Academic journal article Australian Journal of Adult Learning

Phenomenology for Therapists: Researching the Lived World

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Adult Learning

Phenomenology for Therapists: Researching the Lived World

Article excerpt

Phenomenology for therapists: researching the lived world Linda Finlay Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011 ISBN: 9780470666463 (print), 9781119975144 (online), 295 pages, RRP A$49.95 DOI: 10.1002/9781119975144

Linda Finlay, author of Phenomenology for therapists: Researching the lived world, is a professional in the field of occupational therapy, psychotherapy and psychology. With prior published work in the areas of occupational therapy and research, the author has written this book to highlight the scope, breadth and depth of phenomenology, as a philosophical underpinning to the research process, as well as to provide a guiding approach and method. Specifically aimed at the therapist and the emerging researcher, this book is formulated as an aid to bridging the gap between the coalface of therapy and the world of research, by linking and utilising the broad world of possibility and opportunity that phenomenology has to offer.

As distinct from providing a 'how to' approach, the author identifies that the book has been formulated to provide an explorative experience of phenomenology in order to introduce, explicate and offer a range of possibilities. To this end the book provides three separate sections that clearly outline the concepts, theoretical perspectives and philosophical underpinnings of phenomenology, followed by six phenomenological research approaches, and finally attends to the practical elements of the research process.

The first of these sections, which outlines the phenomenological process in terms of the concepts, theory and philosophy that enable a phenomenological approach, introduces foundational and essential knowledge and appreciation of what constitutes phenomenology. The first chapter describes the commonality and the transferability of practice skills to the research process outlining a two-way, beneficial relationship between the two. Chapter two specifically outlines phenomenology by discussing differing facets which enable an exploration that can lead to transformative research, while Chapter three is dedicated specifically to the body, experience and the life world. Chapter four introduces the philosophers and their differing contribution to the phenomenology, introducing language, ideas and concepts, urging the researcher to appreciate and engage with phenomenological philosophy. Chapter five builds upon this by discussing the 'phenomenological attitude', bringing to the fore the scientific process of phenomenological reduction, humanistic values and reflexivity, and concludes by offering the author's personal reflections and utilisation of the philosophical underpinnings of phenomenology.

Part II of the book focuses on phenomenological approaches that have been identified by the author as being frequently used in research projects. Initially, the more traditional approaches of descriptive and hermeneutic phenomenology are explicated, followed by life world approaches, interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA), first person accounts, and reflexive, relational approaches. …

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