The Creative Therapist in Practice  book cover
1st Edition

The Creative Therapist in Practice

ISBN 9780367078089
Published May 9, 2019 by Routledge
242 Pages

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Book Description

In The Creative Therapist in Practice Hillary and Bradford Keeney present a radically innovative approach to the practice of therapy. Combining improvisational performing arts, action-oriented cybernetics, and ecstatic healing traditions, therapy is re-imagined as a creative transformative art.

The book demonstrates the principles of creative therapy through numerous transcriptions of sessions conducted by the authors. It guides practitioners in conducting a three-part therapeutic performance: beginning with therapeutic techniques that broaden the context, igniting a session to creatively "cook," and finally concluding with a creative prescription for change that can be incorporated into the client’s daily living. As well as tracing the historical development of creative therapy, chapters explore what is possible for the future of therapy when practitioners leave behind conventional models and theoretical interpretations.

Applying case examples of creative therapy to a wide range of presenting concerns, The Creative Therapist in Practice will be relevant to clinicians working across the field of mental health, including licensed psychotherapists, psychologists, and clinical social workers. Filled with inspiring anecdotes, unique interventions, and fascinating case illustrations, it will benefit anyone looking to become more naturally improvisational and wake up the creative life force in their sessions.

Table of Contents


The Basics

1 The Historical Development of Creative Therapy

2 What’s Different About the Creative Therapist?

3 The Practical Operations of a Creative Therapy Session


Creative Therapy Case Studies

4 Half a Beard with a Slice of Sour Cherry Pie

5 A True Fairy Tale

6 The Lady with Two Violins

7 Building a House for a Gentle Feather

8 The Intestinal Friend

9 Sharing the Bitterness Until Death Do Us Part

10 Electrically Ordained in Arkansas

11 The Lightning King

12 Our Love Is Here to Stay



13 Creative Therapy Is Jazz

14 How to Get Started

Appendix: A ‘Pataphysical History for the Future of Creative Therapy


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Hillary Keeney, PhD, is Director, Institute for Creative Therapy, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, and Associate Editor of the journal, Dance, Movement, and Spiritualities.

Bradford Keeney, PhD, is the former director of several clinical doctoral programs, an improvisational pianist, and an explorer of creative approaches to psychotherapy.