George Viney, PsyD, LMFT



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April Membership Meeting Write-Up — Quentin Dunne, MFT, LPCC

On Hermes and the Art of Psychotherapy

Presented by George Viney, PsyD, LMFT

One of the many treasures of working in the field of psychotherapy is the variety and diversity of approaches available to aid in the healing of the soul. As members of the San Fernando Valley chapter of CAMFT, we are fortunate to see different healers of different stripes give presentations regarding how to most compassionately and effectively work with those who struggle with the inevitable difficulties of life. On April 10th, depth psychologist George Viney brought his expertise of Jungian/Archetypal psychoanalysis to the chapter with the presentation “Hermes and the Art of Psychotherapy: A Mythological Imagination for Procuring Therapeutic Movement,” giving a lively and engaging talk on the ways in which an artistic, poetic, and philosophical approach can help illuminate subtle features of the therapeutic process.

Taking Hermes, the Greek god regarded as “the divine trickster” due to his playful nature and “the guide of souls” due to his generous assistance to people during times of loss and confusion, as his starting point, Viney articulated a unique vision of therapy that enables psychological movement and orientation when clients feel stuck or treatment is otherwise at a standstill. As influenced and inspired by the spirit of Hermes, the therapist may utilize dreams, imagination, and a mythopoetic sensibility to lead clients to a deeper, richer, and fuller awareness of their inner-lives and how that awareness can subsequently manifest as a more vital approach to the world.

Skillfully and effectively using his training and experience as an actor to make the presentation as entertaining as it was educational, Viney sprinkled in anecdotes both comedic and poignant to more vividly communicate his themes, including recollections of his time spent with one of the founders of Archetypal Psychology, Rafael Lopez-Pedraza. Viney also shared multiple and colorful examples of how Jungian depth-oriented techniques can enrich and enliven therapy from a “problem solving” focus to a “heart and soul-enriching” focus. One such technique centered on the value of the therapeutic storytelling and metaphors to facilitate deep healing and psychological movement.

 “I have worked with five Jungian Analysts of the course of my life and they put me in touch with the reality of the psyche, a sense of the sacred, and the experience of how dreams and synchronicities bring awareness and meaning that seems guided and wise and in touch with information beyond my ego,” Viney explained. “My experience with them has been initiatory, in the sense that living/experiencing a higher or deeper intelligence is involved in my personal unfolding, our collective unfolding, and the very world's unfolding.”

Viney’s experience as a professional magician also plays a crucial role in both his approach to therapy in general and his integration of Hermes into the therapeutic process in particular. “As a magician, I learned both the outer aspect of the performance of an effect and the behind-the-scenes movements that lead to the revelation of a visible happening or surprise. Hermes, with his wand, is an image of this dual, simultaneous activity: the visible what-one-knows-and-sees-and-understands and the hidden movements of wise and intentional psyche, which together create the substance and patterns of our psychological experience.”

Following the conclusion of his formal presentation, Viney generously took and answered questions from the chapter members, and his passion and energy were such that one could easily imagine him taking another hour to share his knowledge were there time to do so.

As mental health professionals, we naturally gravitate toward the clinical orientations which make the most sense to us. It’s common for humans to lean toward the familiar. But it can be well worth it to learn about what is unfamiliar, what is idiosyncratic and counter intuitive. In a world where psychotherapeutic services are increasingly geared toward “evidence-based practices” and linear, goal-driven sensibilities, depth psychology, informed more by poetry than prose, offers a rich, vital opportunity to take more creative and unconventional approaches to healing those who seek our services.

With his inspired presentation to the chapter, and his liberal use of wit, humor, and storytelling throughout, Viney channeled the spirit of Hermes. Those who attended were rewarded with a beautiful introduction to the promise, power, and poetry of depth psychology.


Quentin Dunne, M.S., MFT, LPCC, provides both traditional therapy and nature-based therapy services in Calabasas and Topanga Canyon. He is a member of the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy and specializes in the areas of trauma recovery, grief and loss/pet loss, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He can be reached by phone at 818.636.8639 and through his website,

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San Fernando Valley Chapter – California Marriage and Family Therapists