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date: 15 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter links phenomenological psychopathology to understanding, and understanding to psychotherapeutic care. In this framework, psychotherapy can be defined as a quest for meaning based on the art of questioning. The main tools at use for establishing psychopathological knowledge as the basis for care include the epoché, empathic, eidetic, and dialectic understanding. The practice of care that derives is based on the integration of three basic dispositives, synthesized in the acronym P.H.D.—bringing together Phenomenology (systematic knowledge of the abnormal phenomena that affect the patient), Hermeneutics (grasping the way the patient interprets or makes sense of his own experiences), and Psycho-dynamics (tracing back the patient’s experiences and actions and her worldview to the life-history in which they are embedded).

Keywords: hermeneutics, phenomenology, P.H.D. method, psycho-dynamics, understanding

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