Elizabeth McCardell's dissertation

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CROC...@aol.com

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Jul 19, 2010, 3:28:38 PM7/19/10
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Hi everyone,
 
Since several of you have asked to look at Elizabeth's dissertation I'm sending you the address where you will be able to download a copy.
 
 
Enjoy!
Sylvia

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 19, 2010, 3:30:45 PM7/19/10
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Philip Brownell

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Jul 19, 2010, 4:37:40 PM7/19/10
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Hi,
I suspect we'll have to download this back channel, because it's 39 MB and there is a load limit for posting docs to the Google Groups site.  I'm downloading now. If you want the dissertation, write to me back channel for it, okay?

Phil

Dan Bloom

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Jul 19, 2010, 3:39:23 PM7/19/10
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Thank you – and Sylvia, welcome to the discussion. It is nice to have another Heideggerian around.

Elizabeth

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Jul 19, 2010, 10:33:07 PM7/19/10
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On Jul 20, 5:28 am, CROCKE...@aol.com wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> Since several of you have asked to look at Elizabeth's dissertation I'm  
> sending you the address where you will be able to download a copy.
>
> _http://wwwlib.murdoch.edu.au/adt/browse/view/adt-MU20051108.155958_
> (http://wwwlib.murdoch.edu.au/adt/browse/view/adt-MU20051108.155958)
>
> Enjoy!
> Sylvia

I'm 'umbled.

Elizabeth

Dan Bloom

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Jul 19, 2010, 10:44:36 PM7/19/10
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Elizabeth!
Welcome.
I look forward to reading your paper.

I confess to having an elementary understanding of Merleau-Ponty. Be patient with me.

Dan

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 20, 2010, 3:13:41 AM7/20/10
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Welcome, Elizabeth!

I'm Seán, Irish, living in Sweden since 1975. My doctorate was entitled On Borders and Boundaries - Gestalt at Work in the World. It certainly contained the word "phenomenological" - but then any self-respecting Gestalt author has to use the word intelligently now and then.

Otherwise, like Dan, I am an auto-didact with regard to philosophy, though he has read much more than I, and even gone to night school classes. So in the competition for who is least qualified here, I am claiming First Prize!

Looking forward to tackling your paper, and to hearing your voice as we enter our discussions.

Seán

Philip Brownell

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Jul 23, 2010, 9:06:47 AM7/23/10
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Okay, I've been reading Waltrauth Stein's introduction and a few things stick out for me.  Some of you have already noticed and addressed them, so pardon while I play a little catch up.

(1)  Zero Point and the other side of the phenomenological coin from intentionality:
"Thus it appears that even though phenomenologists very possibly have solved the epistemological problem of how a knowing subject is related to the object of its knowledge by their concept of intentionality discussed above, they suddenly find themselves faced with the ontological problem of how an extended substance is related to a non-extended one." (p. xx)

This reminds me of several discussions we've had about emergence, supervenience, and non-reductive physicalism.  Sensation and empathy will add to those concepts, I anticipate.

(2)  Empathy is the givenness of foreign subjects and their experiences.  This dovetails for me with Chrétien's ideas of call and response.  He says we do not fathom the call until we respond to it, and that the call is contained in the response.  Just so, it seems to me that we do not grasp that which is given until we respond (empathically) to it.  The subjective experience of another is a call contained in our emotional and cognitive perspective taking–the sense of Other.

(3)  Sensation:  Her take on the importance of sensation, that it is a starting place, seems relevant to gestalt therapy's heuristic of the cycle of experience, which begins with sensation.  I see some overlap there.

(4)  Now, let me bring together a few strands:
"He [Husserl] posits nothing about the natural world. He puts it in 'brackets... and makes no use of the material within those brackets...Pure consciousness is concerned with a realm of objects which are the same objects existing in the natural world.  It only has a different 'standpoint' in regard to them...E. Stein in the dissertation here presented takes the phenomenological standpoint.  She claims that the description of empathy within consciousness after the suspension of the existence of empathy must be the basis for any other dealings with the problems by psychologists, sociologists, or biologists...The psychologist's work, however, only has validity insofar as he or she begins with and returns to the phenomenon which the phenomenologist has described."

