Doug Fraley

Philosophical Coach, Writer, Facilitator

About My Work

I want to help people with their biggest questions, the ones that lie beneath so much surface disturbance. That is why I call myself a philosophical  coach.

What we work on needn’t be ‘deep’. I can help with career, relationship or personal effectiveness issues. We may address them simply, or they may open into more fundamental avenues. That is always your choice to make.

 I also write and teach on topics of personal growth and self-exploration. 


  • Find direction
  • Navigate roadblocks
  • Manage blind spots


  • Break painful patterns
  • Give up control
  • Find intimacy without dependence


  • Build self-awareness
  • Find self-compassion
  • Increase robustness

Big Picture

  • Challenge assumptions
  • Find new perspective
  • Live your truth

What Is Philosophical Coaching?

To me, philosophy addresses how we each approach life, not by finding or creating any set of rules to follow, but by carefully and gently considering direct experience and searching for the best explanations of why it is how it is.

As a philosophical coach, I work with you to identify assumptions that colour your view of yourself, others and your environment. Inaccurate assumptions are the major source of human suffering, so we question them and explore alternatives that ‘work better’.

These alternatives draw from ancient wisdom, the western therapeutic tradition, cognitive science, cosmology, creative stories and honest assessment. It’s a challenging but supportive process that helps you set a new path.

Who Is It For?

You may want help with a particular issue – often career or relationship(s). Having tried several popular solutions, your frustration is growing at the ‘stickiness’ of your problem.

Although you’ve enjoyed a broadly successful life, you feel something is missing. You may even ‘have it all’ from a conventional perspective, which leaves you all the more frustrated with your own lingering dissatisfaction.

You are ready to consider a new direction, one with no fixed answers but open to looking at yourself and the world more honestly than you have .

Featured Articles

Life’s Mystery Outreaches any Mastery

Life’s Mystery Outreaches any Mastery

Throughout my life, my highest priority has been to be right, and I’ve assumed that being right would bring me security. Now, I value learning over knowledge, and I realise that learning requires admitting fallibility and befriending uncertainty.

Forget Perfection and Aim for Wholeness

Forget Perfection and Aim for Wholeness

What we unknowingly seek is our own wholeness - to express and experience all that we are. What stands in our way of finding it? Our own childish definition of the ‘me’ who seeks it, the labels we hide behind and the priority we give comfort over curiosity.

Working with What Is

Working with What Is

The most profound personal growth comes from a deeper understanding and acceptance of Now, of What Is. Any moment, regardless of its particulars, is dazzling in its completeness, and this insight brings a new perspective.

Phil Grimm's Progress

A Modern Myth for Anxious Times

In a foreign land, the Traveler awakes from dreadful injury and embarks on a quest he doesn’t understand. Magical guides instruct and deceive him as he seeks to answer the greatest question: “Who am I?” His journey to Mountain City enthralls the ten thousand. Can he possibly be what they believe he is?

Based in current-day Pittsburgh, Phil Grimm is a spy, an energy consortium’s secret weapon to crack environmental activist networks. As the nation polarizes and extremism festers, he works undercover, but an older secret defines and divides him.

Lila could be the genuine article or just another protester Phil uses to keep his clients a step ahead. She creates alternate realities for a living and wants humanity to play, but her impish nature conceals rare wisdom. Can she look beyond Phil’s deceit? What can her game teach us?

We peer into alternative worlds, inspired by great sages – ancient and modern, scientific and spiritual, from Lao Tzu to Einstein. How do these realms relate to Phil’s life, to the Traveler’s, to the dystopian future we glimpse?

The bottom falls from Phil’s world. When he loses himself, is there any way back – for him or for them? The Traveler and Lila may hold the keys.

As corporations wage biological warfare, civilization teeters. New leaders step forward to learn, but how do these pioneers serve a crumbling society? When cataclysm rocks the Earth, fragile islands of sanity form. Can anyone arrest the fall or prepare for what follows it?

​​​​​​​In a story about stories, Phil Grimm’s Progress shows us how to see the plots we inhabit and to explore others. Ultimately, it invites and inspires us to create our own.


This book is mind bending, thought provoking and educational all at once. It follows two parallel stories: one tale of environmental espionage set in the modern world, the other set far away in a mystical land where a traveller roams aimlessly, gradually forging meaning out of his journey. Science fiction, philosophy, physics and mysticism all blur into a mind soup that will leave you with answers and even more questions to follow up.

This is a book for the curious people out there who want to scratch beneath the surface of what appears to be fact. Anyone who wonders about the complexity, ambiguity and infinite nature of the world will appreciate this tale.” 

The Sophie’s World of spirituality. This is a thought provoking tale on many different levels and a thoroughly enjoyable read.” 

A wonderful read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Phil Grimm’s Progress and have already recommended it to friends and family. I particularly enjoyed the journey to Mountain City, and the unravelling of the mystery posed by the Stranger and the Man. Fraley’s book asks some important questions about our society, leading the reader through each with great style and considered pace. Jump into the many worlds and enjoy an epic story! A joy to read, thank you.

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