About the Author:
Robert Burney, author of
The Dance of Wounded Souls, calls his private practice "Counseling
for Wounded Souls." He holds a Master of Arts degree in Human Relations
and has experience in chemical dependence treatment programs, having worked
in inpatient and outpatient settings with both adults and adolescents.
Robert is a non-clinical, non-traditional therapista
healer, teacher, and Spiritual guide whose private practice is based upon
Twelve Step Recovery Principles and emotional energy release/grief process
therapy. His practice is based on the belief that we are Spiritual Beings
having a human experience and that the key to healing is awakening to consciousness
of our Spiritual connection. He emphasizes that the purpose of healing
is to learn how to enjoy being alive.
Robert is based in Cambria on the the Central
Coast of California. He spends part of each week in Santa Barbara
and works with clients in Los Angeles.
History of Codependence:
The Dance of Wounded Souls:
In the spring of 1991, Robert Burney
was asked to speak in several different venues on the subject of Codependence.
In the course of those speaking engagements he heard himself making statements
to a general audience that he had never considered saying in public because
of their controversial nature. To his surprise he found that the practical
process level tools and techniques that he utilized in his private therapy
practice were merging with mystical and magical knowledge he had acquired
writing a book that was an adult fable about the history of the Universethe
first book of a trilogy.
Although he experienced a great deal of fear about
making such controversial statements in public, he was compelled to further
explore this message that he felt coming through him. He arranged dates
in June of 1991 to give a talk in Cambria and Morro Bay, California. He
then found he was unable to write the talk. The message that he was formulating
was multileveled and nonlinear so that he found it impossible to organize
his thoughts into a coherent presentation. His anxiety mounted as the date
for his talk approached until in a burst of inspiration born out of desperation
he wrote almost continuously for the last 48 hours prior to the talk. The
presentation was scrawled on yellow legal pages that first time he presented
As he got ready to give his talk, he was overwhelmed
with feelings of dread and experienced emotional memories of being stoned
to death by an angry mob. He was convinced the audience would not be able
to hear his message because of the outrageously controversial aspects of
it but was compelled to go forward with it because of his personal Karmic
need to take responsibility and stand up for his Truth. To his amazement,
the audience not only heard what he was saying but cried tears of Joy in
recognition of the Truth he was sharing.
That talk formed the basis for the book Codependence:
The Dance of Wounded Souls. The message evolved and expanded over the
years as he refined the techniques he was developing to facilitate Codependence
recovery, but the basic structure of the book was essentially born in those
two days of desperation. Robert made a trip from Taos New Mexico, where
he was living at the time, to the Central Coast of California in the winter
of 1995 in an attempt to raise funds to publish a book based on the talk.
Because of that trip (which was a real leap of faith) he did receive the
financing to start the publishing process in the summer of 1995. He returned
to Cambria to set up his publishing company, Joy to You & Me Enterprises,
in the fall of 1995. The official publication date of the book was January
Robert is in the process of writing six more books
about the Human Condition and the recovery process. He hopes to be able
to publish two of those books in the coming year.
One of those books will be a process level, how-to,
book about the recovery process and his techniques for developing internal
boundaries. The working title for this book is Wounded
Souls Dancing in The Light (a great deal
of the material for that book is being previewed in this web site.) Robert
hopes to get this book in print in 1999 but that will depend on raising
the financing to publish it.
The other book he hopes to publish in the coming
year is the first book of the mystical fable trilogy that provided part
of the inspiration for his current book. That mystical fable is entitled
Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book I - "In The Beginning..."(a
preview of that book is included in this web site.)
II - Atlantis, Mu, and Jesus Too is scheduled
for publication in 2000. The third book of the trilogy is as yet untitled.
About his Work:
The focus of Robert Burney's therapy
is teaching self-empowerment. He does not normally do long term individual
therapy which he believes can sometimes foster dependence. The purpose
of his work is helping people to access their own Spirit so that they can
learn to depend on, and trust themselves. He specializes in small groups
(maximum 4 people) which focus on changing the core relationship with self.
These consciousness expanding process groups are designed to help people
on a Spiritual Path become more aligned with the healing process so that
life can become an easier, more enjoyable experience. During the course
of the group process individuals learn how to: get in touch with and release
childhood grief which allows emotional honesty with self; get intimately
in touch with both the inner child (inner children) and Higher Self; have
internal boundaries, as well as external boundaries, in order to stop being
at war within and start developing a more Loving relationship with self.
It is Robert's unique approach and application
of the concept of internal boundaries coupled with the Spiritual belief
system he teaches that make his work so innovative and effective. The following
paragraphs from one of his pamphlets exemplifies both the philosophy and
goal of his therapeutic work:
"Learn how to integrate Spiritual Truth and intellectual
knowledge of healthy behavior into your experience of life and find some
balance in your relationships. Knowing Spiritual Truth intellectually will
not make your fear of intimacy disappear or relieve you of the shame you
feel deep within. Integrating Spiritual Truth into your day-to-day life
process and emotional reactions is what will set you free.
It is possible to feel the feelings without being
the victim of them. It is possible to change the way you think so that
your mind is no longer your worst enemy. It is possible to become empowered
to have choices in life at the same time you are letting go of trying to
be in control. Life can be an exciting, enjoyable adventure if you stop
reacting to it out of your childhood emotional wounds and attitudes."
An updated version of this
page is available on Joy2MeU Authors
His background is interesting and eclectic.