I do not think we, as therapists, bracket our clients.  We do not put them in brackets. What kind of "stance" do we take with regard to the client?  If we are also dialogical, which we strive to be, then we are present as we are (authentically so, without taking a "stance"), and we accept the client as he or she is.  To me, this is a natural attitude in action.  So, to me, the process in which we engage with our clients is a phenomenal one, informed by phenomenology, but not a phenomenological process in the sense that Stein evidently develops here.  She readily asserts, evidently, that a psychologist must remains with the phenomena, and by that, I take it to mean, AS GIVEN.  As we sense it; as it comes to us.

Phil

Dan Bloom

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Jul 23, 2010, 9:14:45 AM7/23/10
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Phil, I don’t think there is such a thing as “catch up” since I am constantly going over this material. You are joining in.
I left my copy of On Empathy in the city, so I will be textless this weekend and most not much in the Stein-world
On Jul 23, 2010, at 9:06 AM, Philip Brownell wrote:

Okay, I've been reading Waltrauth Stein's introduction and a few things stick out for me.  Some of you have already noticed and addressed them, so pardon while I play a little catch up.

(1)  Zero Point and the other side of the phenomenological coin from intentionality:
"Thus it appears that even though phenomenologists very possibly have solved the epistemological problem of how a knowing subject is related to the object of its knowledge by their concept of intentionality discussed above, they suddenly find themselves faced with the ontological problem of how an extended substance is related to a non-extended one." (p. xx)

This reminds me of several discussions we've had about emergence, supervenience, and non-reductive physicalism.  Sensation and empathy will add to those concepts, I anticipate.

It reminds me of this, too. Doesn’t this raise the ontic-phemonal question, as well. Haydn reminds us that this is 1916. I have to hold myself back from Heidegger’s criticism of intentionality and his contribution to the res extensia and res essensia (sp?) question. I think Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, and the pragmatists took care of this, too. Haydn makes reference to Thomson’s contemporary Life in Mind. He addresses this.
But we are in 1916. Europe is in flames. The Empire is collapsing. Kultur is in ruin. Civil chaos on the horizon


(2)  Empathy is the givenness of foreign subjects and their experiences.  This dovetails for me with Chrétien's ideas of call and response.  He says we do not fathom the call until we respond to it, and that the call is contained in the response.  Just so, it seems to me that we do not grasp that which is given until we respond (empathically) to it.  The subjective experience of another is a call contained in our emotional and cognitive perspective taking–the sense of Other.

I always like this idea. It reminds me of Dewey’s reflect arc. Stimulus and response are a cycle not a linear circuit. And Mead, the response calls out to the stimulus. And field emerge insight in a therapy session. A person’s insight is only fulfilled when it becomes one of multiple perspective or with the dialogue of the therapy.
Stein: I cannot know the fusion of my livedbody as a phenomena in phenomenal spatiality with my corporal bological body in mapable space  until I am reiterate empathy of the other, or see the other seeing me (So I have that right.
My livedbody is given to me as a first person experience. My biological body is an it seen by another — and not a phenomena to me.


(3)  Sensation:  Her take on the importance of sensation, that it is a starting place, seems relevant to gestalt therapy's heuristic of the cycle of experience, which begins with sensation.  I see some overlap there.

And to the sequence of contact. Id function is the felt sense of worldedness as the foundation for contacting. It is the ground of being-in-contact. We are thrown into id functioning.


(4)  Now, let me bring together a few strands:
"He [Husserl] posits nothing about the natural world. He puts it in 'brackets... and makes no use of the material within those brackets...Pure consciousness is concerned with a realm of objects which are the same objects existing in the natural world.  It only has a different 'standpoint' in regard to them...E. Stein in the dissertation here presented takes the phenomenological standpoint.  She claims that the description of empathy within consciousness after the suspension of the existence of empathy must be the basis for any other dealings with the problems by psychologists, sociologists, or biologists...The psychologist's work, however, only has validity insofar as he or she begins with and returns to the phenomenon which the phenomenologist has described."

