http://www.courtenay-young.co.uk/courtenay/articles/Phenomenological_Psychotherapy.pdf

This is an interesting and informative article found on the website of Courtenay Young, a psychotherapist in the UK.

Abstract
This paper looks at the practice of psychotherapy from a phenomenological approach, covering areas that are not usually within the more traditional ‘bio-psycho-social’ model, but also include economic, political, cultural, and environmental areas, and possibly several others. It further compares the more philosophical and pragmatic approach of a process-oriented practice of psychotherapy to the biomedical ‘treatment’ of psychiatry.
Keywords
Psychotherapy, Phenomenology, Psychiatry, Practice

It is an approach informed by people like R D Laing, Thomas Szasz, Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, among many others.  It is in favour of therapeutic communities like Soteria, founded by Leon Mosher.

I like the fact that he says he likes the writing of Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hahn, on mindfulness, as it is more poetical than some other writing, and that he is also on the board for the body and dance in psychotherapy.  It’s not all about words and science.

The article goes a lot into the philosophy of the approach and although it does use some long words, most of them are explained, and he gives several examples of people he has worked with.

There is a section in blue which lists and talks about the the groupings of “mental and behavioural disorders” (his quotes), found in the ICD-10, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is an international standard diagnostic classification for a wide variety of health conditions.  It is used as an example of how a phenomenological model is used in psychiatry.  It’s not very long, the article quickly gets back to its own subject of a phenomenological model for psychotherapy, saying that “phenomenology has come a lot further than when it was first proposed back at the beginning of the 20th century, and it is not just useful as a classification system”.

The article is 21 pages long so is a long read but, as I said, it is very interesting and informative, and you can download it.  I enjoyed it.  It gives a link to his website and his email address at the end.

Advertisements