Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Kretova L.A. Therapeutic effect of “country” narrative: consolation and meaning

Lola A. Kretova, PhD Applicant, Institute of Psychology Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; bld. 13, Yaroslavskaya str., Moscow, Russia, 129366; lola.kretova@gmail.com

The salutary influence of nature or rural environment on city dweller is emphasized by many researchers. However, these works rarely refer to the ontological level of psychological reality, existential problems associated with a life crisis and the search for meaning. The therapeutic effect occurs not only by direct contact with nature, but also by indirect entry into the experience of country lifeworld – through the story of Other, oral or written text. This paper explores the process of “delivering” personal experience via written notes about country life practice, its “acceptance” and therapeutic impact on the author and the reader. Country lifeworld becomes a space where each side of the dialogue, a former citizen and a city dweller, solve their own life issues. It is suggested that the acceptance of the experience of the Other as the experience of the consoler becomes possible due to the recognizability of the narrator’s ontological experience: ontological nostalgia turns out to be the Central experience that connects the experience of life crisis, the experience of nature and the need for consolation. A phenomenological and hermeneutical analysis of the case-study presented in this article provides an idea of the internal structure and dynamics that determine the mediation of consolation. The findings indicate the personal characteristics of the Other that are significant for this process. A theoretical scheme of “connection” to experience is proposed: it explains the internal links within the process and the results of experience work relating to the author and to the reader: for the author the result of such work is overcoming the crisis, a sense of wholeness, for the reader – consolation, help in coping with everyday difficulties. Our findings may be considered both in terms of psychotherapy phenomena and in terms of ontology of the lifeworld.

Key words: experiencing, ontological nostalgia, country lifeworld, compassion, The Other, psychotherapy, case-study, phenomenological approach, mediation

For citation: Kretova, L.A. (2022). Therapeutic effect of “country” narrative: consolation and meaning. New Psychological Research, No. 1, 34–55. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2022_02_01_02

keywords: experiencing, ontological nostalgia, country lifeworld, compassion, The Other, psychotherapy, case-study, phenomenological approach, mediation

received 18 March 2022

published 18 March 2022

download PDF