This article describes the origin and the work of a volunteer run nonprofit agency designed to provide low cost psychotherapy. The agency was developed by psychotherapists connected with the Seattle University graduate program guided by the vision of psychotherapy as a healing relationship and in response to a growing crisis in the mental health system. We address the benefits and the challenges of this collaborative effort, and especially the difficulty involved in successfully running an agency while staying true to a particular vision of therapy, collaboration, and community.
An expanded conceptualization of the dialogal research methodology was used to gain a deeper understanding of the dyadic experience of Being a couple. Twenty-two committed couples from a variety of backgrounds were interviewed, responding to the question: “What does it mean to ‘Be’ a couple?” The interviews were videotaped, allowing the researchers to engage with both verbal and nonverbal interpersonal expression. The authors describe the dialogal process used, and identify and discuss three core themes expressed by the couples regarding the meaning of being a couple: commitment, morphogenesis, and transcending paradox through witness.
There are compelling possibilities for the ways in which creative writing practices can inform qualitative and collaborative research projects, particularly those projects devoted to phenomenological inquiry. This article lays out a specific research methodology based on a creative writing practice that is prompted by words and phrases evocative of a research question. This practice, called “pointing,” is explained through Gadamer's notion of understanding, play, and conversation as well as Heidegger's hermeneutical process. The use of such a practice in a specific collaborative research project on therapists' experience of hopelessness is described and implications for additional projects are proposed.
This article is a continuation of the challenge begun by early phenomenologists of the reductionistic scientism of Natural Science Psychology. Inspired by five distinctions of Emmanuel Levinas, it seeks to bring a deeper interruption of the seemingly unalterable force of mainstream psychology to model itself after the hard sciences. Levinas distinguishes the experience of totality from infinity, need from desire, freedom as self-initiated and self-directed from freedom as invested by and for the Other, active agency from radical passivity, and the said from saying. Five commonly accepted characteristics of science, objective, empirical, causal, reducible, and value neutral, are used to compare three approaches to psychology: Natural Science, Phenomenology (psychology as a human science), and Psychology for the Other. Using the definition of science, “knowing the phenomenon as it shows itself,” this paper argue that Natural Science Psychology is the least “scientific,” Phenomenological Psychology is more scientific, and Psychology for the Other is the most “scientific” with its ethical command to allow the Other to reveal her/himself. This extravagant but compelling claim is illustrated with descriptions of research and therapy.