I do not think we, as therapists, bracket our clients.  We do not put them in brackets. What kind of "stance" do we take with regard to the client?  If we are also dialogical, which we strive to be, then we are present as we are (authentically so, without taking a "stance"), and we accept the client as he or she is.  To me, this is a natural attitude in action.  So, to me, the process in which we engage with our clients is a phenomenal one, informed by phenomenology, but not a phenomenological process in the sense that Stein evidently develops here.  She readily asserts, evidently, that a psychologist must remains with the phenomena, and by that, I take it to mean, AS GIVEN.  As we sense it; as it comes to us.

I concur. 
I understand how bracketing provides a clean, linear, description of our work. Gary Yontef describes this very well.
Sylvia does this excellently. I tried to do this in my GR paper. Bracketing is essential to Spinelli’s method, too.
But protestations notwithstanding, the bracketer persupposes what she/is of the natural attitude to bracket WHILE in the natural attitude. How can the bracketing be bracketed — those presuppostions? Yes, some can. “The truth of falsity, of course. But is that all that is bracketed? No. How do we know what are the elements of our mundane attitude and then parenthesize them? And is there an arrogance in assuming to know the difference?
This is a matter for discussion, but I don’t think this would be a useful discussion here. 
I read a paper that argues that splitting the natural attitude from the transcendental attitude violates a sense of a whole attitude in which experience flows and phenomena present themselves. It is a distortion.
Philosophers have grappled with this for 100 years. Psychologists for almost as long.

There is an alternative phenomenological method close to what you describe. We have that in common with the intersubjective systems psychoanalysts. It is concerns a common horizon of experience, a common given phenomenal world discovered dialogically. Bracketing doesn’t alter the attitude within which therapist and patient are with one another. It is not something that is “done.”   It is within the natural attitude of the changing world of the therapy.Questions of truth or falsity, for example aren’t put aside, they don’t come up.
We can describe GT within this. Figure/ground emergence. Experiment as an “idea”  that occurs to the therapist who is engaged with the process and who senses and intuits the what may be occurring. Contacting grounded in the world of the therapist and patient, not achieved through bracketing, but through presence and empathy to the fullness of the available natural world, with all its mundane embodied business.
I could go on.

A lot of this is a different way of talking about a more Husserlian view of GT. 
There is no conflict.

I disagree with you, Phil, when you don’t call this a phenomenological process. 



Phil

John Gurmin

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Jul 23, 2010, 9:29:53 AM7/23/10
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Dear Phil,

Very interesting selection of texts. Since I am not a therapist I wonder would you 'describe' what happens in general at a meeting between client and therapist, e.g.  listen to the client, watch their faces, analyzing what they are saying, is it directive or non-directive etc., so that I might be able to think about relating it to phenomenology. 

Stein in the 'Phil of Psy and Humanities' is interested in descriptively analyzing the field of psychology and grounding that field in its subject area using the phenomenological method.  As she was writing in early 1920s, I think psychology was a subject in its infancy, so she was working on detailing what psychology studied. Also in German the word  'Spirit' (Geist) is related to Geisteswissenschaften - which gives us the title 'Humanities' (Geist - spirit, wissen - knowledge) which is also of concern for her in this second work i.e. Philosophy of Psychology and Humanities.

H. 

Philip Brownell

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Jul 23, 2010, 11:39:08 AM7/23/10
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Hello Haydn,
Good idea to describe, or provide a kind of phenomenological "look" at what gestalt therapy is, what happens in therapy.  What follows is a fictional but perhaps typical encounter in gestalt therapy:

I greet the client at the door and immediately sense him.  There is a tenseness, a strained and set countenance, that was not "in the room" before he entered it.  I ask, "How are you?"  It is more a greeting and a formal way of acknowledging his arrival than anything.  He says, "Fine."  He does not make good eye contact. He sits on the couch in the usual place that he sits.  I sit in my chair across from him, and I continue to take him in with my eyes.  

"You said 'fine.'  Really?" I ask.

He is silent.  He is unusually silent, but he has begun to press his fingernails into the skin of his other hand, in the upward turned open palm.  

I say, "If the palm of that hand could talk, what would it say?"

He says, "Fuck you!"

I wait.  

He looks up, and he looks into my eyes, and there is anguish all over his face.

I feel it.  I feel sadness, and my eyes begin to well up.  I let myself go with that feeling so that tears form in my eyes, and I say, "What has happened?"

