Psychotherapy of the Lived Space: A Phenomenological and Ecological Concept

(Transl. from English by Yehor Butsykin)


  • Thomas Fuchs Heidelberg University (Germany)



psychotherapy, lived space, patient, responded activity, phenomenological psychology, ecological psychology


Using phenomenological and ecological psychology as a base, the author develops the concept of lived space as the totality of an individual's spatial and social relationships, including his ”horizon of possibilities”. The lived space may also be regarded as the individual's ecological niche, which is continuously shaped by his exchange with the environment. Mental illness may then be conceived as a limitation or deformation of the patient's lived space, inhibiting his responsivity and exchange with the environment. Unconscious dysfunctional patterns of feeling and behaving act as "blind spots" or "curvatures" in lived space and lead to typical distortions, thereby further restricting the patient's potentialities and development. Accordingly, the task of psychotherapy is to explore and understand the patient's lived space in order to reopen his horizon of possibilities. The main agent for this purpose is the interactive field of psychotherapy, which may be regarded as a "fusion of horizons" of the patient's and the therapist's worlds.

Author Biography

Thomas Fuchs, Heidelberg University (Germany)

DM, PhD, psychiatrist and philosopher, Karl-Jaspers-Professor for Philosophy and Psychiatry at the Psychiatric Department


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How to Cite

Fuchs, T. (2022). Psychotherapy of the Lived Space: A Phenomenological and Ecological Concept: (Transl. from English by Yehor Butsykin). Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 27(2), 240–256.






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