Self-With-Other-Self Encounters: Intersubjectivity, Meaning Making and the Narrative Construction of Self
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The concept of intersubjectivity and its relationship to narrative (considered from the phenomenological tradition of Ricoeur) is explored as a means of understanding the therapeutic encounter, what Pete Sanders (2010) calls “self-with-otherself” activity. Looking at the narrative construction of self as an intersubjective phenomenon, the role of narrative in meaning making and facilitating change for both clients and therapists is examined. The dual philosophical foundations of intersubjectivity – experiential and linguistic – are reviewed to provide an understanding of how the dialogic nature of self and language creates a medium for change, a process that is facilitated through storytelling and story-listening in the therapeutic encounter. Lastly, an overview of alternative views of stories and narratives, including those of First Nations oral traditions, is presented to increase insight into how both clients and therapists can be mutually transformed by therapeutic „self-with-other-self‟ encounters.