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Phenomenological Empathy and the Professional Role in Recovery-Oriented Practice: Interpersonal Understanding, Shared Decision Making, Closeness and Distance in the Working Relationship
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
2022 (English)In: Phenomenology & Practice, E-ISSN 1913-4711, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 45-56Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to show how a phenomenological theory of empathy can be used to achieve a close interpersonal relationship that serves to support shared decision making and recovery from mental health problems. This framework can also be seen as a way to maintain a professional distance in such relationships. First, the paper briefly describes the basics of shared decision making and recovery-oriented practice. Second, the paper presents the notion of second-person perspectivity, the “we-relation”, and the phenomenological term epochéas a background to discussing the possibility of performing a specific kind of epoché, which actively brackets taken-for-granted presuppositions and notions and instead facilitates a focus on the meaning of the other’s experience: a special kind of intentionality directed toward the other’s intentionality. Third, the paper notes that the aim of actively assuming an empathic attitude paves the way for a passive ethnographic epoché that allows for an exploration of the other’s personal world, which constitutes the context for meaning. In this way, we can increase the possibilities of developing a professional “we-relation” and minimizing the risk of emotional contagion. This is a skill that can be learned through training, and that can increase the possibility of developing a deeper interpersonal understanding that will be of value to recovery-oriented practice. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Alberta Library , 2022. Vol. 17, no 2, p. 45-56
Keywords [en]
empathy, applied phenomenology, professional role, we-relation, recovery, shared decision making
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Health and society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-57874DOI: 10.29173/pandpr29487ISI: 000932410100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-57874DiVA, id: diva2:1731565
Available from: 2023-01-27 Created: 2023-01-27 Last updated: 2023-10-03Bibliographically approved

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Stigmar, John

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