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Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 4:139–151, 2009 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1540-1383 print/1540-1391 online DOI: 10.1080/15401380902945129

Parenting as a Creative Collaboration: A Transpersonal Approach

1540-1391 1540-1383 WCMH Journal of Creativity in Mental Health Health, Vol. 4, No. 2, April 2009: pp. 1–19

Parenting D. Netzer as anda M. Creative BradyCollaboration

DORIT NETZER and MARK BRADY Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California, USA

This article discusses the authors’ dialogue and collaborative writing regarding their professional views on the subject of parenting. The use of metaphor and analogy for parenting as a collaborative, cocreative relationship is woven throughout with references to the authors’ own collaboration, research, and clinical applications in the fields of interpersonal neurobiology, transpersonal psychology, and collaborative creativity. The authors, one with a background in neuroscience and the other with a background in art therapy, propose that the metaphorical meaning of parenting as a creative process of conception, gestation, birth, and nurturance can be extended beyond parent-child dynamics. This approach facilitates growth and healing for both parents and children through a collaborative relationship that emphasizes transpersonal values such as creativity and interconnectedness. KEYWORDS parenting, collaboration, creativity, creative relationships, transpersonal psychology, art therapy, interpersonal neurobiology

This article is the outcome of a 12-week dialogue between the two authors (an art therapist and a social neuroscientist). The original intention was to explore the potential of a creative, scholarly collaboration that is informed by participatory, transpersonal dimensions of life. We chose parenting—a topic of mutual interest—as the basis for our collaborative explorations. The dynamics of this experience have been kept as an integral part of this manuscript, which presents our independent, theoretical, and varied clinical approaches to the therapeutic work we do with parents.

Address correspondence to Dorit Netzer, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 1069 East Meadow Circle, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA. E-mail: dnetzer@itp.edu 139


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We chose to share and make transparent different aspects of our own collaborative process because of the unique manner in which it informed our expanded understanding of parent-child relationships. Our dialogue, like the dialogues in our case examples, reflects the considerations that must go into collaborative relationships so they can unfold freely as creative processes. We expect that this article will provide insight about the nature of parenting as a creative collaboration of a transpersonal nature, one that extends beyond parent-child dynamics and allows both parents and children opportunities for personal and transpersonal growth.

CREATIVE COLLABORATION Collaboration is defined here as the working together of two or more individuals toward a joint outcome, but is differentiated from the concept of cooperation in the degree of personal engagement, interconnectedness, and mutual transformation. Each member of the collaboration is a unique contributor; and whereas not all contribute evenly or equally, all contributions are meaningful to the experiential process and shared outcome (Barron, 2000; John-Steiner, 2000). Collaboration is, by nature, a cocreative process. Creativity is essential to being human and a vital force for our personal, relational, and transpersonal development. It is the antithesis of learning by rote, desensitization to the mysteries and wonders of life, or intimidation by authority figures. Instead, creativity draws on direct, experiential knowing and intuitive insight. It requires, however, the suspension of existing knowledge so as to remain open to new awareness that may contradict prior concepts or inform concepts toward newly integrated understanding (Ferrer, Romero, & Albareda, 2006; Fox, 2002; May, 1975; Richards, 1996). Parenting is a creative process like many other aspects of our lives. To parent creatively and collaboratively we must be willing to be uncertain, to risk making mistakes, and to be willing to continuously examine our contribution to the cocreative dynamics of the relationship. We shape and reshape parenting until it echoes the authentic qualities of all participants, adults and children alike. Fox (2002) wrote about creativity and parenting as a mutually transformative, creative process which cannot adhere to preformulated methods: Each child has their own personality, their own way in which to be addressed, their own form of communication. . . . We learn to know ourselves in the process [of parenting]. . . . Rules are not enough; the dance of creativity is required to sustain relationships as children grow older and themselves undergo deep changes when their experiences multiply and present challenges. (p. 215)


