Heart and Soul of Pyschotherapy

Table of Contents  | Forewords | Chapter 2 Preview  | Endorsements Reviews & Articles


“What an incredibly beautiful book! It will open your eyes to the enormous potential for integrating therapy and spiritual practice. This unique and sophisticated approach—“Transpersonal Drama Therapy”—is based on Saphira Linden’s 30-year plus integration of the two, with many chapters by those who have employed her method. This volume is a most welcome addition to the poetic, clinical and scholarly literature of Drama Therapy. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this field.”

Stephen Snow, Ph.D., RDT-BCT, Professor and Chair, Department of Creative Arts Therapies, Concordia University, Montreal

“Saphira’s creative application of Sufi teachings and theater arts to contemporary psychotherapy will inspire practitioners in many fields. The array of articles she has compiled in The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach Through Theater Arts illustrates the breadth of the relevance of her work. Hers is a voice worth discovering.”

Taj Inayat, Sufi Order International Vice President and Co-founder of Sufi Retreats. She is adept at working with the inner worlds, and guides many people in how to access their inner deepest nature and then live this fundamental presence in their outer lives.


“I love this book. It brings together so much useful, hands-on, and practical clinical information that I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from jumping in to any part of it. This is a lovely presentation from Ms. Linden, who has done an outstanding job of bringing highly skilled and experienced clinicians, spiritual teachers, and senior theater arts practitioners to the discussion of the heart and soul of therapy. Go get this one. I recommend it with pure excitement!”

Alan Albert, Psy.D., CGP, a clinical psychologist in Newton, Mass.. He sees adults in individual and couples therapy and leads ongoing groups for adults interested in exploring possibilities in the 2nd half of their lives.


“I am pleased to recommend this well written and comprehensive book to any psychotherapist who wishes to expand their approach to patient care by including the important spiritual dimension of therapy. It would also be valuable as a resource for psychotherapists to learn about new techniques that would enhance patients growth and healing.”

Dr. Richard Resnick, Psychiatrist, Listed in “The Best Doctors in America” & “Top Doctors in New York Metro Area,” Clinical Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, NY Medical College & NYU School of Medicine. In clinical practice, 52 years.


“The creative arts therapies are fundamentally a process of care and evolution of the soul. Saphira Linden’s book brings together many important voices on how this dramatic healing form expresses itself and can be applied and shared with the world.”

Tian Dayton, PhD TEP, Author: The Living Stage: A Step by Step Guide to Psychodrama, Sociometry and Experiential Group Therapy.


“Saphira Linden has been the embodiment of the heart and soul of transpersonal drama therapies for decades. Her remarkable book chronicles this work by providing twelve key operating principles, and practical effective interventions. She has gathered an amazing array of gifted, talented, and creative transpersonal drama therapists who provide case examples of how this work is applied in a variety of settings working with a broad range of individuals, couples, and groups.”

Dale Richard Buchanan, Ph.D., T.E.P. Director Of Clinical Therapies (Retired), Saint Elizabeths Hospital,Washington, DC


“This book is a valuable resource for both students and practicing therapists who wish to deeply touch the souls of those they care for. I will whole-heartedly recommend this book to colleagues and my students.”

Lisa Herman, Ph.D., MFT, Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, Executive Core Faculty/Director Creative ExpressionSofia University (formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology),Palo Alto, CA

“The volume presents a compendium of perspectives and chapters are written by a variety of talented individuals working in the healing arts. Each author shares his or her unique point of view, often with generous descriptions of theoretical underpinnings. Whether one is working with groups, in systems, or in individual psychotherapy, this volume is valuable. As one reads through the chapters, one’s own creative process is ignited and supported.  This work is a reminder that, as healers, we are honored to bear witness to the ennobling of the human being by the sacred qualities of the heart and soul.”

Holly Perkins, M.D.  General, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Grand Rapids, Michigan


“A remarkable contribution to the fields of psychotherapy and drama therapy! Saphira Linden’s book demystifies the spiritual dimension for the practitioner and provides a user-friendly set of principles to guide transpersonal drama therapy processes. The accumulated wisdom represented in these chapters will supply therapists working with wounded souls an array of ideas to help their clients create meaning and transform suffering. As a long-time mentor of emerging drama therapy and expressive arts therapy clinicians, my students and I will find The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy an invaluable resource. The richness and diversity of the contributors and their methods, many of them Linden’s former students, demonstrates her enormous impact on our field and insures her significant ripple effect on society.”

Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT, Associate Professor, CIIS Drama Therapy Program, Clinical Director, Living Arts Counseling Center, Artistic Director, Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble, Director, Healing the Wounds of History Institute


“It is joyous and profound to be present at a birth, and that’s the way this book feels. Drama therapy has been around for a generation or more, but as a cohesive field it is still finding its way. Ms. Linden’s primary intention is to facilitate integration within her stripling field, pointing out that: “ …creative arts therapists need each other in order to best serve humanity.”  The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy is a much-needed sourcebook for all who want to benefit from or contribute to drama therapy, and a beacon for its coming-of-age in the world.”

W.A. Mathieu, Composer, conductor, pianist, author of The Listening Book, The Musical Life, Harmonic Experience, Bridge of Waves


“As we transition to an emerging new planetary civilization we will need to develop new inner capacities and ways of being in the world. The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy is a book that can benefit us all, not only in healing our wounds, but also in directing us to creating a fully embodied purposeful life. Saphira roots her successful theater artwork in principles of living as an essential self or Soul and expands the theory into practical examples. I particularly liked the comprehensiveness of her presentation of transpersonal theory and practice. Saphira’s lifelong work continues to be abundantly fruitful through the outreach of her students in many different settings and countries found within the heartwarming pages of this book.”

Nancy Roof, PhD, Psychologist, Founder of Kosmos Journal


“This innovative and comprehensive book demonstrates how a transpersonal/spiritual approach to healing that uses the creative arts can serve people of all ages across a wide and diverse array of needy populations. I have been privileged to know Saphira and many of her colleagues’ creative work for many years as this approach to psychotherapy, integrating wisdom from many spiritual traditions, has evolved. The book shows us how these teachings have been applied in answering the call of suffering and demonstrating authentic transformational possibilities.”

Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi,  Founder and Spiritual Guide to the Jewish Renewal Movement, Author of Several Books on Jewish Mysticism including THE GEOLOGIST OF THE SOUL.


“This is a book of wonders.  Joining the wisdom of the great spiritual traditions to state of the art practices in drama therapy it offers both general reader and therapist a stunning array of method, story, expression and theory to accomplish  what is essentially a revelation in transpersonal and transformational healing. Drawing upon her own luminous work and experience as well as that of 39 other contributors, Saphira Linden creates a design for healing both elegant and evocative.  Make no doubt about it, This is a major contribution to a time in which new ways of being are critical to our continuance as self and species, person and planet.”

Jean Houston, Ph.DAuthor, A Mythic Life, and 27 books in human Development,


“Both individually and collectively, engaging the real is challenging even terrifying for us.  The precious gift of this book is in artfully and brilliantly offering us a way to creatively approach the ecstasy and agony of the real.   With profound intimacy and discernment Saphira Linden shows how ritual drama heals, connects and inspires the future we long for.  A treasure for students and professionals alike, we are witness here to a great transmission of transformative learning practices by a passionate and unstoppable teacher, therapist and ritualist.”

Aftab Omer, Ph.DPresident, Meridian University, San Fran. Bay Area


“Guided by Rumi’s admonition that even a “crowd of sorrows” must be welcomed by the psyche with joy and laughter, The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy offers therapists and performers a great feast of uplifting strategies for psychological and spiritual healing.”

Stephen Wanghaward winning playwright, director, acting teacherauthor, An Acrobat of the Heart & The Heart of Teaching, Arts Professor, NYU, Guest Faculty, Naropa Univ. & Lasalle College of Art, Singapore.


“A staggering work of brilliance and practical application. Like a magnificent 3D movie, this book opens the door to the soul and It’s truly organic soul food for the inner life. The book explains how we can use the 12 principles of drama therapy to transform hurt into health. Kudos to Ms. Linden and her remarkable team of contributors.”

Dr. Ed Bauman, PhD, Founder and President of Bauman College, Author, Flavors of Health Cookbook and Whole Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors


“The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy makes good on the gift of healing and education. In its pages, Saphira Linden and 39 artist colleagues recount how twelve basic, compelling principles of a transpersonal approach to psychotherapy open us to “creative, spontaneous moments in which we can glimpse other ways of being”—showing us how to create our own lives as a work of art.  The heart sings. With The Heart & Soul of Psychotherapy, therapists will use this work as a guidebook in bringing patients into the light of a new consciousness. Saphira has also traced the development of the movement, making explicit its ties to participatory theatre, thereby linking modern psychoanalytic work to a vital current in arts and culture. That this movement is also sprightly, inspired and downright fun contributes to the value of this volume.  Kudos!  A cosmic celebration, indeed.”

Rick Hauser, Writer, Producer and Director in television and film, (WGBH, The Scarlet letter), Designer of interactive media (Paramount Pictures, THE ENTERTAINMENT GAME, Strong Kids, Safe Kids) Publishes on the material culture of the Ancient Near East


“This book reminds us of what we should strive to find with our clients:  health, emotional wholeness and interconnectedness.  Saphira Linden’s vast experience in drama therapy, psychotherapy and transpersonal therapy weaves these three fields into beautiful actions, guiding new and experienced therapists into the world of the transpersonal.”

