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The Nature of Duality in Poetry & Psychotherapy

The Ruth Stone House Podcast
The Ruth Stone House Podcast
The Nature of Duality in Poetry & Psychotherapy

Bianca Stone talking with James Barnes

This conversation is ongoing and sprawling.

There is a huge amount in common between modern psychoanalytic theory and poetry theory, particularly in the importance of negative capability, and the mutual experience needed between therapist and patient, poet and poem.

In this episode I’m talking with James Barnes, a psychotherapist and writer based in Exeter, UK. I tracked him down online following a research hole I feel into, finding an article that explored the origins of dualism; the pitfalls of our western proclivity to see nature as mechanistic, that our minds are separate from matter and specifically, the dangers those ideas pose to the psyche. This fascinating and important topic coincided with a lot discussions we’ve been having at the RSH, some of which Leanne Ruell and I discussed in the last episode “Why I Make Poetry Comics This Podcast Won’t Tell You.” The crossovers in philosophy, psychology and poetry are a rich resource for creative discovery. This will be the first in an ongoing discussion.

Articles discussed:

How the dualism of Descartes Ruined our Mental Health, James Barnes

On Bion’s Concepts of Negative Capability and Faith, G. Civitarese

James Barnes is a psychotherapist and writer based in Exeter, UK, who has a background in relational psychoanalysis and philosophy. He has been in the mental health world for almost two decades, working in the UK, US and Mexico, and also experiencing mental health services himself. He recently returned to the UK to help facilitate a paradigm shift in the understanding and treatment of emotional/psychological distress. He has a particular interest in working on the philosophical and conceptual foundations of this shift. More at:

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