Donald B. Beere  |  Retired


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          Phenomenological Philosopher
I have a B.A. in philosophy (as well as in physics) and did some graduate work in philosophy. When I met Dr. Armin Wildermuth, a Swiss philosopher, in 1971, it was not surprising that we became friends. He was Karl Jaspers' major student at the University of Basil in Switzerland. Jaspers wrote a definitive text on psychopathology from an existential point of view. Armin was an expert on phenomenology and its off-shoot hermeneutics. My contact with Armin came at a seminal time for my intellectual development since I was just beginning to integrate my doctoral training in psychology with my academic background in philosophy. As a result, I developed an expertise in phenomenology, in particular the philosophies of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. Eventually I became a phenomenological psychologist/philosopher. I team taught phenomenological-existential psychology with Armin and with another philosopher -- a course offered for credit in both psychology and philosophy.  A phenomenological orientation became the foundation for my clinical work, supervision and theory development.

In 1980, I wrote a book chapter that connected Husserl's phenomenology to the ideas presented in Tarthang Tulku's Time, Space and Knowledge.  (In R. Moon & S. Randall (Eds.). (1980). Dimensions of thought: Current explorations in Time, Space and Knowledge (Vol. II), (pp.95-134). Berkeley: Dharma Publishing.)

In 1981, I was invited to give a paper
to the Merleau-Ponty Circle, titled, "Changing the Lived-World: 'Methods' of Interpersonal Phenomenological Psychotherapy."  Also that year I led a day-long workshop at Arizona State University titled Phenomenological-Existential Psychotherapy.

In 1987, I arranged to have 
a preeminent phenomenological psychologist, Dr. Amadeo Giorgi, give a workshop on Experimental Phenomenology. The workshop was for faculty and graduate students at Central Michigan University.

Using Husserl's phenomenological methods, I developed a theory of dissociation, which was published in 1995. In 1996, I published two papers on switching in multiple personality disorder, the only research of its kind, by using phenomenological methods to analyze descriptions of switching from one personality to another.