Then, he spills it.  "My wife left.  She finally left.  She said she had had it.  She said she's been trying to get my attention for years, and she says she doesn't have anything left.  She says she's done.  She has seen a lawyer."

"Oh," I say.  I think of the history of this patient and his wife.  I think of his repeated externalizing, avoiding intimacy while also clinging to her for constant reassurance and support in the face of his workplace stress.

I say, "Let me ask again.  What would your fingers say if they could speak?"  

This time he says, "They can't speak.  They just need help."

I say, "What's it like to need that kind of help?"
____________________

That might be a clip.  The process of gestalt therapy is a meeting between two people in which the therapist joins the client's situation, meets the client in a genuine relationship, and interacts with the client around the client's experience (of course, this sets up a parallel process or experience between the therapist and client).  The process is one of observing and describing what is observed, both in what the therapist perceives in the client and what the therapist experiences while in the presence of the client.  Sometimes the therapist purposefully experiments, creates new lived experience that occurs in the session rather than simply talking about past events and the interpretations of them.  The twin waves of awareness and contact are constantly in motion, and we understand that all this is emerging as an expression of shared "field" or socio-environmental context (situation).

Hope that helps.
Phil

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 23, 2010, 11:13:32 AM7/23/10
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HAYDN, Dan, Phil and Folks,

For the uninitiated, green and gold are the colours of Haydn's county team (Meath) in Gaelic football which played mine, Dublin, recently. Our colour is blue.

Anyway, just thought I'd show him that there are no hard feelings...(well...not really!).

Sarah's book arrived today - Hi Sarah, welcome! And another book that I had forgotten that I had ordered: Contemplating Edith Stein, edited by Joyce Avrech Berkman and including a paper by Sarah on "What Makes You You? Individuality in Edith Stein". 

And I am slowly making my way through "Empathy", or PE as it is called.

I am delighted that we are beginning to connect across our initial formal disciplines - Gestalt psychotherapy and philosophy. At the next peeling of the skin, one of the psychotherapists - Sylvia - is a professor in philosophy, and two - Sylvia and Phil, have been/are Christian ministers. So we weave more webs of our connecting...

Warmly,

Seán 



Philip Brownell

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Jul 23, 2010, 8:28:39 PM7/23/10
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Hello,
My wife, Linda, was wondering if it would be okay with the rest of you if she joined this group. She is not a philosopher, and she is not a psychotherapist. However, she has known of Edith Stein for some time and is interested in be able to read what we do. If you object, let me know. If not, I will add her to the group.

Warm Regards,
Phil

Dan Bloom

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Jul 23, 2010, 7:31:48 PM7/23/10
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OF COURSE SHE CAN!!!!

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 23, 2010, 7:41:25 PM7/23/10
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Linda,

WELCOME!

By the way, I haven't smoked for 8 months...probably your fault!

Seán

Dan Bloom

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Jul 23, 2010, 7:48:48 AM7/23/10
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Seán,

There you go again! Trying to edge me out competition for the least qualified.  Nice try.
But no, I am the least qualified. I am the one without the doctoral degree in a related field. 
I am the least qualified by a long shot.
:)

Dan

Philip Brownell

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Jul 24, 2010, 10:06:24 AM7/24/10
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New file available: Sebastian Luft's article "Husserl's Discovery of the Natural Attitude." I thought it might be helpful in some way.

You can access these resources at http://groups.google.com/group/edith-stein-study-group/files

Phil

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 24, 2010, 6:25:44 AM7/24/10
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In defense of my treasured position as Auto-Didact of the year, allow me to ask a question or two:

Who went to classes with Donna Orange?

Who has had Simon Critchley as a lecturer?

Who has actually read Being and Time with an edition in German to-hand?

Thank you. The defence rests. 

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 24, 2010, 9:30:29 AM7/24/10
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Great, Phil.

Reading Calcagno on Stein/Husserl in the excellent Berkman collection. 

Fascinating...she was, it seems, much more of an influential colleague and collaborator than either Husserl or Heidegger ever acknowledged.

Seán

Dan Bloom

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Jul 24, 2010, 9:36:07 AM7/24/10
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This appeared twice — repeated.
Dr. Gaffner. Dr.

Phd.

How many non-Phd’s are on this list?

