Category: Edition 2 - October 2014


pdf.png Editorial for Volume 14, Edition 2 (October 2014) - By Editor-in-Chief  


In the process of preparing the papers included in the current edition for publication, an interlinking thread became apparent – that of the theme of narrativity, or the nature and role of narratives, in the fields of both phenomenology and psychotherapy. While directly addressed by the first paper, and both demonstrated and commented on by the second and third, narrativity is alluded to in the fourth as the link between the psychoanalytic process and hermeneutic phenomenology. The approach of the authors of both the book reviews submitted for this edition also happens to be such that their reviews are each as much a story about the reviewer and his experience of reading the book as about the book itself. ...

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pdf.png Intentionality and Narrativity in Phenomenological Psychological Research: Reflections on Husserl and Ricoeur - By Marc H. Applebaum  


According to Husserlian scholars such as Mohanty (1989), description and interpretation coexist within Husserl's work and are envisioned as complementary rather than mutually exclusive approaches to inquiry. This paper argues that exploring the implications of this philosophical complementarity for psychological research would require distinguishing between both the multiple meanings of "interpretation" and the differing modes of interpretation within qualitative data. Husserl's model of passive and active intentionality and Ricoeur's theory of narrativity are examined in order to explore their relevance for research. It is argued that interview data can demonstrate both actively and passively intended dimensions, and that the psychological meaningfulness of this complexity points to the relevance of not only Husserl's static analysis but also his genetic analysis. Likewise, it is argued that Ricoeur's work on narrativity and narrative identity is invaluable in grasping ways in which narrative data is intrinsically self-interpretive, expresses self-identity, and is both situated within and responsive to the larger social horizon of the ineluctably relational interview context within which it is given.
This paper is a sequel to an earlier paper published in this journal by Marc Applebaum:
Applebaum, M. (2011). (Mis)Appropriations of Gadamer in Qualitative Research: A Husserlian Critique (Part 1). Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 11(1), 17 pp. doi: 10.2989/IPJP.2011.

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pdf.png Becoming a Xhosa Healer: Nomzi’s Story - By Beauty N. Booi and David J. A. Edwards  


This paper presents the story of an isiXhosa traditional healer (igqirha), Nomzi Hlathi (pseudonym), as told to the first author. Nomzi was asked about how she came to be an igqirha and the narrative focuses on those aspects of her life story that she understood as relevant to that developmental process. The material was obtained from a series of semi-structured interviews with Nomzi, with some collateral from her cousin, and synthesised into a chronological narrative presented in Nomzi's own words. The aim of the study was to examine her account of her unfolding experience within three hermeneutic frames. The first is the isiXhosa traditional account of what it is to become an igqirha, a process initiated by intwaso, an illness understood to be a call from the ancestors, and guided by messages from the ancestors in dreams and other symbolic communications. The second is the perspective of Western Clinical Psychology on the cognitive, emotional and behavioural disturbances that characterise intwaso. The third is the perspective of transpersonal psychology on the nature and development of shamanic healing gifts, as understood from observations of such practices in traditional societies across the world. As the narrative of Nomzi's story is quite long, this paper presents her narrative as well as the methodology which gave rise to it. The interpretative review of the material from each of the three perspectives is presented in a second paper.

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pdf.png Interpretative Reflections on Nomzi’s Story - By David J. A. Edwards, Manton Hirst and Beauty N. Booi  


In this, the second of two papers, three interpretative investigations are undertaken of Nomzi's story (presented in the first paper) of her troubled childhood, her dreams of ancestors calling her to become an igqirha (isiXhosa traditional healer), her training by experienced healers, various rituals that were performed at different stages of her life, and her eventual graduation as an igqirha at the age of 61. The narrative cannot be understood apart from the framework of the isiXhosa traditional understanding of intwaso, the initiatory illness, the role of the ancestors, and the manner in which clairvoyant abilities of divination and healing are developed under their guidance. Nomzi's account, however, reflects a considerable modification of the tradition, several features of which she does not seem to understand herself. From a clinical psychological perspective, Nomzi's behavioural disturbances in childhood, as well as her lifelong suspiciousness and paranoia, can be understood as a consequence of an unstable childhood in which there was no secure attachment, nor any adult guidance on emotional regulation of the kind needed to form the basis of a stable adult personality. From the perspective of transpersonal psychology, it seems likely that Nomzi was endowed with a degree of natural clairvoyance, but her development as a healer was impaired by displacement of her paranoid ideation into the role of witch-finder, and her chronic social alienation.

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pdf.png Phenomenology, Psychotherapy and the Quest for Intersubjectivity - By Archana Barua and Minakshi Das  


Intersubjectivity is a key concept in phenomenology as well as in psychology and especially in psychotherapy, given the reliance of the therapeutic process on its location in relationship. While psychotherapy encompasses a range of what Owen (2006) terms "talking therapies", this paper focuses mainly on the Freudian model of psychoanalysis and its connection with Husserlian and Heideggerian phenomenology respectively. Freud's recognition that symptoms have meaning, and that the methodical disclosing of their meaning needs to be guided by the experience of the patient, accords with the emphasis of phenomenology on empathic attunement to the lived experience of the other. Insofar as the orientation of psychoanalysis towards methodically disclosing meaning gives it a hermeneutic dimension, it is also compatible methodologically with the interpretative mode of phenomenology. While Karlsson (2010, p. 13) identifies seven centrally significant "points of connection" between psychoanalysis and phenomenology, Thompson (2005, p. 40) suggests that "psychoanalysis is already phenomenological in its latency ... . Indeed, Freud's principles of technique make little sense outside a phenomenological context".
Can it thus be claimed that, in the quest for intersubjectivity, sufficient common ground exists for meaningful dialogue between psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and phenomenology in general, and between Sigmund Freud, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger in particular? That is what this paper seeks to explore.
The paper proceeds from pointing to the ambiguity of the Freudian mode as simultaneously natural scientific and hermeneutic to exploring the fundamental points of difference and commonality between psychoanalysis and phenomenology, and in particular the significance of the role of the unconscious and intentionality in psychoanalysis and phenomenology respectively, as well as the orientation of both towards greater understanding of one's being in the world. Ultimately, however, the authors conclude that, while the points of commonality would seem conducive to dialogue between the Freudian and the phenomenological in the psychotherapeutic domain, their differences in aims and approach, each shaped by a different view of humankind, continue to obstruct it. The quest for it nevertheless remains ongoing, as demonstrated not only by the academic endeavours of theoreticians such as Owen and Karlsson, but by the contemporary urge of second century psychoanalysis for a theoretically coherent turn away from the Cartesian and towards the authentically intersubjectively relational.

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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (by Bruce Bradfield) - Darkening Scandinavia: Four Postmodern Pagan Essays  


Francisc-Norbert Örmény (2013). Darkening Scandinavia: Four Postmodern Pagan Essays. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Hard Cover (165 pages)
ISBN 10: 1443852910 & ISBN 13: 978-1443852913

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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (by Rafael Winkler) - The Weirdness of Being: Heidegger’s Unheard Answer to the Seinsfrage  


Ivo De Gennaro (2013). The Weirdness of Being: Heidegger's Unheard Answer to the Seinsfrage. Durham, UK: Acumen Publishing.
Hard Cover (194 pages)
ISBN: 978-1844655595

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