Dr. Alice M. Forrester, PhD, RDT/BCT, Executive Director, Clifford Beers Clinic


“Over 12 years our Boston-based Playback Theatre company, True Story Theater has been in service of personal and social healing, cancer survivors, working with women in recovery, formerly incarcerated men, and many others seeking to make their lives whole or recovering their community from painful tearing.  Saphira Linden has always been a role model with a depth of wisdom and long-term practice.  Saphira helps foster learning through collaboration and rich multiple perspectives, which this book well attests.  A special moment for us was offering Playback Theatre for the talkback of  Saphira’s and Susan’s powerful play Motherblood, about the encounter of two mothers dealing with loss, one Palestinian and one Jewish Israeli.  Few know of the range of powers offered by creative theater arts to nourish healing within and between people.  As someone who has committed my life to discovering the fullest magic of participatory theatre for social healing I can’t wait to get my hands on the finished copy of the book!”

Christopher EllingerFounding director of True Story Theater (Boston) & of Playback North America (network for Playback Theatre, N. America)


“This book is an excellent review of the therapeutic uses of theater technique in a wide variety of settings. It is a must for change agents, therapists and counselors who wish to understand, and/or build skillful approaches to using dramatic technique as a method for helping clients deepen their self-understanding. Good ideas from many talented people.”

Rev. Dr. Benjamin P. Fowler, PhD, Associate Professor, Thompson School of Applied Science at the University of New Hampshire, Counselor in Private Practice and Minister of Nottingham Community Church.


“In this extraordinary book, Saphira Linden presents a compelling case for the benefits of drama therapy as well as the use of other arts in healing.  She defines a systematic approach based on core principals, and has compiled an impressive group of co-authors whose contributions provide a comprehensive overview of the topic.  The book demonstrates the important role that drama therapy can play in maintaining health and treating both physical and mental illness.  I highly recommend it.”

Roger J. Grekin, M.D.Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan.


“Saphira Linden has spent a lifetime as a pioneer in the exploration of where art meets healing. Her work bridging these two modalities has benefited thousands of people–those whose lives have been touched through individual healing work, and those who have marveled at her theater productions. This book is the fruit of this long exploration and promises to be a classic handbook for both the healer and the artist.”

Elizabeth Lesserco-founder of Omega Institute and author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow


“I have known Saphira for over three decades. Her compassion and spirit to help others define her life and career. Saphira’s passion to meet needs through her talents and skills are very admirable. As a health care provider, I am very touched by Saphira’s humility and desire to grow herself as she serves others. We can all learn from those we serve and grow as we serve. I appreciate Saphira’s heart and the way she has modeled this for me.”

Dr. Ken LoweyFounder-Boston Benevolent Chiropractic Clinic-serving the needy and homeless in inner city Boston, International work volunteer for victims of disasters


“The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy powerfully shows how theater and other arts can heal. Saphira Linden and the other gifted contributors of chapters to this important book also show, again and again, how love, empathy, and honoring one another and ourselves is key to transformation and realization.”

Riane Eisler, Author of The Chalice and the Blade, Sacred Pleasure, and The Real Wealth of Nations


“The holistic health field could well use the collective wisdom in this insightful book, edited by Saphira Linden. The 12 transpersonal principles she outlines serve as an essential guide for charting a course of resiliency, wholeness and well-being. She has gathered progressive thinkers and authors who know how to move the therapeutic relationship out of the pathology-fixing paradigm. You’ll find real-world advice for therapists of all kinds to engage clients with experiences and reflections that bring all dimensions of wellness into achievable realities. I heartily recommend this book for integrative health practitioners as well as somatic and creative arts psychotherapists.

Prof. Meg Jordan, PhD, RN, CWP, Clinical Medical Anthropologist, Chair, Dept. of Somatic Psychology, Integrative Health and Human Sexuality, California Institute of Integral Studies


“I perused the book and am impressed with what it accomplishes:  it brings together the field of drama therapy– infused with spirituality– for many populations. I celebrate your having gathered varied authors’ works in one place, and created such a thorough and inspiring work of art. Iris Grant’s painting on the cover is utterly magnificent and fits the depth of what is found inside this impressive book.”

Joan Klagsbrun, Ph.D. Boston area Psychologist whose CD is Focusing: Listening to the Deeper Self


“Saphira’s creative application of Sufi teachings and theater arts to contemporary psychotherapy will inspire practitioners in many fields. The array of articles she has compiled in The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach Through Theater Arts illustrates the breadth of the relevance of her work. Hers is a voice worth discovering.”
Taj Inayat,  is the Vice President of the Sufi Order International and Co-founder of Sufi Retreats.