Hillary Keeney

Hillary Keeney, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned teacher, practitioner, and scholar of ecstatic spirituality, healing, and creative transformation. She is currently Director of Research at Etfasis Institute of Systemic Family Therapy in Querétaro, Mexico, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), and Associate Editor of the journal, Dance, Movement, and Spiritualities. Hillary previously served as Senior Research Fellow and Clinical Faculty at the University of Louisiana. Her scholarship has made contributions to the study of ecstatic spirituality, dance, ethnography of healing traditions, creative approaches to inducing change, and interdisciplinary studies.

Hillary received her B.A. in Women’s Studies and Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan with extensive study in dance. Her doctorate in Transformative Studies is from the California Institute for Integral Studies, San Francisco. Hillary spent five years studying Zen Buddhism as a resident of the Zen Center of Los Angeles, and was awarded the Frederick P. Lenz Residential Fellowship for the Study of American Buddhism at Naropa University in Fall 2009. Hillary has a true commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and bringing contemporary people-helping professions into closer relationship to the healing ways held inside great wisdom traditions.

"This teaching is in the tradition of great memoirs of spiritual discovery like those of Lama Govinda, Carl Jung, and Gurdjieff . . . one of those radically simple openings to the real--the reminder we always need to return again and again to our origins."


Founder of the Somatic Psychology Program at California Institute of Integral Studies and author of Body, Spirit, and Democracy

Hillary’s most recent books (co-authored with Bradford Keeney) include their three-book series of Sacred Ecstatics: The Recipe for Setting Your Soul on Fire, Climbing the Rope to God: Mystical Testimony and Teaching, and The Spiritual Engineering of Sacred Ecstatics.  In addition, she is the co-author of Way of the Bushman, Seiki Jutsu: The Practice of Non-Subtle Energy Medicine, Circular Therapeutics: Giving Therapy a Healing Heart, Creative Therapeutic Technique, and Recursive Frame Analysis: A Qualitative Research Method for Mapping Change-Oriented Discourse.

Hillary’s publications have been critically acclaimed as “destined to be a classic,” “a masterful account of a profound way of healing,” “an amazing work that exceeds the promises in Gregory Bateson’s writing” (Bateson was one of the founders of cybernetics and systems thinking), “a much needed contribution,” “a sheer delight that inspires positive movement,” and “a clear meeting of heart and mind.” In addition to her scholarship and teaching, Hillary’s passion for dance and theatre bring the performing arts to ecstatic spirituality. Recognized by numerous anointed ecstatic elders as a “fully cooked” spiritual healer and teacher, Hillary is a powerful conductor of ecstatic experience.


“Hillary is a wonderful teacher who inspires poetry, song, and dance. She is a therapist of the heart.”
Professor of Psychology, University of Puebla, Mexico

“Hillary is a dancer, poet, and teacher who makes magic in her teaching and practice! We love how she moves our hearts in Brazil!”

Directors, Institute of Human Potential, Campinas, Brazil

“Hillary Keeney offers a wake up call to therapists to reinvent their practice, and recognize that models dumb them down and prevent them from finding their own gifts and talents. Her work with Brad might be the frame of therapy’s next evolutionary space.”


Renowned Australian therapist and author

“If you are looking for new inspiration to enliven your clinical practice, this is it. The Keeneys are masters of invention.”

A founder of family therapy and the women’s movement in family therapy, Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, New York City

“I don’t know how to adequately convey that the Keeneys are true to the work of Milton H. Erickson.”

Renowned teacher of therapy

“[Her] Circular Therapeutics exceeds the promises in Gregory Bateson’s writing.  It offers compelling accounts of what cybernetics can do when actually embodied in practices of living, not merely talked about.”
Gregory Bateson Professor for Cybernetics, Language, and Culture, The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

“This writing offers us profound insights into the very systemic ideas that are at the heart of being human.”

Professor of Communication, University of South Florida, and former president, American Society for Cybernetics