Phenomenological Method In Art Therapy

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The Phenomenological Method The phenomenological method fosters an attentive sense of wonder in the world and hermeneutic practice continually aims at open-ended interpretation, the recognition of bias, and the relating of part to whole and whole to part. Phenomenology focuses on the study of essences: one is always looking for the essential nature or meaning of the phenomena. In philosophy it is used to focus on the individual’s conscious, perceptual and intellectual processes, excluding preconceptions and the idea of external consequences (Gregory, 1987). Phenomenology is a philosophical method aimed at getting at the truth - it aims to achieve clarity of insight and thought while including the subject. It makes a distinction between appearance and essence. It is a very appropriate philosophical method to apply to the theory and practice of art therapy. (Carpendale, 2003) Merleau-Ponty, the French philosopher, writes that philosophy is “not the reflection of a pre-existing truth, but, like art, the act of bringing truth into being.” (Merleau-Ponty, 1969) Betensky (1995) wrote "phenomenology offers an answer to a long needed unbiased approach to art therapy in all its spheres: theory, training, and professional practice.” She articulates the importance of 'seeing ' and suggests that this is art therapy 's most important contribution to general therapy and even to phenomenology itself, because art therapy pays attention to the authentic experience in two ways. First of all

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