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Revista da Abordagem Gestáltica

Print version ISSN 1809-6867


GARCIA, Wallisten Passos  and  PEREIRA, Ana Paula Almeida de. The person with intellectual disability and the understanding of their existence. Rev. abordagem gestalt. [online]. 2021, vol.27, n.2, pp. 179-187. ISSN 1809-6867.

Often people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are not recognised as capable of attributing meanings to their existence because they have an intellectual limitation. However, they can understand various psychological issues in their lives. Based on the Sartrian existential psychology, the objective of this study is to investigate how the person with ID understands his/her existence, from the meanings they attribute to themselves and their relationships. The phenomenological method was chosen for data collection and analysis. Ten adults with ID participated, students of a Special School in Curitiba. The results showed feelings of loneliness and abandonment on the part of the participants, resulting from absence of affect and dialogue with others; the anguish before their freedom, in a context where they are not allowed to make authentic choices; the difficulty of understanding their feelings, and the desire to value their emotions; the school as the place where they find greatest opportunities for relationships, but where reflection on the everyday situations they experience is limited. It is argued that these existential aspects must be considered in the studies and services directed to people with ID, so that their freedom is recognized, enabling the construction of their existential project.

Keywords : Intellectual disability; Existential psychology; Interpersonal relations.

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