Edmund Knighton

Edmund Knighton

Department Chair
  • Associate Professor
    MA/PhD, Clinical Psychology
    Somatic Psychology and Pre/Perinatal Concentrations
Clinical Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Office Location
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.
Dr. Edmund Knighton is Department Chair and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Somatic and Pre/Perinatal Psychology Concentrations, at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. A somatic educator for more than two decades, he has served on the faculty and administration of nine graduate institutes and four Waldorf Schools. In addition to earning his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, Edmund was trained at University of California-Davis Medical Center & Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (a Regional I trauma center and teaching hospital), where he provided neuropsychological assessment and therapy as a member of a multidisciplinary medical team that used a biopsychosocial model to treat neurological disorders, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and stroke. Having completed a five-year training in Spacial Dynamics Movement Therapy, Edmund’s current research interests lie in how spatial awareness may be developed through imagination and play.
  • BA English, University of Akron, OH
  • MA, ITP, Palo Alto, CA
  • PhD, ITP, Palo Alto, CA
  • Conflict Management
  • Yoga Instructor
  • Ropes Course Instructor
  • Waldorf High School Instructor
  • Spacial Dynamics Instructor
Areas Of Expertise

Select Presentations

  • Somatic Psycho-education, Monterey Charter, CA April 2010 
  • Somatic Psycho-education, Mountain Oak Charter School, Prescott, AZ March 2010 
  • Somatic Psycho-education, Desert Marigold Charter School, Phoenix, AZ Feb 2010 
  • Creative Play Leads to Creative Thinking, Stonebridge Charter School, Napa, CA January 2010 
  • Stroke Presentation, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA May 2009

Select Publications

  • Medieval Games in Waldorf Schools
  • Teaching Javelin in Waldorf Schools 
  • Olympic Pentathlon in Waldorf Schools 
  • Wrestling as an Education of the Will 
  • Ball Use in Waldorf Schools

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology 
  • Board Member, Sacramento Waldorf High School 
  • Board Member, Lake Champlain Waldorf School 
  • Building an Orphanage with High School Students, Maclovio De Rojas, Tijuana MX

Professional Memberships

  • Santa Barbara Psychological Association (SBPA) 
  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) 
  • American Psychological Association (APA) 
  • International Somatic Movement Education Therapy Association (ISMETA) 
  • United States Association for Body Psychotherapy


Description of your teaching philosophy: 

Balanced articulation. In order for my students to be engaged and empowered, they need to be called upon to develop both critical and creative thinking, and to risk. Curriculum delivery in the classroom setting for Clinical Psychology/Somatic Psychotherapy requires a delicate integration of experience and didactic work. Too often the brain and body are treated as separate only. I recognize the challenge involved in articulating body experience into cognition, as well as articulating cognitive theories into experiencable activities. The task of Somatic Psychotherapy is to mend the mindbody gap, to bring body movement into language, and language into movement. 

Statement and/or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology: 

My personal practice of psychology requires having many tools in my pocket, and not being afraid to use them, and not being afraid to leave them in my pocket, which requires practicing present mindful awareness, and can feel unsettling at times. Dwelling in this ambiguity helps me heighten and nuance the therapeutic relational field and provide opportunities for client empowerment and growth through insight and practice. 

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?

During my work as an Waldorf School English Lit Instructor with a junior class, we read Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, a medieval tale of an archetypal human being’s quest for service to others. This human being, Parzival, finally asks the question, “What ails thee, uncle?” The curse is lifted, and the community is healed through the asking of a question. The students and I were deeply moved through the process of working with the material, as we had also worked with other historical aspects of shared-inquiry work in our Greek lesson block on Socratic Dialog, Shared Inquiry, and our Poetry block with Rilke. We created a culture of dialog through questions, and this highly intelligent yet ragtag group of students, who struggled to relate positively with one another, formed itself into a more lovingly understanding community. They formed the student leadership backbone of my new initiative for social-emotional skills, and a peer counseling program. This transformational experience led me to want to enter the field of psychology. 

What advice would you give to a student entering The Chicago School? 

Your goals may change, but remain true to your intention, and your goals will remain aligned with that.