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Reimagining psychotherapy: An interview with Hillary and Bradford Keeney

Psychotherapy in Australia
Volume 18 Issue 3 (May 2012)

Abstract: Many would say that the field of psychotherapy has lost its way, and has slipped into a lifeless space of mediocrity with an emphasis on interpretation, where therapists are more concerned with models of change than the mysteries of change itself. The field has witnessed the rise and demise of one model (and its associated gurus), after another. Through their collaboration, Bradford Keeney, one of the great thinkers of family therapy, and Hillary Keeney, a scholar of cybernetics and creative transformation, offer a wake up call to therapists to reinvent their practice, and recognise that models dumb them down and prevent them from finding their own gifts and talents. Paul Gibney talks with the Keeneys about their desire to help therapists return to what has been all but lost in the field of psychotherapy - an emphasis on psychotherapy as a performing art. They suggest the field is so attached to narrative and interpretation that it has removed itself from the heartbeat of life. They point to a regard for absurdity as one of the ultimate expressions of empathy, call for an end to interpretation, and encourage therapists to jump into the stream of interactivity and embrace the creativity that makes a session feel alive. A discussion of cybernetics and its central metaphor of circularity, helps to clarify the misunderstandings of this crucial component of the processes of change. Gibney concludes with the suggestion that psychotherapy as a performing art, informed and enlivened by helpful doses of heart-inspired interaction and absurdity, just might be the frame of psychotherapy's next evolutionary space.

To cite this article: Keeney, Hillary; Keeney, Bradford and Gibney, Paul. Reimagining psychotherapy: An interview with Hillary and Bradford Keeney [online]. Psychotherapy in Australia, Vol. 18, No. 3, May 2012: 62-71. Availability: <;dn=317141413019574;res=IELHEA> ISSN: 1323-0921. [cited 28 Jun 17].

Personal Author: Keeney, Hillary; Keeney, Bradford; Gibney, Paul; Source: Psychotherapy in Australia, Vol. 18, No. 3, May 2012: 62-71 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1323-0921 Subject: Psychotherapy; Mediocrity; Therapist and patient; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Visiting Professor in Psychology, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla (BUAP), Mexico
(2) Professor and Hanna Spyker Eminent Scholars Chair, University of Louisiana

Database: Health Collection