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OUR QUESTIONS In the process of clarifying our shared interest in parenting and our unique perspectives on the subject, we identified the following questions: 1. How do collaborative, cocreative relationships facilitate healing and transformation? 2. Do individuals change in physiological, neurological, behavioral, emotional, mental, and spiritual ways through relational changes? 3. How do these changes get expressed in parents’ relationships with their children, spouses, and the extended community? 4. What should we, as educators and therapists, attend to most in our attempt to facilitate healing of existing splits between parents and children and recover the former connection within these relationships? 5. Who or what needs to change? 6. Can we heal past transgressions, such as physical or emotional abuse, or transcend detrimental circumstances such as early trauma or losses never fully grieved? These and other questions arose while we explored our existing parenting perspectives. We found, however, that our respective temperaments, professional experience, and personal interests guided us to place the focus on different aspects of this complex topic. We needed to find a way to negotiate our different viewpoints if we were to create a coherent manuscript that both honored the complexity of our topic and, at the same time, was inclusive of the many complementary approaches to healthy parenting. We wished to emphasize our shared conviction that collaborative parenting can become a transpersonal practice that emphasizes creativity and the connection among individuals. We did that by keeping our focus on our keen interest in each other and on the positive qualities within our collaborative experience, knowing that we were offered an opportunity to expand and grow beyond what we already knew. We propose that this very metaprocess—keeping the focus on the relationship between collaborators rather than on the conflicting issues—is a needed dynamic between children and parents as well, and can be growth enhancing in many other areas of life in which collaborations are viable.

TRANSPARENCY Looking back at the process we have undergone as collaborators, we recognize that we differed from each other in many ways (e.g., gender, age, cultural background, and current professional approaches to our therapeutic work with parents). We appreciate transparency—the ability to be open in


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self-disclosure, which is reflective of awareness of one’s own point of view and experience in relationship to another’s (Roberts, 2005)—as a quality that facilitated and deepened our collaborative relationship. By being honest and transparent with each other equally, both when we resonated with each other’s point of view and when we felt at odds with each other, we honored the validity and authenticity of each of our perspectives. As a result, we felt more open and safer to expand our respective points of view, without either of us ever being disrespectful or losing our integrity. Our experience confirmed the feminist scholarly perspective that transparency in interpersonal dynamics increases collaboration, exposes perceptions about power dynamics, decreases hierarchy, and affirms shared and diverse experiences (Roberts, 2005). Furthermore, the experience of negotiating our differences in regard to our collaboration supported our understanding that being transparent in relationships necessitates being clear and coherent in one’s own experience before sharing it with others (Gaines, 2003). Relational-Cultural Theory suggests we gain clarity through our connection with others. Jean Baker Miller (1986) described an increased knowledge of oneself and the other person(s) as one characteristic of growth-fostering relationships. We believe that parents can help their children to develop the capacity of self-observation by developing their own ability to distinguish their needs and desires, as well as exploring the impact of their own personal history and emotions before projecting them onto their children. However, the subtle dimensions of transparency are more difficult to master. What should parents disclose about their experience in relationship to their children? How should they incorporate it into their role as parents? When is it helpful to be transparent, and when does it become a burden on children? These more subtle dimensions of transparency require skill and practice. Nevertheless, by becoming informed about the potential of transparency in parenting dynamics, and with guidance from a therapist who models transparency, parents are able to become transparent in their relationships with children in ways that lead to an integration of significant differences and the benefit of shared experiences. Establishing open, age-appropriate dialogue with children is important as it facilitates later disclosure of the many developmental and social challenges they will face, in particular as children transition to adolescence. Approaching the parent-child collaboration in this way entails discernment of how each can function in the world authentically while, simultaneously, considering the other. Metaphorically, the greater meaning of parenting contains many forms of conception, gestation, birth, and nurturance. Parenting is a creative act which is manifested not only in the microcosms of parent-child relationships but also in the many areas of our lives in which we conceive, birth, nurture, and, finally, release what we have created. Working with parenting as a metaphor, we might consider it in the “parenting” of our thoughts,


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emotions, and actions. This suggests that the child-parent relationship is an opportunity for personal growth and transpersonal development— development beyond primarily self-concerns—on behalf of both children and parents.

