Poetically Informed Psychotherapy – Redux

david-whyte-quoteHere is a short postscript to my last blog. I was talking with one of our  CE boards about getting CE for David Whyte’s talks at our conference. First I was asked, “Is his work evidenced based?” I laughed and said, “It’s the exact opposite of evidenced based.”

I explained a bit more about why the question itself was: a) humorous and b) irrelevant. This group actually was not unsympathetic to my cause, but needed something to protect themselves. I was asked to send something in writing that might help justify providing CE.

Here is what I wrote:

The two topics that David Whyte is presenting are essentially antidotes to the dehumanizing effects of the mechanized modern world that can show up as psychological or psychiatric symptoms. Listening to clients and conversing with clients with a “poetically informed” ear helps to bring a sacred human influence into the room.

So, if you were going to see a mental health professional what would you want this person’s latest CE training to be?

Would you prefer some “paint by numbers” training on a manualized approach to treatment or a  training that helped the professional see you and interact with you more as a person on a sacred journey – a person struggling with how to ask questions and make choices that will make their life more rich and meaningful?

I meant every word of it. We got the CE for David’s one day pre-con and his keynote at the energy psychology conference May 18-22, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. Almost 300 people have already signed up!!! It’s going to be great. Hope to see you there.

Robert Schwarz, PsyD, DCEP
ACEP Executive Director


  1. Once again, presence seems to be one of the intangible but crucial elements of healing. It can’t be measured on an evidence-based scale because it’s a function of heart-based compassion, respect and a sensitivity that allows us to meet the client where they are instead of put them through the paces of an evidence-based obstacle course that sometimes does more harm than good.

  2. What a well crafted and beautifully articulated response. Thank you for standing up!

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