The Embodied Researcher: Stages of Change in the Research Process


Luann Drolc Fortune, PhD

Stage of Change theory (Prochaska et al., 1994) provides a frame for incorporating embodiment perspectives and somatic techniques into the research process. It assumes five stages: (a) precontemplation: what about this situation is calling to my scholarship; (b) contemplation: how is this question relevant; (c) preparation: how do I design this study authentically; (d) action: how do I execute meaningfully; and (e) maintenance: a reconciliation, normalizing, “adding to the world” of the results. In Stages of Change, individuals revisit each stage before completion, and establish the foundation for the next spiral cycle (Prochaska et al., 2013) much like the iterative nature of in-depth research. In each stage, applying selected techniques can increase contributions linked to embodied experience, for both researcher and participants.

keywords: applied phenomenology, qualitative research, research design, somatics

Fortune, L. D. (2015, October).  The Embodied Researcher: Stages of Change in the Research Process.  In panel presentation titled Embodied research.  Presented at the Annual Meetings of the Society for Phenomenology and Human Studies (SPHS), Atlanta, GA, October 8, 2015. Retrieved from


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