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John O'Donohue and the Poetics of Therapy

Rekindling Creative Therapy through Poetry

Mary Sykes Wylie

John O'Donohue has begun to build up a small but devoted following in the therapy world. At a time when the pressure is on to do ever briefer, more technical, symptom-focused, "evidence-based," standardized therapies, and to rationalize every moment of a clinical encounter, he reminds us what a noble, even sacred, calling therapy can be. What's more, O'Donohue's musings lead us to reflect on the same old questions mystics and spiritual guides have asked throughout the ages: Who are we? Where have we come from? Why are we here? What do we truly want?

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Rediscovering the Myth

For John O'Donohue, Therapy Is a Journey into the Unknown Self

Mary Sykes Wylie

Poet John O'Donohue's introduction to the therapy field came through his unlikely friendship with neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel, known for his book The Developing Mind and his pathbreaking efforts to help therapists develop an understanding of how the brain develops and changes in response to human relationships. Recalls Siegel, "It seemed to me that he described, in a beautifully poetic way, the human mind in a state of inner coherence or neural integration--which is my subject--and how both solitude and relationship can act in tandem to bring a sense of mental and emotional wholeness."

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Brain Integration As the Key to Well-Being

Capturing a Moment of Therapeutic 'Aha!'

Rich Simon

I remember well the first time that psychiatrist Dan Siegel delivered an address at the Networker Symposium 10 years ago and introduced the utterly foreign and deeply repellent concept of “brain science” to 3,000 therapists who were certainly used to treating people’s minds, but who were as yet unacquainted with the mysterious, buzzing machinery of people’s brains.

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Does Neuroscience Really Matter?

Rich Simon

Given the responses that continue to come in to Steve Andreas’ critique of the therapeutic relevance of neuroscience, we asked two leaders in the development of more brain-based approaches to therapy to weigh in and further the discussion for State of the Art 2013.

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