Spiritality and Psychotherapy--What are your ideas?

Strange week. Monday, yes, normal. But Tuesday and Wednesday were full of ice and freezing rain; David and I both stayed home and worked from here. Today we all awoke to freezing fog. Weird. By mid-day it was gone and it became a truly lovely day.

Tomorrow I'm up super early...seeing someone for spiritual direction in City to the East at 8:00 a.m. Leading the HeartPaths group--we're praying according to different functions of the Meyers-Briggs this month. Last week was "Feeling," tomorrow is "Thinking." Then another spiritual direction session, a doctor's appointment, and a couple of counseling clients.

The doctor's appointment is a "pre-op" appointment. I'm having surgery on my left wrist Monday to alievate this pain from carpal tunnel. It's just gotten way too painful, waking me up at night, etc. Ugh.

All of a sudden, I feel like I'm up against a wall with everything I have to do. I found out that this class I've been asked to teach on "Spirituality and Psychotherapy" is just a title that one of the faculty members at the seminary came up with--she knew the Dean was going to ask me, and she knows of my interest in these subjects, so she suggested this title. Which I very much appreciate--I am passionate about this kind of thing and am looking forward to the whole process here. But the class is brand new; I have to create it from scratch. So I have a TON of research and creative thinking to do in order to get the Prospectus ready by mid-March. I have some good ideas already, I think, but I'm just wondering....

If you saw this class listed, what would you want it to be?
What are your ideas?


Gannet Girl said…
Weeeellllll....in my new life, I am seeing my spiritual director and a therapist for grief work -- the latter was recommended as someone who is interested in spirituality, which I am told is unusual for a therapist. She seems to be able to listen to spiritual things well, so I suppose one thing I would be interested in if I were taking your class is how to see parallels between spiritual concepts and psychotherapeutic ones. Where do grief and depression and spiritual desolation converge and diverge, for instance?

I would want to study Fowler.

You might want to look at Liebert's book Changing Life Patterns, which we are about to discuss in my spiritual direction program. (Haven't read it yet so can't comment.)

Oh and btw, my grief therapist is an Orthodox Jew, which is the kind of thing that always happens in my life, right? I mention that because you might want to address openness to spiritualities across traditions.

I think I've offered you two or three courses!
Paula said…
My week has been busy too, so I will be thinking of you as you embark on such a busy Friday.

For the class... I don't know if this would tie in directly, but I'd want one class period to go over the role of Centering Prayer in Spirituality and Psychotherapy. There's the idea of the "Divine Therapist" in Centering Prayer. Does Prayer have a role in Psychotherapy? Does meditative and Centering Prayer have beneficial uses in this context?

And while not completely either Spiritual or of the Psychotherapy realm ... the work of Abraham Maslow and Hierarchy of Needs would be an interesting class topic. Are those that fulfill the lower levels of needs more sound? More fulfilled? More spiritually in tune?

Yay! I'm excited about your class!
My subtitle would be: Why we do and believe the things we say and do in life, church, and family.

GG: My spiritual director is also a therapist...absolutley saved my butt in seminary.

Ditto on Fowler and Liebert.

I have become a Ken Wilbur's Integral Spirituality and his AQUAL assessment just seem to fit...for me anyway.

Also the shadow-side is such a fascinating part of our lives. The brain is such an amazing (and complex) organ and I think we are just beginning to understand how it works.

Guess I got on a role. Can you tell I'd sign up for your class in a heartbeat????

Keep us posted.

Carpel tunnel surgury it totally worth it. Prayers for all.
steve said…
Wow, OK...there's a growing bit of interest and literature on meditative practices (e.g., mindfulness), how they play a role in therapeutic processes (e.g., that the benefit of "insight" might at least partially be that we become more aware of ourselves as we go through our day), and how they can be used to more directly address some disorders (such as anxiety and depression).

I'd also be interested in looking at the role of experiential avoidance as it impacts both spirituality and psychopathology.

Third, I'd be interested in looking at the proverbial "dark side" of religious belief -- when and how does religious belief become contrary to emotional health (e.g., when gays and lesbians believe that their sexuality is sinful).

Sounds like a fascinating topic. I have books on some of these interests, if you're interested in them just let me know.
Anonymous said…
There's a book bby Gerald May called "Care of Mind, Care of Spirit" that might be really helpful. Actaully, Gerald May might be helpful in general.
Anonymous said…
I liked Felicity Kelcourse's book Human Development and Faith. I'd look for a class that not only gave me insight into this topic, but also helped me in practical ways to be more joyful and peaceful. Good luck with the class.
Lots of great stuff already....I would want to see feminist perspectives on both fields addressed, esp. as that is one place psychological health perspectives get added into traditional spirituality/spiritual direction practice. Kathleen Fischer's Women at the Well: Feminist Perspectives on Spiritual Direction is a classic. And speaking of Liebert, her book The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Liberating Possibilities for Women (with two other Holy Names sisters) is specifically focused on Ignatian spirituality but has a lot of great stuff that can be applied to any stream of spirituality.
RJ said…
What a great list of suggestions so far, yes? What blessed friends you have! I think that Ann Ulanov's work with Jung et al is very important in this realm; and some of Richard Rohr's work with enneagram is fun and insightful, too. I hope this is more blessing than curse as you develop it. My prayers are with you as you await surgery.
Katherine E. said…
Wow. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! I love the blogosphere--such a community. Thank you!

Anyone else?
Rev SS said…
WOW ... I want to attend all of these classes -:) (Can't think of a thing I could add)
Sylphstorm said…
Ha - I have NO idea what to suggest here. It's one of those classes where I would be very interested, but would have no idea exactly what to anticipate coming in.

I'm very curious about how the praying on the different functions works - it's partially because I think of it as eight different functions (N, S, T, and F each paired with I and E respectively). That sounds really cool, especially since there really could be an elemental correspondence to each meditatively.

Popular posts from this blog


"The Bible does not close discussions; it seeks to open them"

Dual Standing