Performing Prometheus: the Dramatic Interpreter


Prof. Ernesto Spinelli

Professor Ernesto Spinelli is a practising existential psychotherapist and the Senior Fellow of the School of Psychotherapy and Counselling at Regent's College, London which is the principal centre for the analysis and development of existential-phenomenological thought and practice as applied to the related fields of psychotherapy, counselling and counselling psychology. Professor Spinelli is Past Chair of the Society for Existential Analysis and of the British Psychological Society's Division of Counselling Psychology. He is a registered existential psychotherapist, and accredited counsellor and a Chartered Counselling Psychologist.

He has gained an international reputation for his exposition of various key issues in existential-phenomenological inquiry, most notable with regard to the question of the development of the self-construct, the relational realms within the psychotherapeutic relationship and the inter-subjective factors which inform an existential theory of human sexuality. For these, and other, original contributions, Professor Spinelli was awarded a Personal Chair in Psychotherapy Counselling and Counselling Psychology in 1998.

Among his many papers and publications, Professor Spinelli's The Interpreted World: an introduction to phenomenological psychology (Sage, 1989); Demystifying Therapy (Constable, 1994) and Tales of Un-knowing: therapeutic encounters from an existential perspective [Duckworth (UK) and New York University Press (US)] have been widely admired for their clarity and originality of argument.


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2005   The Interpreted World: an introduction to phenomenological psychology. 2nd Edition. London: Sage.

2004   ‘A response by Ernesto Spinelli’ in Shouldn’t I Be Feeling Better Now? Client views of therapy.  Y. Bates (ed).  London: Palgrave McMillan

2003a 'Some hesitant steps toward a more humane psychotherapy' in Ethically Challenged Professions, Y. Bates & R. House (eds).  Ross-on-Wye: PCCS Books.

2003b  The Mirror and the Hammer: existential challenges to therapeutic orthodoxy.  London: Sage.

2003c   Embodied Theories: psychotherapists as living exponents of their models (co-edited with S. Marshall).  London: Sage.

2002a  'The existential-phenomenological paradigm' in Handbook of Counselling Psychology 2nd Edition R.  Woolfe, S. Strawbridge and  W.  Dryden (eds). London: Sage.

2002b  'On Disclosure', 'The vagaries of the self', 'Reculer pour mieux sauter' in Further Existential Challenges to Psychotherapeutic Theory and Practice', S du Plock (ed).  London: SEA Press.

2001a  'Existential psychotherapy is not humanistic psychotherapy in The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology. J. Bugenthal and K. Schneider (eds). London: Sage.

2001b  'Counselling and the abuse of power', in BACP Counselling Reader 2, P. Milner and  S. Palmer (eds). London: Sage.

1997a  Tales of Un-knowing: therapeutic encounters from an existential perspective. London: Duckworth.

1996b  'Ernesto Spinelli: existential therapy', in Therapists on Therapy, B. Mullan (ed).  London: Free Association Books.

1995a  'Afterword' to Folie a Deux: an experience of one-to-one therapy, by R. Alexander.  London: Free Association Books.

1995b  'The phenomenological method and client-centred therapy', 'Sex, death and the whole damn thing',  'The unconscious: an idea whose time has gone?' and 'Riding shotgun  for  Freud or aiming a gun at his head?  - a reply to David L Smith' in Existential Challenges to Psychotherapeutic Theory and Practice, H. W. Cohn and S. du Plock (eds). London: JSEA Press.

1994   Demystifying Therapy.  London: Constable.

1993   'Philip K. Dick and the philosophy of uncertainty' in Regards sur Philip K Dick, H. Collon (ed) Paris: Encrage.

1989   The Interpreted World: an introduction to phenomenological psychology. London: Sage.



 Books by Prof. Ernesto Spinelli