Phenomenology and Mental Health Network (PMH)

 

Understanding the diverse character of lived experience

Network Leads

Lead: Marcin Moskalewicz, philosopher, Poznan University of Medical Sciences (Poland) & The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH)

Co-Lead: Richard Gipps, philosopher and psychotherapist, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford

Co-Lead: Giovanni Stanghellini, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Università degli Studi G. d’Annunzio Chieti e Pescara (Italy)

Background and aims

Phenomenology is a rigorous philosophical method of studying the structures of consciousness and how these structures underlie and affect human experience. By undergoing a clinical turn, 20th century phenomenology became more pragmatic in seeking to understand the variety of lived experiences of patients suffering from mental disorders, often undermining a sense of a strict boundary between the normal and the pathological. Basic phenomenological themes, such as temporality, embodiment, intentionality, understanding, and intersubjectivity, thereby gained a new diagnostic and therapeutic significance. The tradition of phenomenological psychopathology became an important actor on the scene of 20th century psychiatry. The PMH network strives to promote the best of this tradition. It was launched at a workshop “Phenomenology and psychoanalysis: a dialogue” at St Catherine’s College in June 2018. The network connects philosophers, medical anthropologists, and social scientists with health care professionals – psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and caregivers, in order to bring together phenomenological expertise with actual life-world experience of the realities of mental health and illness.

Objectives

The PMH network has the following objectives:

  • To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between those working in mental health care and academic researchers in phenomenology
  • To explore the rich tradition of phenomenological psychopathology, its concepts, values, and critical potential
  • To investigate the ways in which phenomenology informs diagnosis and treatment, and to explore how its potential could be utilized and further expanded in order to improve the care for the mentally ill persons
  • To examine new (phenomenologically inspired) perspectives on mental illness in the context of diversity and plurality of human being
  • To undertake research programs in applied phenomenology and facilitate collaboration between members as well as to seek collaboration with ongoing initiatives elsewhere
  • To build a bridge between Central-European traditions of phenomenology and Anglo-Saxon scholarship

Members

The network is open to all working at the intersection of phenomenological philosophy (as well as related fields of philosophy of mind and philosophical hermeneutics) and mental health. Membership is free of charge. To join please send a request to Marcin Moskalewicz at moskalewicz@gmail.com.

For a list of members please click here  

Meetings

To advance our objectives, meetings and workshops will be organized regularly, some of them with an open call for papers in the conference format. The network will also support local initiatives.

From 2019 we plan to run two meetings each year, one in Poznan and one in Oxford

For a list of past meetings please click here

Forthcoming events 

24th of October 2018, Diversity and Mental Illness (one-day workshop) at St. Catherine’s College. The workshop is a part of TORCH’s annual headline series Humanities & Identities and is co-sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.