PARENTS’ SELF-KNOWLEDGE In our dialogues over the essential ingredients in parent-child relationships, we examined the contribution of current theories from the field of interpersonal neurobiology to the fields of psychotherapy and counseling. For example, recent studies of the brain (e.g., Badenoch, 2008; Schore, 2003; Siegel & Hartzell, 2004) have affirmed longstanding psychological observations which emphasize self-awareness and the value of attunement—attentive and receptive listening—in building and fostering interpersonal trust, also known as secure attachment. These discoveries pertain to the developmental process of the integration of certain brain structures that are the result of the presence of secure attachment compared to the structure of the brain when those attachments are absent. It involves, mostly, the development of neural pathways out from and within the “resonance circuits”—the connections between the limbic structures and the prefrontal cortex (Badenoch, 2008). Without this critical neural development, children’s capacities for emotional regulation and self-reflection are compromised (Siegel & Hartzell, 2004). The ability to provide effective parenting is thus hindered when adults come into the parent-child relationship with the needs of their inner child unmet, which leads to gaps in their early childhood development that need healing integration. In the daily interactions with their children, parents may be unconsciously triggered by past traumatic experiences, such as harsh discipline and shaming, or more severe forms of physical and/or emotional abuse. When these experiences surface in search of healing, adults can rarely maintain the parental role successfully. The child may experience this sudden shift in adult behavior as chaos and confusion. It is of value to note that transpersonal practices, such as mindful meditation and involvement in spiritual communities, were shown to facilitate neural reintegration (Davidson & Harrington, 2003), which is indicative of the healings of these developmental gaps. Another example from the literature for the value of neural integration is the concept of a coherent narrative (Schore, 2003). For parents, constructing a coherent narrative of their lives means that they have done some kind of psychological or spiritual integrative healing work, in therapy or elsewhere, that has allowed them to make sense of and integrate many of the overwhelming, confusing, and possibly abusive experiences of their own childhoods. This process supports their ability to be flexible and provide emotionally authentic relationships. In turn, this allows them to foster


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mutuality with their children, for example, by acknowledging errors, clarifying their intentions, and changing harmful patterns of behavior toward their children (e.g., refrain from yelling). Siegel and Hartzell (2004) explain this process as the outcome of integrating the left and right modes of neural processing: Making sense of your life can be enhanced by learning about what the left and the right mode of processing feel like for you. Each of us has the ability to distance ourselves from the uncontrollable, less predictable free-form sensations of our raw emotional experiences. This distance can be seen as a predominantly left-mode processing state: the left mode is overriding input from the right at that moment. In contrast, there may be other times when we may become aware of being filled with sensations that we cannot name or understand logically. There may be images in the mind’s eye, bodily sensations, or notions that float in and out of our consciousness. We may lose track of time and feel closely connected to what we are perceiving, having little concern for the cause-effect relationships of the world around us. We may become immersed in the bodily, emotional, and perceptual aspects of an experience, which all are aspects of right-mode processing. (p. 45)

A creative approach to this integration may entail the transformation of these imprinted mental images and embodied traumas in ways that create the necessary space and clarity of mind that is needed in fostering mutuality and, thus, the ability to collaborate. In creative processes there is an integration of the logical and analogical—the rational and the intuitive. The following case example illustrates this concept.

