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Arguments for a Phenomenologically Informed Clinical Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder

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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to provide arguments for a phenomenologically informed clinical approach to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including a plea for clinical attention to the self in ASD.

METHODS: Central concepts of continental phenomenology, phenomenological psychopathology, and the phenomenological interview are presented, with an emphasis on the potential unifying qualities of an approach which includes the exploration of subjective and intersubjective experience. These phenomenological concepts and methods are contrasted with the current conceptualization of ASD, where the first-person perspective is not in focus.

RESULTS: Contemporary phenomenological papers on ASD address key concepts like intersubjectivity, intercorporeality, and intentionality. However, insights from this theoretical field have not been followed up in clinical research and practice. Consequently, there is (to our knowledge) still a lack of phenomenologically informed clinical explorations of experience of self, others, and the world in ASD.

CONCLUSION: A phenomenologically informed focus on the form and structure of subjective experience, including a focus on self-experience in ASD, can lead to new and important insights in relation to clinical differentiation between ASD and schizophrenia spectrum disorder.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychopathology
Volume52
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
ISSN0254-4962
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • Autism spectrum disorder, First-person experience, Phenomenology, Psychopathology

ID: 57342797