But to fight for the most humble status is to battle for sainthood. I leave that to the those Called by Faith.

Philip Brownell

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Jul 24, 2010, 10:36:28 AM7/24/10
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A fractal of Laura Perls

Dan Bloom

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Jul 24, 2010, 9:42:48 AM7/24/10
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Looks like it.

LP reigned at the NYIGT and one of our missions was to bring her work to the foreground. 
I did delivered the keynote at her Centenary in Munich. I’ve developed her ideas into some of my own and credit her.

Joe Wysong didn’t forget her, by the way.

John Gurmin

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Jul 24, 2010, 9:51:52 AM7/24/10
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Will you get to see the Dublin match over there?

This is another work by Calcagno that might be of interest: 

 Antonio Calcagno (ed.), American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, special volume on Edith Stein, vol. 82, Issue no. 1, Winter 2008. 

H. 

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 24, 2010, 9:57:26 AM7/24/10
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WOW!

Haydn, I'm impressed! And yes...The Dubliner Irish bar is 30 minutes away by public transport and I'm on their list for sports events...

Seán

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 24, 2010, 3:43:09 PM7/24/10
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Phil,

I was taken by your final paragraph

I do not think we, as therapists, bracket our clients.  We do not put them in brackets. 

Whoa there! Slow down...bracketing my initial projections onto a client is bracketing my projections...quite distinct from bracketing the client. Bracketing (and I DO mean bracketing - not ignoring) seems to me to enhance the possibility - or "potential" from a recent exchange - of meeting the client herself.

What kind of "stance" do we take with regard to the client?  If we are also dialogical, which we strive to be, then we are present as we are (authentically so, without taking a "stance"), and we accept the client as he or she is.

Whatever "stance" we take is a presuppositional stance, imbued with value-judgements...  

To me, this is a natural attitude in action.

Well........not sure if I can go along with you here.

  So, to me, the process in which we engage with our clients is a phenomenal one, informed by phenomenology, but not a phenomenological process in the sense that Stein evidently develops here.

My curiosity is growing around to what extent she manages to be phenomenal withing a phenomenological methodology... 

 She readily asserts, evidently, that a psychologist must remains with the phenomena, and by that, I take it to mean, AS GIVEN.  As we sense it; as it comes to us.

See what I mean?

Thank you for this opportunity,

Seán

Seán

--
www.egenart.info/gaffney

Dan Bloom

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Jul 24, 2010, 3:59:20 PM7/24/10
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Seán:

Assuming bracketing is possible (an open question that shall remain open here), don’t you think we use our initial projections as information about the state of affairs of our starting situation? Why set them aside?

Wouldn’t this also be counter-transference? 

See my comments below. I hope they’re not confusing.

Dan


On Jul 24, 2010, at 3:43 PM, Sean Gaffney wrote:

Phil,

I was taken by your final paragraph

I do not think we, as therapists, bracket our clients.  We do not put them in brackets. 

Whoa there! Slow down...bracketing my initial projections onto a client is bracketing my projections...quite distinct from bracketing the client. Bracketing (and I DO mean bracketing - not ignoring) seems to me to enhance the possibility - or "potential" from a recent exchange - of meeting the client herself.

What kind of "stance" do we take with regard to the client?  If we are also dialogical, which we strive to be, then we are present as we are (authentically so, without taking a "stance"), and we accept the client as he or she is.

Whatever "stance" we take is a presuppositional stance, imbued with value-judgements...  

And we need to differentiate between those value judgments that are fundamental to the ongoing therapy process and those that intrude upon it. 


To me, this is a natural attitude in action.

Well........not sure if I can go along with you here.

How about a modified natural attitude. 
The problem is whether the reduction is deployed. 


  So, to me, the process in which we engage with our clients is a phenomenal one, informed by phenomenology, but not a phenomenological process in the sense that Stein evidently develops here.

My curiosity is growing around to what extent she manages to be phenomenal withing a phenomenological methodology... 

I agree. If she turns away from transcendental phenomenology AND deploys the reduction..... what have we here? This means that she no longer is in the natural attitude.  
 She readily asserts, evidently, that a psychologist must remains with the phenomena, and by that, I take it to mean, AS GIVEN.  As we sense it; as it comes to us.