Case Example 1 This is the case of Rachel (pseudonym), a mother, who struggled in her relationship with her preteen child in the years following his father’s suicide. She characterized the relationship as tense. She feared for her son’s safety and did not trust his capacity to make choices in line with safe conduct (such as in climbing tall trees or swinging from a rope). In this example from an art therapy session (Netzer, 2009), Rachel and I (D. N.) were aware that much of this fear was embedded in associations with the past, specifically the circumstances of her husband’s suicide. In the session, Rachel discussed an incident when her son behaved, in her judgment, in a defiant way, risking his safety. She felt frustrated and out of sorts as to “what to do about it.” The approach toward a collaborative relationship in this example began with an activity aimed at helping Rachel explore the parent-child dynamics through creative expression and mental imagery. The intention was to help Rachel clarify qualities of her relationship with her son and the possibilities it offered both of them through


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nonverbal means, which allow subconscious material to surface with lessened defenses. I asked Rachel to choose two different color crayons, one to represent her and one to represent her son, and to create an abstract drawing of lines with both colors. This process unfolded intuitively, with minimal interventions, as depicted below: Selecting one color to represent her and another color to represent her son, Rachel drew two parallel lines that did not meet. When asked what image arose when she saw, sensed, and felt these two lines, Rachel replied that she saw herself standing on one side of a river and her son standing on its opposite bank. She went on and described the river as moderately wide, but the water was too rapid to cross safely. At this point, I intervened by reminding her that she could create anything in her imagination to help her cross the river if she wished to. She may form new elements in the image or transform herself to make it possible. In reply, Rachel closed her eyes and engaged in a brief, spontaneous mental imaging. She reported that she saw herself as a leopard, and she found a way to cross the river upon a few rocks and boulders. After crossing to the other side she met her son. As before, I reminded Rachel of the limitlessness of her imagery and suggested that she could meet her son in a new way. In response, Rachel said that she now saw her son approaching the leopard and mounting it. She felt light and confident, and she sensed the trust the boy had for the leopard. I observed that in this image it was conceivable that the leopard might teach the boy the wisdom of the wilderness and ways to cross rapid waters without a confrontation that will put them at odds. At that moment Rachel filled up with emotions, and it was evident that she experienced a whole body shift which indicated to me the imagery held pertinent meaning for her, and the possibilities it offered touched her deeply. At that moment it was important that I support her in grounding this experience without disconnecting from its transformative effect. Thus we did not discuss or analyze it (a left-mode-processing), but rather held the image as an alternative to the existing, right-mode-processing emotions, which increased the tension with her son. An ongoing revisiting of this image and other, similarly empowering and interpersonally connecting ones, were central to Rachel’s healing and the fostering of collaborative, mutually trusting relationship with her son (Netzer, 2009, pp. 6–7).

In this creative approach to healing the parent-child interpersonal dynamics, we did not rely on logical reasoning to justify the causal relationship between past and present events and one’s emotional state in response to these events. Thus, present behavior did not have to be determined on the basis of past experience (Keane & Cope, 1996). We offered an alternative way to respond to life experiences, not as outcomes of external events, but as a reflection of one’s inner state in relationship with others (Epstein, 2004).


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Past and present outer circumstances were not seen as arbitrary or random, but as opportunities to explore present possibilities. This is a participatory response, one that acknowledges that we might not be able to affect circumstances, but we can be in charge of our inner state of being and how we process our experiences.

THE BRAIN AND THE HEART Pearce (2004) described the heart-brain connection, contending that effective parenting is contributing significantly to more complex and robust neuronal growth and synaptic connectivity, as well as earlier neural integration in children. For Pearce, the model of human development that our species is moving toward is simple and elegant. It is made up of five brains. The first three, also known as the Triune Brain, have long been academically and scientifically accepted. The Triune is made up of Brain One—the brainstem; Brain Two—the structures of the limbic system; and Brain Three—the structures of the neocortex. Effective parenting is significantly helpful in developing both Brain Four—the integrating, “executive” functions of the Prefrontal Cortex, and Brain Five—increasing numbers of afferent neurons running from the heart up to the brain. In effect, these increasing numbers of neurons are allowing the strong, operative aspects of the heart to override frequent, fear-based, limbically reactive decisions, in favor of more spiritually salient, compassionate responses (Porges, 1995). Whereas the limbic brain seems vulnerable to fight-flight conditioning, and thus reactivity, the heart seems more capable of responding from a deeper knowing of reality as it presents itself in each moment anew. Creative processes, informed by intuition, have traditionally been associated with the heart’s wisdom to unite that which appears separate, as in the perception of individuation and the experiences of disconnection and isolation (Underhill, 1910/2005). Interestingly, the early research on heartbrain connection (Lacey & Lacey, 1970) indicated that when the brain sent an order to the heart through the nervous system, the heart did not automatically obey. In other words, an aroused brain signal did not always result in accelerated heartbeat while other organs responded with arousal. Moreover, according to this early research, the heart sends messages to the brain in the heartbeat language that is responded to by higher brain function and an ultimate change in non-desirable behavior. Heart-based, non-reactive, and compassionate parenting entails integrative resolution of traumatic early experiences for parents as well as greater intellective and emotional integration for both parents and children. The following case example illustrates the potential of a heart-centered approach to open engagement in a creative process in lieu of focusing on remedial or corrective approaches to a child’s non-desirable behavior.


