Bradford Keeney

Bradford Keeney

Bradford Keeney

Bradford Keeney, Ph.D., has served distinguished careers as a pioneer of creative therapy, a university professor, social cybernetician, anthropologist of cultural healing traditions, conversation analyst, improvisational performer, and foundation vice president. He is presently Professor and Hanna Spyker Eminent Scholars Chair in Education, University of Louisiana, Monroe; Co-Director, Institute for Creative Transformation; Clinical Director, Center for Children and Families, Monroe; and Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Rock Art Research Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. His websites are,, and

In the profession of psychotherapy, Keeney has directed several doctoral programs and has worked at some of the most highly respected psychotherapy institutes, including the Ackerman Institute, the Karl Menninger Center, and the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania.

Keeney is the originator of several orientations to psychotherapy and the inventor of recursive frame analysis, a research method that discerns patterns of transformation in conversation. As a scholar, his classic text, Aesthetics of Change, was cited by Heinz von Foerster in the Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence as one of the key texts of cybernetics, the original science of complexity.

The author of over 33 books, Keeney has presented keynote addresses to professional audiences throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Japan, Central and South America, and Australia. He has written several classics in the field of psychotherapy, including Creative Therapy: The Art of Awakening a Session, Improvisational Therapy, Mind in Therapy, and is co-editor of the biographical study, Milton H. Erickson, M.D.: An American Healer, which was awarded Best Book in Psychology for 2006 by Spirituality & Health magazine.

As a fieldworker, Keeney has been called “the Marco Polo of psychology and an anthropologist of the spirit” by the editors of Utne Reader. He spent over a decade traveling the globe, living with spiritual teachers and healers who trusted him to share their words with others – modern cultures in need of Elder wisdom. The result of Keeney’s work is one of the broadest and most intense field studies of healing, chronicled in the critically acclaimed book series, Profiles of Healing, an eleven-volume encyclopedia of the world’s healing practices. A display honoring his fieldwork and contributions to understanding the origin of human culture is permanently installed as an exhibition in the Origins Centre Museum, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Keeney is a licensed family therapist and licensed supervisor in Louisiana; a Clinical Member, Approved Supervisor, and Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy; a Certified Family Therapist and Advisory Board Member, National Academy for Certified Family Therapists; and a member of the American Counseling Association. He has received the Outstanding Service Award from Purdue University. In 2008 he was given the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award by the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

His most recent books are The Bushman Way of Tracking God (New York: Atria) and the forthcoming The Flying Drum (New York: Atria). He and his colleague, Hillary Stephenson, have a new shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans where they offer a transformational theatre devoted to the art of embodied cybernetics or what they call “circular poetics” (see here).

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