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Phenomenology and Contemporary Clinical Practice: Introduction to Special Issue

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image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

This special issue reconsiders the contributions that phenomenology can make to the development and practice of a clinical science of psychology. In it, we suggest that earlier attempts to apply phenomenological principles were influenced heavily by psychoanalysis, with few, if any, alternative versions of a "depth" psychology available on which to draw in reframing the nature of psychopathology and its treatment. We suggest that this lingering presence of psychoanalysis runs counter to the founding principles of phenomenological method and offer a few examples of a constructive alternative grounded in Husserl's transcendental phenomenology. Borrowing from Mohanty, we offer this approach as a respectful—as opposed to suspicious—phenomenology, and begin to outline ways in which a transcendentally-grounded psychology reconceptualizes both clinical research and practice, from the initial intake interview and interpretation of interview data to the aims and strategies of psychological interventions.


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