Descriptive phenomenology investigates the essence of how phenomena are consciously experienced (Giorgi, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012; Moustakas, 1994; Vagle, 2018). Researchers wishing to conduct descriptive phenomenological studies may struggle to find answers to the complex questions that arise. Misunderstood concepts and practices may lead to philosophical conflict, ultimately threatening validity and rigor. This manuscript provides readers a metaphoric framework “the phenomenological house” to understand and analyze Giorgi’s phenomenological psychological conceptualization of essence as a universal structural description of how a phenomenon is lived. Ultimately, the phenomenological house provides a pathway for qualitative researchers to navigate descriptive phenomenology and contribute to its progression.


descriptive phenomenology, Giorgian phenomenological psychological analysis, structural essence, qualitative research & education

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Leigh-Osroosh is an experienced school counselor and counselor educator currently serving as an assistant professor at San Diego State University. As a phenomenological researcher and existential practitioner, her research critically examines experiences of education, decolonizing, and social justice projects within counselor education. She is an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Association for Counseling Supervision and Education (ACES), the Society of Indian Psychologists (SIP), and the Association of Humanistic Counseling (AHC). Dr. Leigh-Osroosh received her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor and holds a school counseling certification in New York State. Please direct correspondence to kleighosroosh@sdsu.edu.

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