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The Language of Psychology and the Speech of the Soul
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Stephen K. Levine argues that poiesis, the creative act, is also the act by which we affirm our identity and humanity; in exploring this subject he shows the essential affinity of the creative and the therapeutic processes and explores the nature of creative acts. This book looks in detail at the connections between expressive arts, such as poetry, and psychology and develops understanding of the theoretical foundations which connect the arts and psychotherapy. It considers the context in which modern therapy emerged and looks at various aspects of different arts therapies. It provides a much-needed step in the theoretical underpinning of the expressive therapies.
  • Published: Apr 01 1997
  • Pages: 160
  • 212 x 136mm
  • ISBN: 9781853024887
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Press Reviews

  • Transcultural Psychiatry 40

    Examining not only psychological, but also selected philosophical, existential, moral and pedagogical aspects of utilizing aesthetic processes to alleviate human suffering, Levine emerges as an ardent and thoughtful practitioner of the arts in healing, founding his advocacy in the etymology of the word "suffering": "to hold up from underneath". For Levine, cultivating poiesis in the healing arts supports a more fully human being through creative engagement that gives value and meaning to experience.
  • From the Foreword by Paolo Knill

    Stephen K Levine is one of the few contemporary expressive therapists to have the courage to develop an understanding of the multiplicity in the theoretical foundations of a domain as wide and complex as the arts and psychotherapy. His deep roots in the philosophical tradition and thorough knowledge of more than one mode of theory and practice shine through this honest work. Texts of such achievement can only be created by a writer who has a deep understanding and firm faith in the speech of the soul and a masterful eloquence in the language of psychology. Whoever listens to this book may be enriched by the complexity unfolding in human existence, suffering and healing.
  • The Arts in Psychotherapy

    A thoughtful and philosophical treatment of the use of the arts in therapy. Levine is articulate and persuasive in advocating the importance of the arts in the healing process. Through his writings in this book, Levine has positioned himself as a philosopher-practitioner in the expressive arts therapies. It is from Levine that the expressive arts therapies may derive a more articulate and precise rationale for their existence and their importance in the healing/helping process. Poiesis is a powerful and important text.
  • Dramatherapy Journal

    ...not a reference book but a series of thought-provoking essays - much to treasure and remember - a source of profound and stimulating ideas.
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling

    a] scholarly, thoughtful and also intensely personal book. It is so good to come across a work of breadth and depth, written with such a high level of erudition and awareness. Through a series of essays and poems, Levine powerfully and coherently communicates his understanding of the human condition, and the process of therapy and healing whilst focusing upon the theory and practice of expressive art therapy... [an] excellent book.
  • Contact: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Pastoral Studies

    Stephen Levine's book is a profound defence of the healing and transformative properties of art. This book is essential reading for any who desire to promote the power of religious imagery and ritual to bring healing to troubled souls.