Living authentically ~ Authentically living

Seminar: Philosophical Resource for Humanistic Clinicians

Seminar offering

Philosophical Resource for Humanistic Clinicians

Presented by Carol Swanson, LCSW, ACSW

10 CEUs Approved via NASW!

Dates: 8 monthly meetings, starting 1/6, then the first Friday of each month from 1:15-2:30 pm, ending August 4th

Virtual: EHNW will provide Zoom webinar details after registration

Cost for the Seminar Series

Professionals: $350

Students: $200

Affiliates: 10% discount

No clinician practices alone.  Each of us is surrounded by a world of companions even without our noticing. They provide a humanistic and historical context for our work. They keep us company no matter how alone we may feel sometimes in our practices.  Who are they?

This seminar will identify the humanistic tradition out of which psychotherapy emerged and within which we psychotherapists are an active expression.  Principal philosophers who contributed to a personalistic worldview — that is, a view of our being with one another that is based on human values – will be identified and briefly introduced. They will include Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Hans-George Gadamer, Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas, and Bernhard Waldenfels.  We will pay attention to their relevance to our personal needs for support as well as how they may sharpen the humanistic and existential focus of our work. 


Carol Swanson has been a practicing gestalt therapist in Portland for 40 years. She co-founded the Portland Gestalt Therapy Training Institute and was a trainer for several decades. She’s trained therapists in the US, Europe and Australia. She’s published several articles in Gestalt journals and contributed chapters in several books. She is a regular contributor to conferences in the US in Europe.

Please refer questions to Bob Edelstein at


Meeting #1: Why Thinking Matters: How reading philosophy can enrich our clinical practice
Learn how philosophical thinking underpins clinical theory;
Learn many of the important 20th and 21st century philosophers and their thinking and how it’s contributed to humanistic and existential clinical work.

Meeting #2: At the Existentialist Cafe: Satre, Simone de Beauvoir, Camus, Merleau-Ponty
How their ideas underpin contemporary existential, humanistic clinical work Learn their major ideas and how they apply to clinical work

Meeting #3: Martin Buber: I-Thou and I-It
Define I-Thou and I-It and the necessity of both stances
Introducing ideas of dialogue, inclusion and confirmation
Learn to distinguish these three characteristics, [listed above] and the importance to clinical work

Meeting #4: The Father of Phenomenology: Edmund Husserl
Learn to define phenomenology and the phenomenological method and it’s centrality to present centered existential clinical work
CEU-Clinical- 1.25

Meeting #5: The Body is our Opening to the World: Embodied Intersubjectivity, Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Learn to define embodied perception as opposed to Cartesian dualism and its centrality to contemporary humanistic thinking and work. Learn to define situatedness and temporality and its importance in clinical work
CEU-Clinical- 1.25

Meeting #6: The Ethics of Play and Undergoing the Situation with the Other: Has-Georg Gadamer; learn to define and understand hermeneutics and its importance in
humans understanding and clinical work; learn to define and understand the hermeneutics of suspicion and the hermeneutics of trust

Meeting #7: The Face of the Other: Emmeanuel Levinas
Learn of the thinking of Levinas and his contributions to contemporary clinical work Learn to define and understand the “asymmetry of relationships” as opposed to dialogic relationships

Meeting #8: Responsive Ethics: The Question of the Other-thinking of Bernard Waldenfels Learn and understand the difference between intentionality and responsively Understand how responsively proceeds any reflective or cognitive grasp of situations


Jan 06 2023 - Aug 04 2023


1:15 pm - 2:30 pm




Dave Fischer