisdom of the ages has probably plumbed the unsatisfactory route of the intellect! Isn't it time to get serious?
In defense of these counselors, the article does say,
Philosophical counselors say they immediately refer any client with clinical depression or suicidal thoughts to psychiatrists, fearing lawsuits if they make a mistake by prescribing Kierkegaard to a client who really needs Klonopin.
The idea of heaping wisdom on the bright and distressed strikes me as being a little like giving a man who has been poisoned by soup another bowl of warm soup. Poison, of course, can prove to be an effective antidote to poison ... but not often.
The whole exercise strikes me on its face as being a self-serving effort on the part of out-of-work philosophers to sidestep the ignominy of driving a cab.
An aching heart eased by wise nostrums? It may be marginally less depressing than the slick-willy, gotta-pay-the-rent, prescribe-pills fad in psychological venues, but still ... Ick!