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Brooks MA, EdD, MFT is passionate about helping people learn the craft of psychotherapy in a way that is enlightening, inspiring, and effective. Philip received both masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Massachusetts where his dissertation research focused on Psychosynthesis, a psychology which explores the higher reaches of human experience in a grounded and experientially based manner. Postgraduate study with Jim Bugental provided the other formative stream of thought in Philip's clinical work. Bugental's Existential-Humanistic Psychology focuses on the interactive here-and-now and the underappreciated power of the subjective element in therapeutic practice.
Dr. Brooks balances his teaching with a private psychotherapy practice. He finds that this "real world" experience brings relevance and aliveness to his teaching. In addition, his clients reap the benefits of having a practitioner who is constantly questioning, studying, and teaching about the art of psychotherapy.
Philip currently teaches three courses: Therapeutic Communication, Group Dynamics, and Psychosynthesis. He has been teaching Therapeutic Communication in some form for decades, and is pleasantly surprised to find that it continues to be fresh and alive for him. This is a foundational course in integral counseling where students are challenged to find deepened capacities for empathic listening, emotional sensitivity and clinical creativity as they embark on their formal training. Group Dynamics is taught in a T-group format wherein students are asked to risk both offering and receiving unusually candid emotional feedback. This course is instrumental in helping students understand their own interpersonal sensitivities, allowing them to be less reactive in dealing with intense emotional encounters. Psychosynthesis takes the therapeutic communication training one step further by offering students a theoretical context and specific tools for deepening one's therapeutic engagement. Dr. Brooks makes liberal use of demonstration sessions in this practical, clinically oriented class.
The Psychosynthesis approach has been Philip's primary clinical focus for thirty five years. He has taught this psychospiritual approach in Bay Area universities and training organizations, and was the founding director of the Psychosynthesis Training Program which he co-led for seventeen years.. Philip is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Pychosynthesis, which coordinates conferences, publishes a newsletter, and distributes the latest readings and research. (www.aap-psychosynthesis.org) In June, 2010 he will be presenting at the Psychosynthesis conference Creating the World We Want, on the teaching of Psychosynthesis in graduate programs. In his ongoing quest for improving the teaching of psychotherapy skills, Philip conducted a search for instructional videos, helping to create a large collection of videos highlighting both challenging clinical issues as well as various schools of practice. These videos are used extensively by both students and faculty members to augment learning and teaching. He also produced and directed the video series Psychotherapy Live, which offers real time psychotherapy sessions followed by a commentary by both the client and therapist. This series has drawn favorable review from within the CIIS community as well as other colleges and training sites.
Philip founded the ICP Diversity Committee, and has been active in shepherding this committee through its first few years as it provides support for students as well as change strategies for the ICP program. He has also secured funding for people of color who need financial support in order to participate in the program.
Philip has spent several years on the Integral Education Committee, which has been a fruitful time of service. He is intrigued with the exploration of the various ways we practice integral education at CIIS, consistently looking at how we can improve our teaching. Through this group he has also come to know faculty members in other programs, and appreciate the rich contributions they make to life at CIIS.