News & Events
Psychotherapy as Spiritual Practice
August 5-9, 2013
This seminar will describe some of the ways in which psychotherapeutic work can be thought of as a spiritual practice, and even as a sacred activity.
Psychotherapists are increasingly realizing the importance of spirituality.
This seminar will describe some of the ways in which psychotherapeutic work can be thought of as a spiritual practice, and even as a sacred activity. Dr. Corbett suggests that our everyday psychological work is not separate from our spirituality, and that the human personality has a spiritual foundation as well as its developmental aspects. These suggestions have important implications for personality theory and for the practice of psychotherapy. Many therapists and people undergoing therapy would like to be able to incorporate a spiritual dimension into their therapeutic work, but they believe that traditional religions are the only form of spirituality available to them. This seminar will show that it is not necessary to import pre-existing theological notions into psychotherapy.
Problems such as despair, emptiness, hopelessness, and lack of connection to others are commonly expressed in psychotherapy, where the spiritual dimension of these difficulties can be discussed if both participants are open to the conversation. Even if one takes a position that life is just tragic and has no particular meaning except whatever we choose to give it, this too is a philosophical perspective that can legitimately be addressed in psychotherapy. While one may think of emotional difficulties as the result of a self disorder, they are also important spiritual crises, indicating the inextricable connection between one’s psychological make up and one’s spirituality. At the same time as the therapist works with such difficulties psychologically, it is important to be aware of the spiritual concerns raised by emotional problems, because the discovery of meaning in suffering is of enormous help.
Topics to be covered include:
- What it means to say that the therapist is working with a spiritual sensitivity: psychotherapy as a contemporary form of spiritual direction
- The expression of the sacred or the holy in psychotherapy
- The relationship between psychopathology and spirituality
- Psychodynamics, temperament, and spirituality
- The problem of evil in psychotherapy
- Spiritual development seen in psychotherapy
- A comparison of depression and a dark night of the soul
- Love in psychotherapy
- The evolution of a personal God-image
- Theories of the origins of human spirituality
- Faith in psychotherapy
- Spirituality as a motivational system
- The Nondual attitude in psychotherapy
Greater Good's editors pick this year’s most thought-provoking, important, or useful nonfiction books on the science of a meaningful life.
Christine Carter explains how to shorten your to-do list and feel more motivated to tackle it, all at once.
A new book examines the common psychological barriers to change—and how to overcome them.
Greater Good Events
December 9-10, 2016
This workshop is an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Chris Germer.
» ALL EVENTS
Take a Greater Good Quiz!
How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!» TAKE A QUIZ
Watch Greater Good Videos
Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.Watch
Greater Good Resources
- "Gratitude and Prosocial Behavior"
Finds that feeling gratitude produces kind and helpful behavior, even when that behavior is costly to the individual actor.
- "Compassion: An Evolutionary Analysis and Empirical Review"
Compassion evolved as a distinct affective experience whose function is to enable cooperation and protection of those who...
- "From Jerusalem to Jericho"
This article on bystander intervention in emergency situations suggests that we are likely to help a “shabbily dressed”...
- Jeffrey J. Froh’s Laboratory for Gratitude in Youth
Learn more about one of the leading researchers of gratitude.
- Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude
The GGSC’s new project which aims to expand the scientific database of gratitude and promote practices of gratitude in...
- The Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness
The Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness, co-directed by Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough, is a...
Book of the Week
» READ MORE
Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program