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Case Example 2 This example was extracted from an initial art therapy session with Tommy (pseudonym), an 11-year-old boy whose parents were going through a divorce. He was exhibiting excessive anger and aggression at home and in social settings. In this first art therapy session Tommy began a non-directed drawing of a ram on a hill, standing by a bare, split-looking tree and small bushes. It was a rainy, winter day in his picture which he clearly expressed with the gray clouds and the narrow lines of raindrops. His unsatisfying attempts at the ram were first replaced with the idea that this could be a buffalo, but eventually terminated with some frustration and a question: What should this be? I felt that there were hidden possibilities in his question, which could be best left open for his response by stating that as the artist he could choose to create any animal he wishes, even if it doesn’t exist in nature. With this suggestion, Tommy’s face lit up, he proceeded to create another drawing, and in so doing he slowly formed a mythical looking creature. The head, which he drew first, was a dog’s head. The torso was that of a strong man, and the lower body was a fish tail. He was clear about what he wanted to communicate. Without hesitation he wrote on the sketch: The dog is loyal, the man is powerful, and the merman is gentle. That last part, he said, is under water and no one can see it unless they go deeper. He added, insightfully, that all these parts could be in one person. (D. Netzer, personal communication, March 22, 2007)

As in the first case example, I (D. N.) felt that it was not necessary to further analyze the symbolic qualities in the image he created. Both of us could sense that the image was meaningful to him as he asked to save it in his portfolio. My role was to provide the space and attention that permitted his creative process to unfold. Tommy’s process was neither guided by my knowledge of his history, nor a goal for the therapeutic encounter. This approach, I believe, accounted for his responsiveness to the possibilities of changing his drawing mid-course, guided by the analogies it contained and the wisdom it offered him in the context of his present familial challenges. Tommy’s departure from the known, in his initial drawing of the ram (a symbol of aggression), to the unknown, in his drawing of the mythical creature (which symbolized a more complex character) was sparked, I believe, by my openness for the possibilities of creative freedom and healing. I honored the phenomenology of the moment in lieu of preconceived standards and expectations of certain behavior and accomplishments. As stated by Richards (1996), “We need the courage of authenticity to carry our originality of imagination into expression. . . . One comes to it through trust in one’s own self, and a willingness to entrust oneself to others, whatever the risk” (Richards, 1996, pp. 118–120).


