Phenomenological research methods for counseling psychology


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This article familiarizes counseling psychologists with qualitative research methods in psychology developed in the tradition of European phenomenology. A brief history includes some of Edmund Husserl’s basic methods and concepts, the adoption of existential-phenomenology among psychologists, and the development and formalization of qualitative research procedures in North America. The choice points and alternatives in phenomenological research in psychology are delineated. The approach is illustrated by a study of a recovery program for persons repeatedly hospitalized for chronic mental illness. Phenomenological research is compared with other qualitative methods, and some of its benefits for counseling psychology are identified.

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