2018 Conference: Pre-Conference Workshop with Fred J. Wertz

SQIP Pre-Conference Workshop:
Doing Phenomenological Analysis in Psychology:
Experiences of Schizophrenic Persons in a Community with an After-Care Program

Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology 2018 Annual Conference
Duquesne University
May 20, 2018
Frederick J. Wertz
Fordham University

This workshop will introduce participants to the phenomenological research tradition with specific focus on the core features used in philosophy and across human science disciplines.  Participants will be guided through the procedures of phenomenological psychological analysis using data from an action research project exploring the lived experiences of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia in a community recovery program.

Cost:  $30; $20 for students


This workshop introduces participants to qualitative analysis as developed in phenomenological psychology.  The workshop will begin with an introduction to phenomenology—its origins in philosophy and applications in psychology.  Basic constituents of phenomenological method such as the phenomenological reductions, intentional analysis, and eidetic analysis will be discussed.  Then participants will be introduced to Amedeo Giorgi’s delineation of the steps involved in psychologically analyzing descriptions of lifeworld experiences and will practice the procedures developed by Amedeo Giorgi for analyzing descriptions of lived experience.  The topic for this analysis will be the experience of schizophrenic persons living in a community with an after-care program.   Workbook materials and presentation will provide participants with the basic concepts and methods of phenomenology, a brief history of the approach, a selected bibliography, a delineation of the steps of analysis, sample descriptions of lived experience, and some examples of phenomenological psychological reflections.   Participants will practice analyzing two narratives that were assembled from interviews carried out by a Fordham University research team in affiliation with a program of phenomenological action research at the Yale University Medical School.  The goal of workshop participants will be to use phenomenological analysis as a means to understand the psychology of schizophrenic persons in an attempt to design a community aftercare program.  In working on this task, participants will read the research participants’ descriptions, record and share their reflections, assess the needs of individuals living with serious mental illness, explore the kinds of conclusions that can be drawn from their qualitative analysis, and discuss their experiences practicing phenomenological psychological research.  Finally, time allowing, there will be a discussion comparing this particular application of phenomenological method in psychology with applications of phenomenological method in other disciplines and other qualitative methods in psychology.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Familiarity with the origins and history of phenomenology
  2. Knowledge of the fundamental concepts and methods of phenomenology:
    1. Intentionality and the Lifeworld
    2. The phenomenological epoché and reductions
    3. Intuition of essence and eidetic analysis using imaginative variation
  3. Beginning competence in applying Giorgi’s procedures of phenomenological analysis
    1. Open reading
    2. Demarcation of meaning units
    3. Reflection on human activities and meaning
    4. Synthesizing essential structure
  4. Achievement of preliminary findings in the study of experiences of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia recovering in the community.


Advanced undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, researchers with interests in social sciences and the humanities.

Workshop presenter:

Frederick J. Wertz, Professor of Psychology at Fordham University, has worked on psychology’s philosophical foundations, history, research methodology, qualitative analytic methods, theoretical problems, cultural context, and scientific status. He co-edited Advances in Qualitative Research in Psychology: Themes and Variations (1987, Swets North America); edited The Humanistic Movement: Recovering the Person in Psychology (1994, Gardner Press); and coauthored Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Analysis: Phenomenological Psychology, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Narrative Research, and Intuitive Inquiry (2011, Guilford Publications). He has served as editor of the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology and The Bulletin of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology; guest editor of The Humanistic Psychologist; President of the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (APA Division 24), the Society for Humanistic Psychology (APA Division 32), and Interdisciplinary Coalition of North American Phenomenologists.  He received the Rollo May Award for pioneering scholarship in humanistic psychology from the APA (Division 32) and the Distinguished Teaching Award in the Sciences and the Outstanding Graduate Professor Award at Fordham, where he has chaired the Departments of Psychology, Communications and Media Studies, and Computer and Information Sciences.  He is currently acting dean of Fordham’s College at Lincoln Center, APA Council Representative of the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology (24) and Past-President of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, section of APA Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods (5).