He was raised on a farm in Nebraska. His childhood from all outside
appearances was an idyllic, middle class, žNorman RockwellÓ, all-American
upbringing with both parents present and no overt dysfunction. He
participated in 4-H and little league baseball and in sports, theater,
and student government in high school. He became very interested
in politics through the influence of his grandfather who was a long-time
Lieutenant Governor and, due to the death of his predecessor, for several
months Governor of Nebraska. The first outward sign that RobertŪs
path was veering from the norm came as a freshman at Creighton University
in Omaha when he was one of the founders of Creighton Students for Human
Relations, one of the University's first Civil Rights organizations.
In that freshman year, he became very involved in theater and through the
influence of a dynamic French teacher made plans to study at The Sorbonne
in Paris his sophomore year. Those plans were did not work out and
because of that disappointment and disillusionment with the UniversityŪs
response to his participation in marches, protests, and attempts to reform
student government, he transferred to the University of Nebraska for his
There he continued his activism for a while, even
serving as a delegate to the state Democratic convention, but after the
trauma of 1968 with assassinations, riots, and the election of Richard
Nixon, he withdrew from activism and spent his remaining college days mostly
drinking and partying. He was in Air Force ROTC because of a strong
desire to fly (which he later realized was about his spiritual quest and
not about planes) and because of the draft. Although he was opposed
to the war in Viet Nam, his low number in the draft lottery convinced him
to join the Air Force rather that be drafted into the army. Robert was
commissioned as an Air force officer on the same day he received his Bachelor
of Arts degree in Political Science.
He entered Air Force pilots training and was flying
solo in jet aircraft before being medically eliminated because of allergies.
He was then assigned to an Intelligence wing where he held one of the highest
security clearances available. After receiving an early discharge
because of the deescalation in Viet Nam, he entered graduate school.
He got involved with the American Indian Movement in the spring of 1973
during their occupation of the village of Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
He left graduate school and went to South Dakota to fly an air drop of
supplies but the siege ended a few days after his arrival. He remained
actively involved with AIM for the rest of that year and had an extensive
FBI file compiled on him for his active participation in revolutionary
activities against the government. During this time more than a dozen
of the people he was closely involved with were killed or went to prison.
It was only through divine intervention on several occasions that he survived
to return to graduate school.
He completed his Masters Degree and was then hired
by the U. S. Civil Service as a Race Relations Orientations Specialist
at Edwards Air Force Base in California (a little cosmic irony here.)
Robert enjoyed great success communicating with and fostering change in
the attitudes and belief systems of the base personnel he was teaching
but left that position in frustration over bureaucratic interference from
Base authorities who thought him too radical. A brief sojourn in
England rekindled his love of theater and he moved to Hollywood to pursue
an acting career.
Over the course of more than a decade pursuing
an acting career, he got very few parts of any consequence but was able
to play out fully the role of the žsuffering artistÓ, a perfect expression
for his own particular brand of Codependence which also gave ample opportunity
for him to fully pursue personal research in the area of substance abuse.
He played the role to the hilt in all areas of his life including earning
a living by parking cars, driving cabs, and waiting tables. Acting
provided an invaluable emotional outlet to explore and express feelings
that would otherwise have been unacceptable according to his childhood
training and experiences. The personal research of substance abuse
almost killed him.
Robert was introduced to Twelve Step programs
through an intervention by his family on a trip home for the holidays.
He started his Twelve Step Recovery in January of 1984 and remained in
Nebraska for nine months. During this time he worked first in the
family care section of the treatment program which he had gone through
and then at a state mental hospital where he started to again utilize his
training and skills in communication and counseling. He returned
to Hollywood in the fall of 1984 convinced that his new found Spiritual
path would facilitate his quest for an Oscar nomination. When that
did not materialize in short order, he fled to South Lake Tahoe and went
to work in the poker room at a casino. The Universe however had other
plans for him and ended his career at the casino so that he could go to
work for the Alcoholism Council of the Sierra Nevadas. It was there that
he started to realize and deal with how Codependent he was in his relationships
When funding for his position ended, Robert returned
to Southern California and gave acting one last try. It was only
a short time however before he went to work in a Chemical Dependence Treatment
program in Pasadena. His work as a therapist there and at a subsequent
treatment program facilitated and accelerated his personal recovery process.
In the spring of 1988, he had a major emotional breakthrough in his recovery
and gave himself the gift of entering a thirty day treatment program for
Codependence. Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona was one of
the first to pioneer treatment of Codependence and it was there that he
learned a great deal about the grieving process and absorbed techniques
and knowledge upon which he would later expand.
He also realized what a Codependent relationship
he had with the romance of Hollywood and upon completion of the program
promptly moved. After brief stays in Tucson and Sedona Arizona, he
lived in Taos, New Mexico, for a year until his Spiritual path led him
to Cambria, California. It was in Cambria that he began a private
practice specializing in Codependence Recovery and inner child healing.
During almost two years on the coast he became involved in a relationshipa
tribute to the healing he had done to overcome his terror of intimacy.
He and his new "family" (significant other and her daughter) moved back
to Taos. That relationship ended after two years. Robert remained
in Taos refining his practice for several more years before making a successful
trip to California in the winter of 1995 to raise funds to publish his
The Premier Edition of the New
Monthly Joy2MeU Journal
in which Robert is publishing his next two books is now available for Free