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date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Taking up the work of Karl Jaspers, we develop a phenomenological method, which has not been fully used in clinical practice. We describe three levels of understanding of psychiatric symptoms: the static understanding as a description of symptoms in the here and now; the genetic understanding of symptom development; and the hermeneutic understanding as an interpretation of meaning and sense. This phenomenological method is illustrated using its application in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Previous findings are thus organized and illustrated on the basis of a case study. This leads us to a deeper understanding of obsessive-compulsive disorder, both from the disturbance side, as well as from the defending and coping side, to a deeper understanding, too, of its development and of the world- and self-experiencing.

Keywords: phenomenology, psychiatric methodology, levels of understanding, Karl Jaspers, obsessive-compulsive disorder

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