Personal Epistemology

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Without even realizing it, everyone has a personal paradigm regarding everything that they understand. Throughout my life, my personal paradigm has changed regarding the topic of mental illness, especially anxiety. I began with a positivistic paradigm, but overtime have become more interpretivistic due to personal experiences with mental illness. This paper will discuss my ontology and epistemology regarding mental illness as a positivist, and how my views have changed to become more phenomenologically-based. I was first truly introduced to the topic of mental illness while in high school. This is where I had learned my ontology; that mental illness is real, and so is anxiety. I also learned that anxiety could be measured using a tool to understand…show more content…
I feel that this is very true because when my epistemology was the method of authority and empirical knowledge, my view of anxiety as an illness was very different than it is now that I have experience with the illness myself, as well as seeing others with it and having different experiences with it. I could reflect and see that I had created my own image of anxiety and this image was very narrow-minded and may not suit…show more content…
These views were created by my epistemology which included method of authority and empirical knowing, which were my teachers, doctors, and textbooks in school. Now that I have had more experience with anxiety and mental illness, both personally and by interacting with others with mental illnesses, my personal paradigm has changed and I have become phenomenological in my ontology and epistemology. I now see that values are real and personal opinions and experiences can be considered real knowledge. These realizations will help me become a better social worker by considering personal experiences and the values of those that I hope to help in order to be more efficient and empathic with helping people. I will also know not to generalize people based on their illnesses and to understand that some information can be transferred amongst people while others

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