Dr. Stephanie Neill on Wholeness and Integration

This week we’re featuring the fourth episode of text.soul.culture, a podcast hosted and curated by Dr. J. Derek McNeil, Academic Dean at The Seattle School. Derek is joined by Dr. Stephanie Neill, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, to talk about her path to becoming a psychologist teaching at The Seattle School, the nature of the integrative education we foster in students, and Stephanie’s unique Interpersonal Neurobiology class.

Stephanie: “The more I know about human being, the more my faith actually grows.”

As they discuss the unique integrative focus of The Seattle School, Stephanie shares how much of what she had seen of “Biblical counseling,” or other efforts to integrate faith and psychology, were not very compelling nor psychologically sound. It has to be about more than just slapping a Bible verse on a problem, she says. Instead, particularly in the work of integrative education, Stephanie introduces the concept of wholeness as a goal she strives for: wholeness in her life, her practice, her teaching, and her students.

Derek: “The way you talk about integration is more whole than just superficial. It gets into the depth of the character, it gets into the depth of conflict, or the drama, and a chance to see more deeply into people’s stories and narrative than just simply the band-aid or the quick fix.”

Stephanie: “To some degree, we’re all in this work because of our particular woundedness and the desire to work with that and help others work with that. And I think that is part of wholeness. How do we include and embody that and our ongoing vulnerability?”

Derek: “Wholeness is a qualitatively different attempt than just sticking things together. The sense of wanting wholeness as an integrative goal for life, not just in terms of my thinking or disciplines, feels like a deeply rich venture.”

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