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Existential Dialogues: The therapist in the mirror. Ten live dialogues between Prof Ernesto Spinelli and International Existential Therapists based on case studies that illustrate key existential topics.

15 April “Responsibility” with Prof Ernesto Spinelli and Dr Ken Bradford

Responsibility. “In therapy and spiritual practice, the question of responsibility is central to any quest for authenticity. In the vignette here presented, I was challenged to respond – to be responsible – to a client’s demand for validating a traumatic memory, I could neither honestly confirm nor disconfirm. In the face of my client’s agony, rage and desperate need for validation, I felt pulled toward validating her memory; both as a measure of reassurance for her and to avoid being a (transferential) target of her outrage. This presented me with the choice of reacting – out of my desire to support her and fear of her rage – or responding: relating to her unconditioned by desire or fear, but honestly out of my own vulnerable openness and attunedness. The response-ability I was able to exercise with her was informed by my understanding of authentic presence: a being grounded in relational openness. Dwelling in genuine openness catalyzes the ability to respond from luminating, unconditional awareness. ” Dr Ken Bradford

Ben BradfordDr Ken Bradford, PhD is a Clinical Psychologist, teacher, author and contemplative yogin integrating Buddhist and radical Existential thought and practice. On this basis, he developed an ontologically-keyed practice of Contemplative-Existential Therapy, which he formerly taught and practised in the San Francisco Bay area, including as an Adjunct Professor at John F. Kennedy University and the California Institute of Integral Studies. His publications include numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, most recently on ‘Radical Authenticity’; ‘Non-self Psychology’; and ‘Drawing from a Deeper Well: Contemplative Asian Sources of Radical Existential Thought’. His books include The I of the Other: Mindfulness-Based Diagnosis & the Question of Sanity; Listening from the Heart of Silence: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, Vol. 2 (with John Prendergast); and Opening Yourself: The Psychology and Yoga of Self-liberation (currently in press).

{prof Ernesto Spinelli

Professor Ernesto Spinelli was Chair of the Society for Existential Analysis between 1993 and 1999 and is a Life Member of the Society. His writings, lectures and seminars focus on the application of existential phenomenology to the arenas of therapy, supervision, psychology, and executive coaching. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) as well as an APECS accredited executive coach and coaching supervisor. In 2000, he was the Recipient of BPS Division of Counselling Psychology Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession. And in 2019, Ernesto received the BPS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Practice. His most recent book, Practising Existential Therapy: The Relational World 2nd edition (Sage, 2015) has been widely praised as a major contribution to the advancement of existential theory and practice. Living up to the existential dictum that life is absurd, Ernesto is also the author of an on-going series of Private Eye novels.

Venue: Online Zoom

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