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  • 1.
    Stigmar, John
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
    Experiences from working as a personal ombudsman in Sweden: The professional role in social pedagogical and social psychiatric practice2023Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Personal ombudsman (PO) in Sweden is a highly person-centered and recovery-oriented practice that strive to support persons living with serious mental health problems. With the foundation in Case Management (strength model in particular) the practice has since been developed and renamed; people living with mental health problems did not see themselves as “cases in need of being managed” (Berggren & Gunnarsson 2010). Personal ombudsman has, together with a few other practices from around the world, recently been highlighted by WHO as an example of good practice as a community- and rights-based approach to mental health (WHO 2021). This motivates the PO-practice to be discussed and shared with other professionals and interested parties as an example of a social pedagogical practice.What type of professional role is needed to be able to work as a PO? To answer this question, I will turn to the phenomenological interpretation of Empathy as a basic type of interpersonal understanding aimed at the experience of others. The main point is that regardless of our capacity to understand how it is to live with serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia we can understand something of how the person is experiencing this condition (Davidson 2003). As I have argued elsewhere (Stigmar 2022), the discussion is aimed to show how a phenomenologically grounded theory of empathy can be used as a means to achieve a close interpersonal relationship that supports shared decision making and recovery from mental health problems. This framework can also serve as a way to uphold and preserve a professional and emotional distance in that relationship. The aim of PO is to support the person with whatever the persons feel is needed and to strengthen the person’s own capacity to make decisions regarding his or her life. That is; a mobilizing empowerment perspective that takes a holistic point of view with a foundation in the recovery movement. The lived experience of others is of crucial value which makes the connection between recovery-oriented practice and phenomenology both necessary and valuable. By actively training to assume the empathic attitude, within a pedagogical context (Boregren 2022), we can increase the possibilities for a professional “we-relation” and minimize the risk for emotional contagion and too much emotional compassion. 

  • 2.
    Stigmar, John
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
    Interpersonal understanding, empathic attitude and ethnographic epoché in Social Psychiatry and recovery-oriented practices: Shared decision making, closeness and distance in the professional relationship2021In: The annual congress of Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA) 3–5 November 2021 at University of Southern Denmark in Odense, 2021Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The background for this paper is in part due to my own experience in participating in phenomenological empathy training, both IRL and in an online setting. I have consequently applied the skills sharpened in that training in professional social psychiatry, both IRL and in online meetings with clients.  This paper aims to show how a phenomenologically grounded theory of empathy can be used as a means to achieve a close interpersonal relationship that supports shared decision making and recovery from mental health problems. This framework can also serve as a way to uphold and preserve a professional and emotional distance in that relationship. First, the basics for shared decision making and recovery-oriented practice is briefly described. Second, the notion of second person perspectivity and the “we-relation”, together with the phenomenological term epoché, serves as a background for the possibility of performing a specific kind of epoché to actively bracket presuppositions and notions taken for granted to instead gain a focus on the meaning of the other’s experience and to show that this is a skill that is possible to train. That is: a special kind of intentionality directed toward the other´s intentionality. This training can take place both in an IRL face-to-face setting and in an online context. Third, the active aim to assume the empathic attitude gives the necessary focus and paves the way for the passive ethnographic epoché that allows for an exploration of the other’s personal world that constitutes the context for meaning. Together with the other and within a Schutzian “we-relation” and in a we-intentionality, it is then possible to explore the personal world of the other to gain a mutual understanding of the possibilities for an individual recovery process that also supports shared decision making, with a clear point of departure in the other’s first-person perspective. Due to the Covid pandemic a lot of the interpersonal relations in which the empathic attitude and ethnographic epoché plays a part has been taking place in an online context and that poses challenges and a change in how the interpersonal relationship is constituted, especially if it’s the first time meeting a certain person. However, by actively training to assume the empathic attitude, we can increase the possibilities for a professional “we-relation” and minimize the risk for emotional contagion and too much emotional compassion, even in an online context. Altogether this is a skill that can be trained, a skill that can increase the possibility of a closer and deeper interpersonal understanding in all interpersonal and professional relationships and thus be of value to all recovery-oriented practices. In this way, the notions of first person perspectivity, subjectivity and intersubjectivity can be restored to its rightful status in the field of social psychiatry. 

  • 3.
    Stigmar, John
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
    Phenomenological Empathy and the Professional Role in Recovery-Oriented Practice: Interpersonal Understanding, Shared Decision Making, Closeness and Distance in the Working Relationship2022In: Phenomenology & Practice, E-ISSN 1913-4711, Vol. 17, no 2, p. 45-56Article in journal (Refereed)
    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. 

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  • 4.
    Stigmar, John
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
    The lived experience of being dependent on support systems in Sweden (in the mental health/disability field)2022In: EDUCATION AND INVOLVEMENT IN PRECARIOUS TIMES: ABSTRACT BOOK / [ed] Dal, Michael, School of Education, University of Iceland , 2022, p. 875-875Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This is not a scientific inquiry as much as it is a glimpse into the life world of people meeting system errors and barriers that is transcending the system itself and forms a sort of relation with errors occurring in other systems. The data consists of reports of problems that individuals actually have experienced in their contact with Swedish support systems. The reports are written and documented by professionals working as personal ombudsmen (PO) in the south of Sweden. So, the problems described is experienced both from the person’s first-person perspective and from the PO’s second-person perspective. This is challenges that we, as people working with social pedagogy (in various forms), face in trying to support people that is dependent on systems that is meant to collaborate and together is supposed to form a holistic view on the person in need of support. The reports from reality states something entirely different; namely that people experience a lack of collaboration and a lack of holistic perspectives. The different systems are supposed to work together but instead it is the system fallacies and structural barriers that is working together and forms a transcendent and translucent gap or barrier that is seriously detrimental for individual and personal recovery processes and empowerment. The picture appearing is a lack of access to support, treatment, economic benefits and even basic human rights for people that does not know how to navigate and manipulate the social welfare system. This could be seen as a movement in society; from a welfare state to a more competitive state. This can be linked to the focus on standardization of support and care systems and to the introduction of New Public Management in psychiatric care and social services. This is not only affecting the person dependent on the systems but also professionals working to support people in their recovery process such as social pedagogues and social workers.  

  • 5.
    Stigmar, John
    et al.
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).
    Glantz, Andreas
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Care Science (VV).
    En personcentrerad och fenomenologisk grund för psykiatrisk omvårdnad2022In: Psyche, ISSN 0283-3468, no 1, p. 4-7Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Carl Rogers (1902–1987) var en framstående amerikansk psykolog som anses vara en av förgrundsgestalterna inom den humanistiska psykologin och grundaren till det som kallas klient- eller personcentrerad psykoterapi. 2022 är det 120 år sedan Carl Rogers föddes. Därmed är det ett lämpligt tillfälle att påminna om hans betydelse för omvårdnad samt hur hans villkor för framgångsrik psykoterapi och hans teorier om självet även kan appliceras på den psykiatriska omvårdnaden. Vi har också försökt anta ett fenomenologiskt perspektiv där det finns beröringspunkter med Rogers teorier. Den fenomenologiska psykologin och den humanistiska utvecklades vid ungefär samma tid och det finns både likheter och skillnader dessa perspektiv emellan. En grundläggande och viktig punkt som gäller för båda är det personcentrerade förhållningssättet med utgångspunkt i den andres förstapersonsperspektiv. En annan är att människan är en intersubjektiv varelse som alltid befinner sig situerad i en värld som delas med andra.  

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