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THE HOUSE-BUILDING METAPHOR In the process of constructing this article, another metaphor emerged through our sharing of personal and professional experiences, which influenced the evolution of our respective work with parents. The metaphor of house-building is an example of how a creative approach to our collaboration inspired an expanded understanding of the potential in collaborative child-parent dynamics. This emerged through Brady’s reflection on the way in which we often draw upon our life experiences to establish analogical frames of references. In his book Growing a Housebuilder (Brady, 1991), he discussed that when building a house, you must integrate and collaborate with more than 1,000 people from start to finish, all of whom are critical pieces required to complete a suitable structure for living in. With many of those people, there is immediate positive resonance and attunement. With others, there are relatively neutral interactions as they are generally only involved with the project for a very short time. And then with others, there are significant negative and challenging interactions almost from day one. Collaboration with the former results in extraordinary accomplishments being achieved. That being said, however, all types of people are generally involved in the creative enterprise that is house-building. And it is unequivocally true that two people can do more, be more, and create more working together than each of them can accomplish working alone. The house-building metaphor is a reminder of the interconnectedness and interdependence among individuals and members of their family and culture. Acknowledging that identity is constructed in the context of relationships is most important when it comes to understanding children’s social development, since individuals typically adapt and conform to group pressures, accepted norms, and stereotypes of their respective culture and social environment (Kitayama & Markus, 1994). In other words, there exists a constant negotiation between one and others, in which personal and shared experiences interrelate in a mutually shaping discourse. This dialectical relationship may result in relative harmony or conflict, very much like in the house-building metaphor, depending upon the degree of mutual consideration of respective needs and tendencies, as opposed to resistance to or ignorance of the necessity of mutuality. The nature of genuine mutuality between parents and their children is such that it necessitates mindfulness of one’s assumptions, preconceptions, convictions, and expectations about the child (e.g., age and social-behavioral appropriateness, physical and emotional capacities, etc.). This requirement for ongoing and deepening mindfulness is beneficial for many creative enterprises, especially the healing arts (Langer, 2005). The house-building metaphor can be taken further, beyond the builders’ interactions, to illustrate how the shape of relationships can accommodate all the house inhabitants. Viewing the house as analogous to the


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parent-child relationship, we presume that in the planning and constructing of the “house,” parent and child do not have equal roles. It may be that the parent determines aspects such as the house location (the living environment within which the relationship can be established); the dimensions of the house (by analogy, how much time and space are devoted to the parentchild relationship); and foundational building materials (which represent the physical and emotional closeness, nutrition, and selective exposure to stimuli, such as TV). We could go on with similar analogies. However, in designing and building the house, as a metaphor for the relational dynamics between parents and children, the children might communicate (implicitly or explicitly) their needs and preferences as well. Perhaps they will appreciate a smaller or larger family room, their own rooms, or a shared sleeping arrangement (as metaphors for the need for more or less physical and emotional space). A choice of colors for the walls can be analogous to an aptitude for one kind of stimulus over another. Preferences for a wide open lawn or a secret garden are also metaphors for an introverted or extroverted nature. When parents recognize that their children are co-creators of themselves and the family’s “self,” as a particular and meaningful entity, children might be taken into consideration and related to in a mindful way that recognizes their uniqueness. Naturally, older children are better able to verbally express their likes and dislikes, but parents can attune to the unique needs and preferences of younger children before they are capable of articulating them. In that sense, it is best to consider the parental role in the delicate balance of the child’s identity formation: the balance between inherent tendencies, the child’s unique self-expression, and the need to accommodate familial and social agreements. This is especially important (as in the house-building metaphor) when parents and children do not experience positive resonance or attunement, whether fundamentally or circumstantially. Successfully navigating these times of nonpositive resonance and mis-attunement are critical, not only for the health and wellbeing of the parents, but for the children as well. Fundamental to successful outcomes, several things need to be present. One is a general, heartfelt feeling of good will towards the person we disagree with. This usually shows up by way of emotional self-disclosure, rather than in personal attacks aimed at the other person. Another required element seems to involve both the capacity for deep listening and for selfreflection, often accompanied by curious inquiry. (What is it about this issue that makes it so strong for me? What fears might underlie my position? What am I most disturbed by in what’s coming at me from the other person? Is it what they’re saying? The way they’re saying it? My own confusion over what’s really under discussion here?) Finally, there needs to be some workable means to repair breaches that have occurred as a result of the conflict. This often requires that each party make vulnerable, authentic expressions of sincere apology (Brady, 2003, 2006).


