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Foehl, J.C. (2020). Lived Depth: A Phenomenology of Psychoanalytic Process and Identity. Psychoanal. Inq., 40(2):131-146.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 40(2):131-146

Lived Depth: A Phenomenology of Psychoanalytic Process and Identity

John C. Foehl, Ph.D.

In this article, I lay out the implications of a phenomenological perspective in which subject, world, and others are given in one stroke, part of the same emergent process. Trends in contemporary psychoanalytic theory lean toward this radical nondualistic view but never quite relinquish a perspective in which subject and object, subject and subject are separate. Through my early studies in phenomenology, I have come to see that psychoanalytic process is better understood as a perceptual engagement in which meaning is formed in the relationship between what is experienced and its context/background/field, a process of lived depth. Strikingly, psychoanalytic identity is a similar process. Inchoate shifts in meaning and investment that we cannot know in formation come clear in relation to a coalescing sense of our place in a professional context. We come to know ourselves retrospectively, an act of après-coup that momentarily stills a continual shape-shifting process, one part of the lived experience of depth.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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