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From Symptoms to Phenomena: The Articulation of Experience in Schizophrenia

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Research conducted in Montreal with schizophrenic patients was aimed at exploring the mode of Being-in-the-world and the kind of lifeworld associated with a positive evolution. Data were collected through open-ended interviews with patients who were contrasted for their rate of rehospitalization. The analysis combined structural analysis, inspired by hermeneutics, and discourse analysis. The interpretation of the data was guided by the framework provided by European phenomenological psychiatry. The research indicates that nonrehospitalization is associated with a specific mode of Being-in-the-world, which is described at several levels: At the structural level, it is marked by a stance of "positive withdrawal" dominated by personal detachment; self-perceptions evidence various semiological and rhetorical strategies that contribute to the rearticulation of a sense of personal identity; narratives reveal that patients resort to a limited number of specific life strategies for relocating themselves within their own biography and within the present world. Hypotheses are posed regarding the potential influence of the North American culture on the restorative strategies drawn from the patients' narratives.

Affiliations: 1: Douglas Hospital Research Centre


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