See what I mean?

When we practice psychotherapy we do not practice epistemologically alone. We grab hold of things. Our phenomena are suffused with blood. 

Dan Bloom

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Jul 24, 2010, 4:02:51 PM7/24/10
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By the way, I’ve been trying to track down the etymology of  “to be.” Heidegger links it to “to dwell.” Interesting. So far I’ve tracked it to the Old English word that also means “to exist, to grow” and a similar word that means “to dwell.” 

On Jul 24, 2010, at 3:43 PM, Sean Gaffney wrote:

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 24, 2010, 4:08:21 PM7/24/10
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See below, in Dublin blue!

On Sat, Jul 24, 2010 at 9:59 PM, Dan Bloom <d...@djbloom.com> wrote:
Seán:

Assuming bracketing is possible (an open question that shall remain open here), don’t you think we use our initial projections as information about the state of affairs of our starting situation? Why set them aside?

Wouldn’t this also be counter-transference? 

See my comments below. I hope they’re not confusing.

Dan


On Jul 24, 2010, at 3:43 PM, Sean Gaffney wrote:

Phil,

I was taken by your final paragraph

I do not think we, as therapists, bracket our clients.  We do not put them in brackets. 

Whoa there! Slow down...bracketing my initial projections onto a client is bracketing my projections...quite distinct from bracketing the client. Bracketing (and I DO mean bracketing - not ignoring) seems to me to enhance the possibility - or "potential" from a recent exchange - of meeting the client herself.

What kind of "stance" do we take with regard to the client?  If we are also dialogical, which we strive to be, then we are present as we are (authentically so, without taking a "stance"), and we accept the client as he or she is.

Whatever "stance" we take is a presuppositional stance, imbued with value-judgements...  

And we need to differentiate between those value judgments that are fundamental to the ongoing therapy process and those that intrude upon it. 
And what a value-judgement THAT is! 


To me, this is a natural attitude in action.

Well........not sure if I can go along with you here.

How about a modified natural attitude. 
The problem is whether the reduction is deployed. 
 
Agreed - and we need to talk more about this... 


  So, to me, the process in which we engage with our clients is a phenomenal one, informed by phenomenology, but not a phenomenological process in the sense that Stein evidently develops here.

My curiosity is growing around to what extent she manages to be phenomenal withing a phenomenological methodology... 

I agree. If she turns away from transcendental phenomenology AND deploys the reduction..... what have we here? This means that she no longer is in the natural attitude.  

 And this is why my attention is drawn there, to this very question...
 She readily asserts, evidently, that a psychologist must remains with the phenomena, and by that, I take it to mean, AS GIVEN.  As we sense it; as it comes to us.

See what I mean?

When we practice psychotherapy we do not practice epistemologically alone. We grab hold of things. Our phenomena are suffused with blood. 

Agreed - AND we write about them in somewhat bloodless terms. 

Thank you for this opportunity,

Seán

Seán


On Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 3:06 PM, Philip Brownell <philbr...@logic.bm> wrote:
Okay, I've been reading Waltrauth Stein's introduction and a few things stick out for me.  Some of you have already noticed and addressed them, so pardon while I play a little catch up.

(1)  Zero Point and the other side of the phenomenological coin from intentionality:
"Thus it appears that even though phenomenologists very possibly have solved the epistemological problem of how a knowing subject is related to the object of its knowledge by their concept of intentionality discussed above, they suddenly find themselves faced with the ontological problem of how an extended substance is related to a non-extended one." (p. xx)

This reminds me of several discussions we've had about emergence, supervenience, and non-reductive physicalism.  Sensation and empathy will add to those concepts, I anticipate.

(2)  Empathy is the givenness of foreign subjects and their experiences.  This dovetails for me with Chrétien's ideas of call and response.  He says we do not fathom the call until we respond to it, and that the call is contained in the response.  Just so, it seems to me that we do not grasp that which is given until we respond (empathically) to it.  The subjective experience of another is a call contained in our emotional and cognitive perspective taking–the sense of Other.

(3)  Sensation:  Her take on the importance of sensation, that it is a starting place, seems relevant to gestalt therapy's heuristic of the cycle of experience, which begins with sensation.  I see some overlap there.

