The Art of Listening podcast

A Leap of Faith: Spirituality in the Therapeutic Encounter with Amelio D’Onofrio

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Finding meaning and purpose is an integral part of the human experience, which is why, in psychotherapy, in religion, and in many other areas of our lives, we look for guidance. This universal need for contemplation can be thought of as spirituality. Yet, in the field of psychoanalysis, spiritual thinking is often overlooked, as it departs from traditional psychoanalytic theories. Today’s guest argues otherwise.

Amelio D’Onofrio has over 35 years of clinical psychoanalytic experience and his professional journey was shaped by faith and a desire for deeper understanding. From his immigration to the United States to pursuing his studies in Psychology, he discovered that a spiritual perspective could answer his more reflective questions about the self.

On this episode of The Art of Listening, Amelio delves into the integral connection between spirituality and psychoanalysis. He reflects on his own experiences with pain and suffering and describes how faith set the groundwork that allowed him to ‘emerge from the darkness’. Amelio also shares his new practices and means of spiritual discovery, by introducing his Gubbio Seminars. As the host of this retreat in Gubbio, Italy, Amelio provides psychotherapists and analysts with the opportunity to discuss pressing topics in the field. Drawing on the theme of this year's seminar, he highlights the epic story of Dante's Divine Comedy, guiding us through the poem and its connection to the self-analytic spiritual process of trauma, grief, and forgiveness.

Join us as we learn from Amelio how spirituality can enhance our understanding of the human experience, offering tools for personal growth, healing, and self-discovery.


1 - Amelio’s cultural upbringing and his first encounters with suffering (7:50)

2 - Growing up with religion and Amelio’s relationship with faith (13:32)

3 - Psychoanalysis's relationship with spirituality (16:01)

4 - Ego-rational listening and generative listening (20:12)

5 - Amelio’s seminars and this year's theme: Dante’s Divine Comedy (22:52)

6 - The spiritual cycle of trauma, guilt, and forgiveness (28:15)


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