5 Week Class on The Writer’s Crucible with Philip Kenney

Philip Kenney

Saturdays, April 11 – May 9, 10am – 12pm

This class is designed for students who wish to deepen their understanding of the ideas presented in the “Coming Through the Crucible” workshop. In this five-week class, we will use the text of The Writer’s Crucible as a starting point for an exploration of the emotional vulnerabilities we encounter in our work.

Why the Crucible? Crucible is defined as: A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.

Writers know what it is to go through the crucible. It is trial by fire and the joy of making something new. This is the agony and the ecstasy of our work. We will explore in depth, the psychological, emotional and creative aspects that interact in this dynamic process and move us to experience such a tremendous range of feeling.

Participants will come to a better understanding of their own psychology and develop improved ways of providing self-support through difficult times. In particular, this workshop will delve into material related to emotional flooding, shame-based reactions to rejections and critique, managing and confronting negative self-talk and the ways in which trauma lives in the body and psyche. We will also look at spiritual methods of understanding the creative process and in short meditations to transform states of emotional constriction into states of openness.

This workshop will offer both an intellectual understanding of the material and experiential processes that make what we learn personally relevant. Each class will include exercises designed to connect us with and accept our emotional life. We will use writing prompts to explore the psychological material and have small group sessions to share insights and experiences that come up in the course of the program. There will be ample time to question and comment on the readings and class presentations.

Schedule for the class:

Week One:  The Paradox of Self: We are one and many in the Theater of the Mind
Week Two:  Understanding the Psychology of Vulnerability: Dealing with insecurities
Week Three: Trauma and the Problem of Shame: The epidemic of unworthiness
Week Four:  Internal Self-Attack: Three approaches to standing up to the inner critic
Week Five:  Writing as Spiritual Practice: The challenge of getting out of our way

Philip Kenney writes and practices psychotherapy in Portland. His most recent book, The Writer’s Crucible: Meditations on Emotion, Being and Creativity, was a finalist for The Red City Review 2018 Non-Fiction Book of the Year. This work is intended to support writers with the emotional vulnerabilities they face living a creative life.In 2018, his essay, The Rebirth of Masculinity: What We Can Learn From Harvey Weinstein and Co. was published in issue #7 of The Timberline Review. He is also the author of the novel, Radiance, and a collection of poetry, Where Roses Grow.

Find out more.