The Phenomenological Use of Self in Integrative Psychotherapy: Applying Philosophy to Practice

Linda Finlay


Phenomenology is an umbrella term encompassing a philosophical movement and also a range of approaches applied to research and therapy. It is a way of seeing how things appear to us through experience, and it demands an open way of being—one that examines taken-for-granted human situations as they are experienced in everyday life. In this article, the author applies ideas from phenomenological philosophy to show how they are enacted in practice in our moment-to-moment therapeutic use of self. Several case illustrations of therapeutic dialogues are offered along with philosophers’ original words to show the richness and potential of phenomenologically oriented relational integrative psychotherapy.


Phenomenological philosophy, therapeutic use of self, integrative psychotherapy, phenomenological inquiry, existentialism, dialogic practice

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