One of philosophy’s contributions to psychology is the existentialist philosophy of anxiety or «angst», as formulated by Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre. Heidegger builds his philosophy on Kierkegaard, and Sartre on both Kierkegaard and Heidegger. Kierkegaard takes as his starting point the ambiguity of anxiety; it appears in cases where a possible choice is both attractive and repulsive, thus anxiety is an expression of human freedom. The ambiguity inherent in the anxiety makes us weak, so that we easily choose to do something that we really do not want to do. Anxiety is therefore a key to the understanding of original sin (in Danish, as in German, literally, «inherited sin»), as Kierkegaard interprets it. Distinct from fear, where one always fears something specific, an object, the anxiety has no object; it is described by Kierkegaard as being anxiety of «nothing». This subject is developed by Heidegger, considering anxiety as a feeling which brings us face to face with reality, in other words being, but also nothingness and the possibility of non-being. Sartre stresses in particular anxiety as an expression of freedom, and claims that we are fleeing freedom to avoid the accompanying anxiety. This is done by living in «bad faith», that is by interpreting ourselves as being determined by causes. These three philosophers provide us with a deep understanding of anxiety as a fundamental condition of human existence, and something distinctly different from fear.
This paper describes some basic ideas in Gestalt counselling and the use of metaphors. The paper describes some of the theory of communication concepts developed by Hans-Georg Gadamer. The aim is to show how these ideas might be meaningful in a specific counselling situation, as well as afterwards, while one reflects on and tries to understand what happened during the counselling session. In the counselling setting I applied a phenomenological-hermeneutic attitude in order to gain more insight into or a better understanding of what happened during the helping process and in the process of analyzing. The main part of the article presents Gadamer's philosophy of science and linguistic thinking followed by a case study. The case is analyzed on the basis of Gadamer’s concepts of prejudgment, understanding and further understanding, horizon, fusion of horizons and how language and dialogue can shed light on this process. To help in acquiring insight into what occurred in the case study, the author attempted to take a phenomenological- hermeneutic attitude or focus. The conclusion is that Gadamer’s concepts of understanding can be helpful in providing an extended understanding of both the content and the process itself in a counselling situation. One can assume that this also applies to other areas of pedagogical development work.
This study analyses the practice and experiences of involuntary medication related to patients and staff in a Norwegian acute psychiatric inpatient unit. Data was generated from fieldwork and the findings are: a) Both patients and staff experienced powerlessness, but for the staff medication was a matter of necessity even when they had to use force, b) Medication defined as voluntary, was experienced as being involuntary. c) Patients described painful side effects from medicines; while the staff, argued that the favorable effects made up for the side effects. The discussion draws upon the work of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben and his political theories of human rights. This illustrates that involuntary medication becomes a permanent state of exception where patients are deprived their status as citizens.
I diskusjoner om psykisk helsearbeid snakker vi ofte om perspektiver, rammer og synspunkter som om vi alltid ser på forhold som ikke forandrer seg, og så forsøker å finne visse ukjente faktorer gjemt innenfor dem, som kan få dem til å forandre seg. Nedenfor vil jeg utforske en helt annen tilnærming, der jeg antar at vi alltid beveger oss rundt i verden, og at den overordnede vanskeligheten vi står overfor, er å finne vår vei videre. Men det må vi gjøre ved å finne tilgjengelige åpninger i øyeblikket, innenfor vår umiddelbare situasjon, så vi kan «gå videre» og ta vårt neste skritt.
This article discusses the significance of the body in the development of subjectivity – called bildung. Bildung is understood as both the uniqueness of the individual and its role as a representation of the common humanness in a social sphere. By highlighting the role of the body for its ability to act morally, according to Merleau-Ponty, it becomes clear that the process of bildung emerges from our preliminary pre-personal sociability as an intersubjective experience of being wowed in a web of touching and being touched by others. The development of ethic consciousness, the ability for empathy and moral action are therefore not products of cognitive or language-based processes of socialization, but are included in our natural bodily activities from early childhood.
Postgraduate Education in Mental Health at the University of Nordland, Norway, has developed a kind of practice counselling based on the principles of reflecting processes that Professor Tom Andersen and his colleagues have developed. This is a way of working that emphasizes relational ethics and formation (Bildung) rather than routines and procedures. The importance of listening to what is said rather than knowing what is meant is emphasized. Hence meaning can appear in a dialogical process. However, there is a risk that the widespread production thinking in education and health care may lead to reduced recognition of the importance of encounter and dialogue in mental health care. – In Silje’s story and in the comments of the students, names and facts have been changed so that it is impossible to identify the persons in question.