Define the past lived experience in the explicitation interview A positive and privative definition of the past lived concept

Define the past lived experience in the explicitation interview. A positive and privative definition of the past lived concept

Pierre Vermersch

( An answer to a question during the colloquium RIFREQ may 2015 Montpellier)

The explicitation interview is not a generalist one, meaning that it is not planned to question everything. It is built to reach only the past lived experience and more precisely its detailled engendering, linked to acting. It is not aimed on therapeutical clinical practice nor for the questioninings which favor the opinions, the representations and the judgments. Questionings which belong rightly to sociological or anthropological objectives.

From my experience of practicing the explicitation interview, I define the past lived on three main positive (intrinsic) properties :

  • it belongs to an unique subject
  • it refers to a singular moment
  • it is engraved in a micro frame of time (seconds and part of seconds)

The only interest of these three properties lies in the way to spot when the interviewed does not speak of his lived past, goes away from it. Yet, the fundamental hypothesis of the explicitation interview practice is that it is possible, by means of evocation , to « live again in the past », and thus the past-lived opens to passive memory of all involuntarily recorded without intention of remembrance.

 

As such, the interest of these three properties is to let know, while the subject is speaking, when he gets away from a close contact with his past-lived experience.

 

  • As soon as he leaves the first person position to speak with « one », « we » « you » or in an indirect address without subject, then the interviewer knows that the interviewed is leaving is contact with his past to go to a general experience. We need to guide him to get back his personal link to his past-lived.
  • As soon as he leaves refering to a singular moment to point : all potential cases, each times he does this, what happens when it does not work, the interviewed has left the singular moment to deal with the general case, a class of past-lived and he will no more describe his experience in describing his understanding of his experience. We need to guide him back to his singular moment which define his past-lived experience and let it be lived agan. In the explicitation interview, the understanding of the past-lived will clearly appear from the very description of the past-lived experience.
  • As soon as the interviewed speaks about a wide period of time (one hour, a day, one period, a time of life) he leaves his near contact to past-lived to overhang it with a temporal focus which does not fit to decribe detailed cognitive activities. We need to guide him to to get back to what he does when he does it with a temporal scale which let know how the acting is generated.

 

 

 

The positive definitions of the past-lived experience are therefore relatively trivial, but their interest is that they show and identifiy speech aspects which immediatly notice the loss of the past lived contact.

 

As often, it is practically more important to master the location of the privative properties which show the loss of the reference to the past-lived experience than the intrinsic properties.

 

When I define this way the past-lived experience, I am in a structural approach. I say nothing about the varieties of contents we can meet in all past-lived experiences. I named layers of past-lived the fact that each one contains cognitive, emotional, motor, identifying and spiritual aspects, and even more. I say nothing about the qualities of the past-lived experiences, their degree of presence, of awareness, the different modes of experiences.

 

The past-lived layers, as the qualities of these past-lived experiences can be explored only if the person is linked to her past-lived experience. For me, the first and main point is to discover and to guide towards evocation of a personal moment, a singular one, delicately described. Respecting and maintaining this condition make possible the questioning about all the components of this past-lived experience, according to the interests of the researcher or of the practitioner.

 

***

 

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Define the past lived experience in the explicitation interview. A positive and privative definition of the past lived concept

Pierre Vermersch

( An answer to a question during the colloquium RIFREQ may 2015 Montpellier)

The explicitation interview is not a generalist one, meaning that it is not planned to question everything. It is built to reach only the past lived experience and more precisely its detailled engendering, linked to acting. It is not aimed on therapeutical clinical practice nor for the questioninings which favor the opinions, the representations and the judgments. Questionings which belong rightly to sociological or anthropological objectives.

From my experience of practicing the explicitation interview, I define the past lived on three main positive (intrinsic) properties :

  • it belongs to an unique subject
  • it refers to a singular moment
  • it is engraved in a micro frame of time (seconds and part of seconds)

The only interest of these three properties lies in the way to spot when the interviewed does not speak of his lived past, goes away from it. Yet, the fundamental hypothesis of the explicitation interview practice is that it is possible, by means of evocation , to « live again in the past », and thus the past-lived opens to passive memory of all involuntarily recorded without intention of remembrance.

 

As such, the interest of these three properties is to let know, while the subject is speaking, when he gets away from a close contact with his past-lived experience.

 

  • As soon as he leaves the first person position to speak with « one », « we » « you » or in an indirect address without subject, then the interviewer knows that the interviewed is leaving is contact with his past to go to a general experience. We need to guide him to get back his personal link to his past-lived.
  • As soon as he leaves refering to a singular moment to point : all potential cases, each times he does this, what happens when it does not work, the interviewed has left the singular moment to deal with the general case, a class of past-lived and he will no more describe his experience in describing his understanding of his experience. We need to guide him back to his singular moment which define his past-lived experience and let it be lived agan. In the explicitation interview, the understanding of the past-lived will clearly appear from the very description of the past-lived experience.
  • As soon as the interviewed speaks about a wide period of time (one hour, a day, one period, a time of life) he leaves his near contact to past-lived to overhang it with a temporal focus which does not fit to decribe detailed cognitive activities. We need to guide him to to get back to what he does when he does it with a temporal scale which let know how the acting is generated.

 

 

 

The positive definitions of the past-lived experience are therefore relatively trivial, but their interest is that they show and identifiy speech aspects which immediatly notice the loss of the past lived contact.

 

As often, it is practically more important to master the location of the privative properties which show the loss of the reference to the past-lived experience than the intrinsic properties.

 

When I define this way the past-lived experience, I am in a structural approach. I say nothing about the varieties of contents we can meet in all past-lived experiences. I named layers of past-lived the fact that each one contains cognitive, emotional, motor, identifying and spiritual aspects, and even more. I say nothing about the qualities of the past-lived experiences, their degree of presence, of awareness, the different modes of experiences.

 

The past-lived layers, as the qualities of these past-lived experiences can be explored only if the person is linked to her past-lived experience. For me, the first and main point is to discover and to guide towards evocation of a personal moment, a singular one, delicately described. Respecting and maintaining this condition make possible the questioning about all the components of this past-lived experience, according to the interests of the researcher or of the practitioner.

 

***

 

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