(4)  Now, let me bring together a few strands:
"He [Husserl] posits nothing about the natural world. He puts it in 'brackets... and makes no use of the material within those brackets...Pure consciousness is concerned with a realm of objects which are the same objects existing in the natural world.  It only has a different 'standpoint' in regard to them...E. Stein in the dissertation here presented takes the phenomenological standpoint.  She claims that the description of empathy within consciousness after the suspension of the existence of empathy must be the basis for any other dealings with the problems by psychologists, sociologists, or biologists...The psychologist's work, however, only has validity insofar as he or she begins with and returns to the phenomenon which the phenomenologist has described."

I do not think we, as therapists, bracket our clients.  We do not put them in brackets. What kind of "stance" do we take with regard to the client?  If we are also dialogical, which we strive to be, then we are present as we are (authentically so, without taking a "stance"), and we accept the client as he or she is.  To me, this is a natural attitude in action.  So, to me, the process in which we engage with our clients is a phenomenal one, informed by phenomenology, but not a phenomenological process in the sense that Stein evidently develops here.  She readily asserts, evidently, that a psychologist must remains with the phenomena, and by that, I take it to mean, AS GIVEN.  As we sense it; as it comes to us.

Phil



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Dan Bloom

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Jul 24, 2010, 4:18:45 PM7/24/10
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Precisely.
I know you aren’t looking for a value-less world. 

Clinical judgments are also personal judgments. 

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 24, 2010, 4:25:33 PM7/24/10
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Dan,

Yes - and as a clinician and clinical supervisor, I need to know or sense the distinction between my clinical and personal value judgements. 

I meet this in Belfast all the time...

And, somehow, I am expecting to find some signs in Edith Stein to give me a direction...

Seán

Dan Bloom

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Jul 24, 2010, 4:27:38 PM7/24/10
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Let me know! 
I am writing about this for Gianni’s book. It’s due at the end of September, so hurry.

Philip Brownell

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Jul 24, 2010, 5:46:07 PM7/24/10
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Hello Seán,
On Jul 24, 2010, at 3:43 PM, Sean Gaffney wrote:

I do not think we, as therapists, bracket our clients.  We do not put them in brackets. 

Whoa there! Slow down...bracketing my initial projections onto a client is bracketing my projections...quite distinct from bracketing the client. Bracketing (and I DO mean bracketing - not ignoring) seems to me to enhance the possibility - or "potential" from a recent exchange - of meeting the client herself.

Right.  I have maintained that what we do is a modified phen. method in that we observe, bracket, and describe, but also in that we never leave the natural attitude.  Also, I am struck with Waltraut's statement:
"He [Husserl] posits nothing about the natural world. He puts it in 'brackets... and makes no use of the material within those brackets...Pure consciousness is concerned with a realm of objects which are the same objects existing in the natural world.  It only has a different 'standpoint' in regard to them...E. Stein in the dissertation here presented takes the phenomenological standpoint.  She claims that the description of empathy within consciousness after the suspension of the existence of empathy must be the basis for any other dealings with the problems by psychologists, sociologists, or biologists...The psychologist's work, however, only has validity insofar as he or she begins with and returns to the phenomenon which the phenomenologist has described."

From this I get that the figure of interest is put into brackets and not just stuff that comes up inside of me while I'm considering/observing my figure of interest.  That is, empathy was the object, the figure, the point of reflection, and that is what was put into brackets, positing nothing about the natural world.  So then, the standpoint changes with regard to the object.  When we are working with a client we do not shift like that.  We keep our focus on the client as he or she is in the natural world (and as we meet them in the natural world... the lived world).  We accept their appearing, we accept them as they are, and what we bracket are our theories about them and our own transference (which we cannot fully bracket, because as soon as something becomes our intentional object, we represent it to ourselves out of our own, internalized available references).  Now, if that is all that is going on with a reduction (that I bracket), then I have misunderstood it, and if being present with the client as she or he presents is not staying in the natural attitude I have misunderstood that.  Are you tracking me?

Phil

Sean Gaffney

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Jul 24, 2010, 4:58:10 PM7/24/10
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Phil,

Bedtime in Stockholm, Sweden. So more tomorrow...

Seán
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