There is a need to find good models for the practice of expertise-by-experience in mental health care, and we should look to research from the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science for such modelс, which was emphasized by Dr Roy Dings in his lecture titled “Lived experience, knowledge and expertise in mental health care”
In the lecture held on September 19 in the Grand Hall of the Institute of Social Sciences, Dr. Dings presented his new work, while relating to already published papers, on the nature of experiential knowledge and expertise-by-experience. Since there is mounting criticism that such knowledge is too vague to be used in practice, he attempted to answer these dilemmas by drawing on sources from the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science, as well as contemporary phenomenological theories. He mainly presented his “positive” project in which he developed an account of experiential knowledge that can be conceptually, epistemologically and phenomenologically sound.
Dings argued that he aims to understand experiential knowledge as responsiveness, in the sense that what is felt (experience) has relevance and meaning to us (we respond to relevant affordances in the world). He, then, accordingly, understands experiential expertise as attuned responsiveness. Experiences can be very diverse, but everyone has a particular responsiveness profile, and people who work as experiential experts have to achieve attuned responsiveness with others. This is one way, he argues, to grasp how someone with mental illness experiences the world, although these suggestions are tentative and need more work, as he added at the end of the lecture. After the presentation, a lively debate with many questions was held, and the author admitted that the discussion was helpful for his future work.
This lecture is the fourth in the series of seminars titled “Philosophy and Psychiatry” organised by the Center for Philosophy at the Institute of Social Sciences. The seminar aims to provide young colleagues, doctoral students and early career researchers with an opportunity to present their work and develop it through the ensuing discussions.