New book by Philip Kenney

The Writer's Crucible Meditations on Emotion, Being and Creativity

Phil Kenney

Philip Kenney is a practicing psychotherapist in Portland, Oregon. He did his post-graduate work in British Object Relations at the Washington D.C. School of Psychiatry and has taught Self Psychology as part of his private practice. A long time meditator and poet, Mr. Kenney is the author of the novel, Radiance, and a collection of poetry, Where Roses Bloom. He strives to bring together the worlds of psychology, creativity and spirituality in his work and is the author of a new book on those subjects entitled, The Writer's Crucible: Meditations on Emotion, Being and Creativity.

Reviews, Interviews and Articles

The Writer’s Crucible: Red City Review

★★★★★ At the heart of Philip Kenney’s meditative book for authors entitled The Writer’s Crucible is the idea that writers of all ages, genres, and nationalities are plagued by a common enemy—shame. This powerfully negative and primal emotion, Kenney says, leads to self-doubt, embarrassment, and disappointment when our writing doesn’t turn out quite the way we expected.
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The Writer’s Crucible: Donovan's Bookshelf Review

The Writer’s Crucible: Meditations on Emotion, Being and Creativity offers a psychological examination of typical obstacles that thwart the creative processes, and is directed to writers who struggle with the process of tapping their wellsprings while facing such barriers.
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The Writer’s Crucible: John J. Hohn Review

Phillip Kenney knows writing. Radiance, 2013, his courageous first novel is brilliant in its challenges to the conventional. Kenney, the writer, is also a psychotherapist with more than three decades of experience. He brings the insights and wisdom of his profession to bear in all his work but especially in his latest, the delightfully readable “The Writer’s Crucible, Meditations on Emotion, Being, and Creativity.” This exquisitely presented book should be on the shelf of every writer seeking to find inspiration, consolation, or comfort in coping with the challenges of the writer’s life.
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Radiance: A Novel Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

Phil Kenney`s Radiance: A Novel is an emotionally and penetrating novel that will resonate with many of us, particularly if we have reached mid-life or beyond. Click "more " to read the full review.
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The Writer’s Crucible: KBOO News In Depth Review

If you’re a writer, or an artist, or composer. Or really anyone doing something creative, you might have been filled at one time with self doubt. It’s very common for even the most successful artists to feel they’re just not good enough. And this can hamper their creativity, sometimes to the point of paralysis.
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Interview with Bill Kenower on PNWA’s Author 2 Author

Bill welcomes therapist and author Philip Kenney to the show. Philip Kenney is a practicing psychotherapist who has taught Self Psychology as part of his private practice. A long time meditator and poet, Philip is the author of the novel, Radiance, and a collection of poetry, Where Roses Bloom. He strives to bring together the worlds of psychology, creativity and spirituality in his work and is the author of a new book on those subjects entitled, The Writer's Crucible: Meditations on Emotion, Being and Creativity. Join us!
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Coffee Break 078: Philip Kenney

There’s a lot of emotional baggage to sort through when you’re a writer. Building an audience and facing criticism (and possible rejection) of your work are harrowing, to say the least. But as writers, our worst enemy is often ourselves. We focus on what we aren’t able to accomplish and bog ourselves down in the fear of failure. However, as writers, we can also rest assured that we are not alone in these daily struggles.
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The Good Enough Writer: an interview with therapist and author Philip Kenney

My sincere and enormous gratitude to Philip Kenney for writing this book and taking the time to so thoroughly share his compassionate, loving wisdom with us. Thank you for bringing us home, Phil.
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Befriending the artist within: an interview with Philip Kenney, part two

By Erin Littlewood. Several weeks ago, Phil and I discussed the multi-faceted, stained glass inner life of a writer and the non-secular creative spirit that moves us toward the blank page, here. This week, we continue the discussion on befriending the artist within and joining in the creative breath of the universe.
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Writers and Depression: An Interview with Psychotherapist and Author, Philip Kenney

Writing is an oftentimes lonely calling. As if the rigors and challenges of modern publishing and making a living off one's writing wasn't enough, writers often fight many silent and sometimes crippling battles in their minds. So often have we heard the creative-as-depressive or just a little bit "crazy" debate: Do the truly brilliant artists require a bit of mental instability to craft brilliant art? And often the idea of the "crazy" or "mad" artist is romanticized by young writers finding their voice and literary path.

Click "more" for the full interview.
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In Conversation With Philip Kenney Author of The Writer's Crucible: Meditations on Emotion, Being, and Creativity

Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest Philip Kenney author of The Writer's Crucible:

Norm: Good day Philip and thanks for participating in our interview.

Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background.
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A Writer's Mind: An Interview with Psychotherapist and Author, Philip Kenney

Interview by Erin Reel

In January I had the pleasure of interviewing Portland based psychotherapist and author Philip Kenney about writers and depression. Based on the positive response, we decided to go another round with Philip. This time, we focus on the seemingly disparate roles of the writer as artist and the writer as sales person and marketer; social media anxiety, irrational fears, and more.
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Meet Phil Kenney Author of Radiance: A Novel

...by Norm Goldman.