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CLOSING REMARKS Drawing on the value of authenticity and willingness to be mindful and vulnerable, and not all-knowing, which underscored our collaborative relationship in the process of writing this article, we were able to integrate our diverse perspectives in addressing child-parent relationships. Taking on this collaborative effort was an exercise in trust and creative investigation—trust in the ability to be available for and present to whatever came out of our interactive exploration as it unfolded. This had been an enormously instructive process which expanded and deepened our approaches to working with children and parents. It integrated the personal and professional, theoretical and experiential, brain and heart orientations, cutting-edge natural science, and the creative process of art making. Interweaving these diverse aspects into a meaningful whole was informative of our conviction that a collaborative approach to human development and healing, as facilitated in the child-parent relationship, must rely on the capacity to know oneself and, at the same time, endeavor to know the other as fully as possible. It must place emphasis on mutuality and the healing qualities of authentic transparent relationships, which help us transcend what we already know, heal the past, and open ourselves to new possibilities.

REFERENCES Badenoch, B. (2008). Being a brain-wise therapist. New York: W. W. Norton. Barron, F. (2000). Achieving coordination in collaborative problem solving groups. Journal of Learning Sciences, 9, 404–436. Brady, M. (1991). Growing a housebuilder. Langley, WA: Paideia Press. Brady, M. (Ed.). (2003). The wisdom of listening. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications. Brady, M. (2006). A little book of parenting skills. Langley, WA: Paideia Press. Davidson, R. J., & Harrington, A. (Eds.). (2003). Visions of compassion: Western scientists and Tibetan Buddhists examine human nature. London: Oxford University Press. Epstein, G. (2004). Never the twain shall meet: Spirituality or psychotherapy. Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 20(3), 12–19. Ferrer, J., Romero, M., & Albareda, R. (2006). The four seasons of integral education: A participatory proposal. Revision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation, 29(2), 11–23. Fox, M. (2002). Creativity: Where the divine and the human meet. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher & Putnam. Gaines, R. (2003). Therapist self-disclosure with children, adolescents, and their parents. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 59, 569–580. John-Steiner, V. (2000). Creative collaborations. New York: Oxford University Press. Keane, M., & Cope, S. (1996). When the therapist is a yogi: Integrating yoga and psychotherapy. In S. Boorstein (Ed.), Transpersonal psychotherapy (pp. 279–292). Albany: State University of New York Press.


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Kitayama, S., & Markus, H. R. (Eds.). (1994). Emotions and culture. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Lacey, J., & Lacey, B. (1970). Some autonomic—central nervous system interrelationship. In P. Black (Ed.), Physiological correlates of emotion (pp. 205–227). New York: Academic Press. Langer, E. J. (2005). On becoming an artist. New York: Ballentine. May, R. (1975). The courage to create. New York: W. W. Norton. Miller, J. B. (1986). What do we mean by relationships? Work in Progress, No. 22. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series. Netzer, D. (2009). The creative encounter: Knowing self, knowing other. Manuscript submitted for publication. Pearce, J. C. (2004). The biology of transcendence: A blueprint of the human spirit. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press. Porges, S. W. (1995). Orienting in a defensive world: Mammalian modifications of our evolutionary heritage. A polyvagal theory. Psychophysiology, 32, 302–318. Richards, M. C. (1996). Opening our moral eye: Essays, talks, and poems embracing creativity and community. Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press. Roberts, J. (2005). Transparency and self disclosure in family therapy: Dangers and possibilities. Family Process, 44(1), 45–63. Schore, A. N. (2003). Affect dysregulation and disorders of the self. New York: W.W. Norton. Siegel, D. J., & Hartzell, M. (2004). Parenting from the inside out. New York: Tarcher/Putnam. Underhill, E. (2005). Mysticism: The nature and development of spiritual consciousness. Oxford, England: Oneworld Publications. (Original work published 1910)

Dorit Netzer is an adjunct faculty member at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York and a global faculty mentor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California. Mark Brady is an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California.

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Parenting as a Creative Collaboration - A Transpersonal Approach  

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