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Presented by Jack Perkins

The Integration of Spirituality and Psychotherapy: 

The Ethical Move From Topic, To Research, To Boundaries, To Application, To Transformation

January 13, 2021
1:00pm - 4:15pm CST

About the Workshop

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the relationship between counseling and spirituality. Spirituality is an important aspect in the lives of clients we serve; however, many counselors lack adequate training to effectively and ethically incorporate spirituality with psychotherapy. The two terms, spirituality/religion and psychotherapy have too often been polarized and/or set over against each other. Religious advocates argue against concepts of mental illness and psychotherapists often say spirituality/religion has no place in psychotherapy. Freud viewed religion as a collective neurosis (Rizzuto, 1996). Albert Ellis (1973) said that psychotherapy should have “no truck whatever with any kind of miraculous cause or cure . . . or any kind of sacredness.” Research validates the role of spirituality in counseling; spirituality, combined with counseling, is associated with “a variety of adjustment indicators including lower levels of depression and alcohol consumption, fewer somatic complaints, fewer interpersonal problems, lower mortality, and greater levels of life satisfaction, more use of social supports and overall coping ability.” (Meichenbaum, 2008).

The thesis of this presentation is that purely humanistic understandings of healing fall short. Increasingly therapists are inundated with a plethora of new counseling theories and techniques, many with roots in traditional forms. Attempting to discern the best counseling style(s) often becomes confusing, especially when seeking evidence-based practices. In the past, counselors were taught to identify a theory of counseling, become well-schooled in the practice of that theory, and use it primarily in their counseling. However, an emerging philosophy of counseling encourages an integrative model.

Integrating spirituality and psychotherapy is an attempt to answer a question that deserves our unbiased attention. How do people whose minds and souls have been deeply wounded find healing? This workshop will explore approaches to counseling that respect the diversity of those we serve and create an environment that encourages and enables people to not only change, but to experience inner change—transformation that transcends the efforts of counselors and their client. Change and well-being, is never the sum of collected techniques; authentic change is that process in which a fragmented self, to use a phrase by William James, becomes “unified and consciously right, superior and happy.”

Application, authentically integrating spirituality and psychotherapy, is important if we are going to help clients heal, those whose minds and souls have been deeply wounded. In this workshop participants will learn how to incorporate spirituality in the biopsychosocial spiritual assessment, develop goals and objectives, and utilize holistic counseling techniques.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine a new paradigm in which we can work together to create an environment/setting that will restore hope for individuals, families and communities 
  •  Review ethical issues and guidelines related to integrating spirituality in a thoughtful manner by respecting and avoiding boundary issues.
  • Develop a holistic model in which spirituality and psychotherapy work together in a synergistic manner through the assessment, treatment planning, and treatment process.
  • Review a holistic model of transcendence that is multicultural in nature, affirms the client and counselor’s beliefs and values regarding spirituality while on their journey toward well-being, and elicits exponential change.
  • Gain insight into how counselors maintain therapeutic alliances that are empathic, non-pathologizing, respectful, helping clients feel safe to disclose and interpret their story and allow counselors to avoid burnout/vicarious trauma.
  • Learn how spiritual metaphors, spiritual practices, and rituals enhance hope and meaning, using PTSD as an example of soul disorder.

How to Register

To register for the workshop, you will need to complete the following steps:

1. Click the "Register" button to begin the registration process.

2. You MUST have a TPN.Health profile to attend this event. You will be directed to sign up or sign in to TPN.Health before being able to complete your registration. Once you sign up or sign in you will be directed to the workshop registration page to complete your registration.

3. You MUST use the email address associated with your TPN.Health profile at registration. This is important for tracking purposes.

4. You will be able to access the event by visiting the "My Events" page within your TPN.Health profile. Please access the event link at this page at least 15 minutes prior to the event's start time to be directed to the Zoom registration page

Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions!

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