Today, Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Phil Kenney author of Radiance: A Novel. Good day Phil and thanks for participating in our interview.

Click "more" for the full interview.
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Revising the “Not Good Enough” Narrative

Six months into the search for an agent and publisher for my first book, I found myself singing this line from a John Prine song, “…felt about as welcome as a Walmart Superstore.” Indeed. A negative tailspin followed that will be recognizable to most writers: “You can’t write. Who are you kidding?” Sound familiar?
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The Good Enough Writer, Posted by Erin Reel Publishing Services

Often, people like me who work with writers professionally address how writers can cope with some of the more challenging aspects of the writer's life from surviving the editorial process to dealing with rejection. Sometimes, though, we come to that place in the dialogue where the writer's needs reach beyond our best intentions.

Click MORE for the full article.
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Suzy Vitello Author of The Moment Before and The Empress Chronicles

There is so much wisdom and gentle love in this book. Kenney's message for writers, "as one of you, for all of us," shepherds us to our deeper selves where we can learn to confront and overcome the sometimes crippling shame that keeps us from the intrinsic goodness of our creative selves.

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

The fact that The Writer's Crucible holds much more than exercises or mediations and addresses the heart of what keeps a writer from being effective and meaningful makes it a top recommendation for writers who struggle to achieve their best against the barriers of anxiety, self-deprecation, and fear.

Norm Goldman, Bookpleasures

To say The Writer's Crucible is enlightening and covers a great deal of ground would be an understatement and I am sure it will attract many followers attracted to its many takeaways."

John J. Hohn, Author of Deadly Portfolio and Breached

Philip Kenney knows writing. "Radiance," 2013, his courageous first novel is brilliant in its challenges to the conventional. Kenney is also a psychotherapist with more than three decades of experience. He brings the insights and wisdom of his profession to bear in all his work but especially in his latest, the delightfully readable "The Writer’s Crucible, Meditations on Emotion, Being, and Creativity." This exquisitely presented book should be on the shelf of every writer seeking to find inspiration, consolation, or comfort in coping with the challenges of the writer’s life.

Erin Littlewood, Five Sisters Wellness

I want you to know I finished your book. What a journey. I truly feel it’s one of the best books on writing I’ve had the pleasure of reading, like Bird by Bird and On Writing. I’m feeling the same as when I read Pema Chodron’s, When Things Fall Apart; like someone has excavated my heart so it can shine again. Man. I was in tears this morning, partly because I feel what you’re writing about, I’ve lived it, and continue to, and partly because your writing is poetic. Just beautiful work. This book will change lives. Thank you for writing it.

Gary Mac Smith, Artist and retired psychiatrist

Mr. Kenney provides a framework for living as well as writing in a manner that allows us to some degree to free ourselves from our egos. This book is fun to read, and there are multiple passages that truly sing, reflecting the author's talent that he has refined over the years by a constant willingness to struggle with and stare down his own demons while he continues to search for the elusive fountain of creativity. His work helps me remember what I’m doing when I return to my studio.

Robert Smith, Marketing Consultant

I just finished your tour de force:Your book is really quite remarkable, unlike any other book I have ever read, in structure, flow and style. It is fascinating in the subjects you cover (psychology, literature, music, sports, Zen and more), novel in how you break it up (very cool & imaginative chapter headings) and unique in structure. But what is it? It is far more than just a journey through a writer’s emotions and expectations. It is many things: a college lecture series on writing; a college lecture series on psychology; a look at the psychology of trauma that writers experience; and, a philosophical exploration of life.

Betsy Paull Mitchell, CS, Christian Science practitioner

I feel like I've had the most wonderful conversation with you! What great insights and loving guidance you gave me. Thank you, Phil. What a great book! A gift of encouragement to any writer.

Rick Jaszczult, Graphic Artist

A few chapters into The Writer’s Crucible something clicked, and a place inside I had shut down after years of doing creative work for others unlocked. I went to the basement and retrieved a painting I abandoned fifteen years ago and began working on it that same day.

C. David Lundberg, author of, Unifying Truths of the World's Religions

Philip Kenney’s book, “The Writer’s Crucible,” is a Godsend for all writers who occasionally struggle with not feeling worthy of the contributions they can make. His book thoroughly addresses the issues that are so important for writers (really, for everyone) of self-doubt and self-image. His book includes effective exercises to overcome these challenges.

Glenda Goodrich, Mixed Media Artist

The point is that you’ve touched something in the book that I do believe is core to my life, and I thank you for putting it in writing so that I can know it and begin to understand and accept it. It’s as if you reached into my subconscious and translated a hidden scroll. Your easy conversational style in the book is accessible and inviting— a welcome relief from the preaching tone of some other authors.

The Writer's Crucible

Phillip Kenney

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