The Micro-Phenomenology of Altered States of Bodily Self-Consciousness



VU Amsterdam


University of Zurich

The Micro-Phenomenology of Altered States of Bodily Self-Consciousness

Date & Location upcoming


In this one-day workshop participants will I). Learn the basics of the micro-phenomenology interview technique, and II). Identify micro-phenomenological characteristics of altered states of bodily self-consciousness induced via multisensory stimulation paradigms and simple body exercises.

The micro-phenomenology interview method was developed by Claire Petitmengin and Pierre Vermersch to obtain fine-grained introspective information about retrospectively accessed moments of subjective experience. It was developed within the field of neurophenomenology which aims to bring together neuroscientific and first person research in studying consciousness, and as such has found applications in the study of contemplative phenomenology and lately also of psychedelic experience.

Participants will first be introduced to the background and basic principles of the micro-phenomenology method and how it has been applied in consciousness research. They will then get opportunities to practice the interview in small groups to investigate experiences of altered bodily self-consciousness, induced via multisensory stimulation procedures such as the rubber hand illusion. We will then conduct basic analysis on the interview data in order to identify some key experiential aspects of altered bodily self-consciousness experiences. Finally we will discuss how this method could be applied to future research in this field.


Willeke Rietdijk is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She originally qualified as a clinical psychologist, with a minor in clinical psychology of religion, at the Radboud University Nijmegen. She worked as educational researcher at the University of Southampton, UK for 10 years, during which time she also completed a PhD on the micro-phenomenology of processes and mechanisms of mindfulness meditation, research she is continuing with funding from the Mind and Life Institute. Within the Wonderful Education Project she currently works at, she applies micro-phenomenology to explore children’s experiences of wonder.

Helena Aichner is a doctoral researcher in Psychology conducting studies on altered states of (bodily) consciousness and their relation to affective and cognitive processing. Beside studies with psychedelic substances, she also applies other methods such as simulating out-of-body-experiences with multisensory stimulation. Helena aims at integrating research on altered states of consciousness for the development of novel psychotherapy approaches.


  • Regular: €79
  • Discount for ICPR attendees: €49


A limited number of tickets is now available for this exclusive workshop


ICPR Discount

€ 79

€ 49