Experiencing the importance of one’s personal treasures is ubiquitous to the human experience, but what is the depth and meaning of this lived phenomenon? An interpretive phenomenological method was used to explore the meaning and significance of women’s experience of their cherished personal possessions. Nine women participated in three individual semi-structured phenomenological interviews each. Interpretive analysis revealed that women’s experience of their cherished personal possessions is one of nurturing self. Through their cherished personal possessions, women nurture their sense of self by connecting with others, affirming personal experience, supporting self through change, and cultivating a sense of self. Implications for responsive psychotherapeutic practice with women clients are identified.


Women, Feminist Methodologies, Active Interviews, Clinical Research, Interpretive Phenomenology

Author Bio(s)

Stephanie Martin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education at the University of Saskatchewan, and a Registered Doctoral Psychologist since 1997. Her teaching and research areas encompass the theory and practice of counselling/psychotherapy, professional practice and ethics, qualitative research methodology, and the psychology of women and gender. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: stephanie.martin@usask.ca.


Kathleen V. Cairns is acknowledged for her supervision of this research process.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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