What does it mean for Daseinsanalysis to be "phenomenologico-hermeneutical"?

16/12/2014 08:53

[proposed by Thanasis Georgas]

In the first line of the “Entry of Daseinsanalysis” (Entry for the Encyclopedia of Theory in Counseling and Psychotherapy), we can see: “Daseinsanalysis is a mode of psychotherapy that is phenomenologico-hermeneutical”.

Allow me some thoughts and questions regarding this:

In the therapeutic practice of our age we tend, more and more, to think in a technical way, only for practical purposes. This blocks our capacity for wonder and we loss the capacity to experience and appreciate mystery. So little by little, the magical evocative power of the experience of Being, tends to disappear. Very often, in psychotherapy, the human being disappears in technical terms, rationalistic concepts and generalizations, in a communication without communion, in short, in a completely impersonal anonymity. Psychotherapy becomes so, a mere technical treatment and psychic symptoms are regarded as mere manifestations of mental illness.

In contrast to this, the heart of Daseinsanalysis is inspired by the question of Being/not Being, that is the question of Being and Time.  This question is relevant to one of the most ancient of man’s desires, the desire to become himself  (“know thyself” was etched in the frontispiece of Delphi Oracle, “learn and become yourself” repeats Pindar).

It seems clear to me that we can only see true psychotherapy in the light of the ontological depth, which characterizes the human being as Da-sein. Certainly, in this  light, we can see the touch of the unfamiliar, the touch of the mystery. This touch may be more or less integrated or disassociated, depending on the degree to which it will find a language in which it could be held, an authentic meeting and dialogue with the other.

However, if Daseinsanalysis, following Heidegger’s thought, consists of a movement of the consideration of appearances to the question concerning appearing itself, from presence to presencing, from what stands in the open to the opening that grants presence, this move should not be misunderstood in a simple Platonism, that is, as an ascending from the cavernous shadows up to the contemplation of the sun outside the cave. Rather, it must be understood, from the hermeneutic-phenomenological perspective, as a movement from what is manifest back to what is not revealed, back to what does not shine. Unconcealment comprises concealment. What is constantly covered up is not the light of truth that shines behind the veil of deceptive appearances; what is covered up is the secret/mystery (Geheimnis in Heidegger’s wordsthat holds sway throughout Dasein’s engagement in the open. That means that Daseinsanalysis cannot be a simple description of manifestations. It’s rather a continuous dialogue with this which cannot be a simple manifestation -the unknown, the implicit, the unsaid. Each manifestation presupposes the unmanifestable as its source  -and that means the “Geheimnis”, that is, the “Unheimlich” the  ‘not-being-at-home’ the ‘uncanny’.

So, what does it mean the phenomenologic slogan "To the things themselves" (Zu den Sachen)? Could it be something like a contemplation of an immediate intuition of the essence of the things? Isn’t that  similar with the Platonic endeavor? Also, could it be something like a meditation towards the sun outside the shadows cave, or a meditation towards the emptiness of the mind? Could we consider, for example, the psychic suffering as a constraint of clearance and openness? Could a daseinsanalyst be in an empty clearance out of the “world”? Could we consider Socrates himself as absolutely free from any interpretation and precondition?

So then, What does it mean for Daseinsanalysis to be