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Indo-Pac. j. phenomenol. (Online) vol.13 no.2 Grahamstown Abr. 2013
Christopher R. Stones
This final edition for 2013 comprises five theoretical papers, ranging from an explication of a longitudinal phenomenological research methodology, through to exploring the experiential identity transition from being a practising psychologist to an academic psychologist, while another paper approaches the teaching of phenomenology through the notion of 'mindfulness'. This edition also carries papers dealing with the implications of patients' lived space in a hospital setting as distinct from being within the context of one's own home, in addition to a therapy case-study on retrospective reflections of a client's posttraumatic stress disorder. The final paper of this edition is a review of a book dealing with holistic counselling.
The first paper in the present IPJP collection of manuscripts is by Heidi Woll and is concerned with the use of a 'process diary' technique as a specific methodological approach to be used when one is concerned with longitudinal research. The value inherent in this paper is not only its historical review of the use of diaries in social and health research but also that Woll's paper provides a particular set of methodological steps to be used when developing a process diary approach to research. Moreover, a range of situations is suggested where the process diary approach is best able to provide rich in-depth material for the researcher. Woll concludes with commentary on the ethical challenges that may be confronted when using the 'process diary' approach in longitudinal phenomenological research.
The second paper in this edition employs an interpretive phenomenological analysis method to explore the experience of practicing clinical psychologists entering academia. The authors (Graham du Plessis, Larise du Plessis and Carol Saccaggi) are practicing clinical psychologists who decided to track their own transitional process as their identities gradually shifted from being independent practitioner to institutional employee within an academic setting. The basis of their research was not solely independent reflection but emerged from in-depth focus group discussions and reflections. For any psychologist considering entering academia, this paper is well worth solid consideration.
Remaining within the academic arena, Ian Owen ('Using Mindfulness as a Teaching Aid for Phenomenology') argues that when it comes to teaching, there is nothing more useful than a demonstrable technique that shows the evidence to which the scholarship refers. Owen's paper explores the meditation technique of 'mindfulness' as a teaching aid, suggesting that the material being taught is enabled and brought to life in a deeply meaningful way so that teaching is more than simply an absorption of theoretical ideas but rather is embedded in the lived experience of the material being taught. The thrust of Owen's paper has to do with setting the scene for understanding differences between Husserl and Heidegger and, importantly, understanding phenomenology in general within the broad field of qualitative psychology.
'Getting to Know Patients' Lived Space' (by Annelise Norlyk, Bente Martinsen and Karen Dahlberg) explores the patient's experience of lived space in hospital and at home. Their paper strives to understand the existential meaning of the changed lived space for the patient when in hospital and when in one's familiar home-based lived space. At home, the patient might tend to feel protected and safe whereas, by contrast, in hospital the primary concerns tend to be related to complex institutional power structures and specific social conventions such as the expectation of needing to be a good patient and so on. Importantly, argue the authors, the combination of illness and general discomfort may adversely influence the patient's experience of home so that the lived space of a sanctuary can change to feelings of being left on one's own, burdened by too great a responsibility for one's own health and healing when at home.
The motivation for conducting this research is the increasing healthcare focus on encouraging patients' self-monitoring at home, and the importance for healthcare professionals to recognize that patients' wellbeing is greatly influenced by the nature of the experiential spatial aspects in both the hospital and home.
The final paper in this edition is a phenomenological-hermeneutic case study of a patient who initially presented with panic disorder, and how the therapy developed as the initial meaning of the panic presentation deepened as its roots in the traumatic memories of childhood emerged. Entitled 'From Panic Disorder to Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder: Retrospective Reflections on the Case of Tariq', David Edwards provides an extensive exposition of how the case was conceptualised within schema-focused therapy and how the research was able to proceed using a strong phenomenologicalhermeneutic approach to uncover the meaning structures that were gradually elucidated over the course of therapy.
This edition is brought to conclusion with a book review by Steve Edwards on a work written by Patricia Sherwood entitled 'Holistic Counselling: Through the Shadow to Compassion'.
I wish to end this editorial by thanking not only the authors who submitted their works to the IPJP for consideration, but also the many Editorial Board members and other reviewers who unstintingly committed their time and expertise to ensure an ongoing publication of high quality, informative and interesting papers in the broad arena of qualitative and phenomenologically based research.
The lifeblood and soul of this journal owes its existence to the joint commitment of authors and reviewers.
Gratitude to all concerned!
Stones, C. R. (2013). Editorial. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 13(2), 2 pp. doi: 10.2989/IPJP.2013.13.2.1.1175 [ Links ]
About the Author
Professor Christopher Stones, previously of Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa and currently Professor of Psychology in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg, has enjoyed a lengthy academic and research career, in the course of which he has taught in the areas of physiological, clinical, forensic, social, and research psychology. He is Vice-President of the South African Association for Psychotherapy and past Chairman of the South African Society for Clinical Psychology. Editor-in-Chief of the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology since 2003, he is also on the editorial panels of two other online journals. Using both natural scientific quantitative methodologies and phenomenological approaches, Professor Stones's research interests are in the areas of identity, attitudes and attitude change, phenomenological praxis and methodologies, abnormal psychology and psychotherapy, spirituality and religious experience, in all of which areas he has published extensively. An Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, with which he is also registered as a Chartered Psychologist, Professor Stones is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as both a research and a clinical psychologist, and conducts a part-time clinical practice with particular focus on adolescents, young adults and families, as well as offering long-term psychotherapy. In addition, he is regularly called on to serve as an "expert witness" in medico-legal (civil and criminal) court proceedings, and to contribute as a consultant in the field of forensic investigation. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org