Coming Home Again to the World. Personal Recovery in Light of Phenomenology, Psychopathology, and the Sense of Reality and Belonging

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    This PhD research is aimed at developing the notion of personal recovery as applied to psychiatric illness. Despite the value of recovery-orientation for present-day psychiatry, current recovery thinking is characterized by some major shortcomings. There is a tendency to focus predominantly on the present or post-crisis period instead of on the crisis or disruption itself. Furthermore, there is much emphasis on the individual and their psyche instead of on the larger reality of their world. Because of this, an understanding of grief over loss in the context of psychiatric illness is incomplete and a person's lived experience tends to become objectified. It is argued in this thesis that part of the problem is that current recovery-thinking presupposes 'the world'. The notion of personal recovery, it will be suggested, can be developed by approaching it from the perspective of phenomenology. The distinctiveness of phenomenological understanding, with its attention for the background structure of experience, locks on what is lacking in the recovery tradition. Current research in phenomenological psychopathology has pointed to existential changes in the sense of reality and belonging to the world in experiences of psychopathology. However, it has been noted insufficiently how those existential changes often also involve grief over the loss that comes with psychiatric illness and how this is integral to the condition. This research is therefore among the first to offer a phenomenological account of grief, loss, and recovery in the context of psychiatric illness. It does so by approaching the dynamic between exile and coming home again to the world, i.e., by investigating grief over loss in relation to hope and trust.
    Effective start/end date1/02/191/02/24


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