Examining the Lived World: The Place of Phenomenology in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology

  • Bruce Bradfield


This paper aims to explore the validity of phenomenology in the psychiatric setting. The phenomenological method - as a mode of research, a method of engagement between self and other, and a framework for approaching what it means to know - has found a legitimate home in therapeutic practice. Over the last century, phenomenology, as a philosophical endeavour and research method, has influenced a wide range of disciplines, including psychiatry. Phenomenology has enabled an enrichment of such practice through deepening the way in which we can come to know the experiences of the other. This knowing-of-the-other is explored here within the context of psychiatric and clinica assessment. The question asked is: How best can we come to know those we work with? What method of engagement can be used to most completely come to understand and narrate the experiences of the individual, and how can this be applied in the context of an assessment aimed at psychiatric or psychological intervention? Elements of phenomenological praxis are presented as definitive of the most integral way of approaching the human subject. Husserlian and Heideggerian notions are explicated and related to phenomenological conceptions of intersubjectivity, in an effort to describe a phenomenology that can be used effectively within the psychiatric setting. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, Volume 7, Edition 1 May 2007

Author Biography

Bruce Bradfield
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1445-7377
print ISSN: 2079-7222