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Philosophical Resources for Clinicians: Seminar Two “We All Start from Elsewhere”

Philosophical Resources for Clinicians:

Seminar Two “We All Start from Elsewhere”

Presented by Carol Swanson, LCSW, ACSW

CEUs Pending

Dates: 1/5/2024, 2/3/2024, 3/2/2024, 4/5/2024, 6/7/2024, 6/28/2024

Time: 1:15 – 2:30 pm PT

Virtual: EHNW will provide Zoom webinar details after registration

Cost for the Seminar Series

Professionals: $250

Affiliates: 10% discount

“The I emerges from the Other”
This 6 part seminar will focus on reading and discussing four major Continental thinkers from the philosophical realms of ethics, hermeneutics and phenomenology. Our purpose will be to think deeply about the human situation of the other who comes first. This is obvious, but often neglected, when we think developmentally. There is no person de novo. We each arise into being from the “others” who conceive us, parent us and usher us, for better or worse, into the wider world.

We will explore how our experience of Self emerges from our responsivity to others and how
we become a Subject by being sub-jected to the other.

Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995), a Lithuania-French philosopher whose hallmark works pivot
around the idea that we each become a subject by having been “subjected” to the other. He
radically privileges the “face” of the other over myself.

Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002), a German philosopher known for his contributions to
hermeneutics, including a primary idea about “genuine conversation”, which suggests understanding is discovered by two people in conversation, each allowing that the other might be more “right”.

Bernhard Waldenfels (1934 – ), also German and a student of the French phenomenologist,
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, takes phenomenology’s primary rule of intentionality (which defines a person’s capacity to experience the world as originating in subjective thinking toward the other) and turns it into a mutuality of responsivity.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-19610 a French philosopher who emphasized the body as the
primary site of knowing the world. His works draw heavily on the work of Edmund Husserl,
and his later work focused on moving beyond the subject-object split.

Our seminar will link these thinkers to the practice psychotherapy, mining their influence on the relational aspects of existential therapy.

We will meet the first Friday of the month for the first four months in 2024 and then two meetings in June. I’ll be out of the country in May 2024.




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

The Seminar: Philosophical Resource for Humanistic Clinicians: Seminar – Professional – $250 ticket sales has ended!


Jan 05 2024 - Jun 28 2024


All Day