Phenomenology in Action in Psychotherapy

On Pure Psychology and its Applications in Psychotherapy and Mental Health Care

  • Ian Rory Owen

Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 79)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Defining Phenomenology and Pure Psychology

  3. The Findings on Meaning for Consciousness

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Ian Rory Owen
      Pages 91-111
    3. Ian Rory Owen
      Pages 113-141
    4. Ian Rory Owen
      Pages 143-160
  4. Applying Pure Psychology to Psychotherapy and Mental Health Care

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-191
    2. Ian Rory Owen
      Pages 193-211
    3. Ian Rory Owen
      Pages 225-240
    4. Ian Rory Owen
      Pages 241-261
    5. Ian Rory Owen
      Pages 263-285
    6. Ian Rory Owen
      Pages 311-315
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 317-342

About this book


This book takes Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and applies it to help psychotherapy practitioners formulate complex psychological problems. The reader will learn about Husserl’s system of understanding and its concepts that point to first-person lived experience, and about the work of Husserl scholars who have developed a way to be precise about the experiences that clients have. Through exploring the connection between academic philosophy of consciousness and mental health, themes of biopsychosocial treatment planning, psychopathology of personality and psychological disorders, and the treatment of complex psychological problems become clear. The author shows that Husserlian phenomenology can be used in the design of interventions for clients in a process called formulation. Once the intentionality of consciousness is understood, by asking simple questions, it becomes possible to define problematic experiences. This is a means of creating informed consent for treatment and it makes it clear to clients what is happening for them, so helping them understand themselves and how they see the world. We also see how Husserl’s phenomenology is a vehicle for psychotherapists to present their knowledge about the research literature of what has been found to be effective care. This volume applies the concepts and practices of phenomenology in a concrete way, relating them to the practice of therapy and showing the value of a qualitative approach to understanding mental processes and the nature of human beings as motivated by values, meanings and other conscious experiences. This is a readable text in simple language that condenses key aspects of Husserl’s thinking in relation to the theory and practice of psychotherapy, and it is suitable for philosophers and practitioners of psychology, psychiatry, and the psychotherapies, including psychoanalysis.


Biopsychosocial treatment planning Formulation of complex psychological problems General psychotherapy Husserlian phenomenology Psychopathology of personality and psychological disorders Treatment of complex psychological problems

Authors and affiliations

  • Ian Rory Owen
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds and York Partnerships NHS Foundation TrustLeedsUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information