Phenomenological Structure of Feeling of Aliveness: Head-Manager Experience

Jelena Šalaj, Rimantas Kočiūnas


The paper deals with the notion of the feeling of aliveness in existential psychology. The feeling of aliveness is understood as a structural part of a broader concept—experience of being or sense of being. It its said that sense of being is a many folded construct, which includes: a) physical aliveness b) psychological experience of aliveness c) authenticity. In this article we concentrated on psychological experience of aliveness due to its importance to psychological counselling and psychotherapy.Three qualitative unstructured interviews were analyzed. Two women and one man between the ages of 35 and 45 years participated in the research. At the time of research all of them were working for middle or big international business companies as head-managers. The same research question was given to all participants: “What does it mean for you to feel alive?” Further interview was conveyed according to the method requirements recommended for such kinds of qualitative research. Interview transcriptions were analyzed using Interpretative- Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 2008, 2009).
The goal of the reserch is to describe the phenomenological structure of the feeling of aliveness and to explicate communalities in experience of aliveness. The feeling of aliveness was defined as subjective experience of emotional involvement. It is concluded that physical dimension dominates in the head-managers experience of aliveness. Their experience of aliveness is primarily based on physical activity, sensual experience and ability to use their bodies as a means of emotional self-regulation. Interpersonal relationships as well were found to be one of the main sources of experience of aliveness. It is stated that mutual emotional devotion to a relationship is one of the main criteria that gives rise to the experience of aliveness.


aliveness; experience; being; intersubjectivity; phenomenological-interpretative research

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789