Phenomenology for Therapists: Researching the Lived World

Phenomenology for Therapists: Researching the Lived World

Phenomenology for Therapists: Researching the Lived World

Phenomenology for Therapists: Researching the Lived World

Synopsis

This book provides an accessible comprehensive exploration of phenomenological theory and research methods and is geared specifically to the needs of therapists and other health care professionals.
  • An accessible exploration of an increasingly popular qualitative research methodology
  • Explains phenomenological concepts and how they are applied to different stages of the research process and to topics relevant to therapy practice
  • Provides practical examples throughout

Excerpt

A personal reflection: As I sit down to write this book, hesitation takes hold of me.
It’s as if a fog has descended, a wary presence whispering words of caution. I take a
moment to dwell with the sensation – I feel warned off. In all probability it springs
from my own experience of negotiating the muddy mire of phenomenological
theory, of knowing there is not one phenomenology but many … I want to
navigate a simple path that will guide my readers sure-footedly through this
shifting, boggy landscape with its myriad contested ideas and experiences. My
shame-voice asks, ‘Am I up to the task?’ … All too easily your own hesitancy and
reluctance are summoned: why, after all, should you follow? Then I remember
the unexpected and perplexing delights that lie ahead, the strange and irresistible
beauty of the phenomenological universe. I want so much to share them with
you. The mist of hesitancy lifts a little …

Therapists (allied health professionals and psychotherapists alike) are increasingly called upon to do research. Many are drawn to phenomenology; its holistic appreciation of everyday human experience resonates for them. Yet, as novice researcher-practitioners engage the field they are frequently brought up short, baffled by the language and sheer depth of ideas in this strange new world. Soon the novice is faced with bewildering choices. What version of phenomenology should they employ? Descriptive or hermeneutic? Idiographic or normative? Realist or relativist? When I engaged my own PhD, I was similarly bamboozled. Just what was phenomenology? And more urgently, how was I supposed to use it for my research?

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