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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9227


DORR, Otto. The Role of Phenomenology in Psychiatric Therapeutics with Special Reference to Schizophrenia . Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2002, vol.40, n.4, pp.297-306. ISSN 0717-9227.

Phenomenology is a method of description and consequently, of knowledge of complex realities. At first sight there does not seem to be a relationship, then, between this method and therapeutics. However, this connection exists at least in two ways. First, because the phenomenological approach is essential for the correct diagnosis of endogenous diseases, those lacking a substrate to which it is possible to access through laboratory or imaginology exams. The "praecox feeling" (Praecox-Gefühl) is only one example of phenomenological diagnosis of schizophrenia. There are even empirical studies which show that most psychiatrists use intuitive diagnosis in clinical practice, without even knowing that this has a theoretical basis. Second, phenomenology is related to the treatment of psychiatric diseases, specially of schizophrenia, through certain forms of psychotherapy which have been inspired by it, as it is the case of existential (Binswanger) and hermeneutical (Blankenburg) psychotherapies. More than a review of the contributions of the above procedures, this author intends in this paper to show in what way the phenomenological approach can translate into practical and original ways to help the psychiatrist, and particularly, the schizophrenic patient. It is the case, for example, of the first interview's possible therapeutic nature, or the relief offered to the patient by an attitude on the part of the therapist free of prejudice such as the distinction between normal and abnormal, sane or insane, real or unreal, etc., and finally, the assumption of a dialectic perspective which enables every patient to discover the positive side of his/her negativity.

Palabras clave : phenomenology; first interview; therapeutics; dialectics .

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