An Experiential Approach to Psychopathology

What is it like to Suffer from Mental Disorders?

  • Giovanni Stanghellini
  • Massimiliano Aragona

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Giovanni Castellini
    Pages 79-95
  3. Luis Madeira, Maria Luisa Figueira
    Pages 97-112
  4. Robert D. Stolorow, George E. Atwood
    Pages 113-125
  5. Otto Doerr-Zegers, Héctor Pelegrina-Cetrán
    Pages 127-147
  6. M. Musalek, O. Scheibenbogen, A. Schuster
    Pages 149-161
  7. Femi Oyebode
    Pages 231-244
  8. Clara S. Humpston, Matthew R. Broome
    Pages 245-264
  9. Mads Gram Henriksen, Julie Nordgaard
    Pages 265-280
  10. Massimo Ballerini
    Pages 281-300
  11. J. Cutting
    Pages 301-315
  12. Marino Pérez-Álvarez, Oscar Vallina-Fernández, José M. García-Montes, Louis A. Sass
    Pages 317-335
  13. Jay A. Hamm, Paul H. Lysaker
    Pages 347-360
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 379-383

About this book


This book introduces the reader to a clear and consistent method for in-depth exploration of subjective psychopathological experiences with the aim of helping to restore the ability within psychiatry and clinical psychology to draw qualitative distinctions between mental symptoms that are only apparently similar, thereby promoting a more precise characterization of experiential phenotypes. A wide range of mental disorders are considered in the book, each portrayed by a distinguished clinician. Each chapter begins with the description of a paradigmatic case study in order to introduce the reader directly to the patient’s lived world. The first-person perspective of the patient is the principal focus of attention. The essential, defining features of each psychopathological phenomenon and the meaning that the patient attaches to it are carefully analyzed in order to “make sense” of the patient’s apparently nonsensical experiences. In the second part of each chapter, the case study is discussed within the context of relevant literature and a detailed picture of the state of the art concerning the psychopathological understanding of the phenomenon at issue is provided.

An Experiential Approach to Psychopathology, and the method it proposes, may be considered the result of convergence of classic phenomenological psychopathological concepts and updated clinical insights into patients’ lived experiences. It endorses three key principles: subjective phenomena are the quintessential feature of mental disorders; their qualitative study is mandatory; phenomenology has developed a rigorous method to grasp “what it is like” to be a person experiencing psychopathological phenomena. While the book is highly relevant for expert clinical phenomenologists, it is written in a way that will be readily understandable for trainees and young clinicians.


Hermeneutics Person-Centred Psychiatry Phenomenological Psychopathology Psychopathology Subjective Psychopathological Experiences

Editors and affiliations

  • Giovanni Stanghellini
    • 1
  • Massimiliano Aragona
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psycho,Humanis.&Terr. SciUni"D.Portales",Chile,&Uni“G.D’Annunzio”ChietiItaly
  2. 2.Sapienza Univ&Crossing Dialogues Assoc.RomeItaly

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Medicine
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-29943-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-29945-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals