Stepping into the clearing: A researcher’s challenge to make sense of phenomenological philosophy
Keywords:Heidegger, phenomenology, philosophy, poetic, openness,
Philosophical texts have much to offer the phenomenological researcher. However, these texts can appear remote and somewhat esoteric to novice researchers who are not versed in philosophy. This paper engages philosophy by exploring the writings of Martin Heidegger, by drawing on the author’s experience of conducting a phenomenological inquiry, and by attending to the voices of those psychologists and psychotherapists who have struggled with Heidegger’s texts. Specifically, it examines the topic of how philosophy can inform phenomenological research. It is an invitation to pause, to take a step back and consider the benefits of engaging with philosophy and developing poetic sensibility towards research. The author’s research into openness in psychotherapy provides the backdrop and source material for much of the discussion. Reading Heidegger is not easy, but with an embodied stance of openness, patience and curiosity, comprehension is possible. The concept of poetic sensibility in phenomenological research is also discussed by taking Heidegger’s metaphor of the clearing for the openness of Being.