The Pastor as Partner in Therapy Miriam D. Ukeritis, CSJ, PhD July 7, 2007 Overview Value of exploring spirituality (religion, God relationship) Relevant factors in considering a patient’s relationship with religion Role of “pastor/spiritual guide” in treatment Closing thoughts Religion/Spirituality & Therapy Patient History Reluctance to explore religion, spirituality, relationship with God Role of religion in childhood, currently Relationship with God Therapist Attitude: Non-judgmental Role of Religion in Life Positive coping factor Potential for additional support Roots of guilt Roots of depression Faith tradition provides larger context Life Influences on Spirituality Developmental stages of patient Chronologically Psychologically Faith-wise Authenticity Memory or attribution/experience-based Considering Presenting Issue Direct connection with religious schema Tangential E.g., grief, loss, relationships E.g., means of acting-out authority issues Clear or unclear? E.g., “recovering Catholic” The Pastor/Spiritual Guide Is s/he presently in patient’s life? If yes, Quality of relationship? Supportive of growth? Supportive of therapy process? Contact May Be Useful If: Apparent conflict between treatment and religion exists Person could be ally in treatment Spiritual guidance could shed light on treatment process Patient is engaging in splitting behavior Closing Thoughts What is your level of comfort in addressing issues of religion/ spirituality? What are your assumptions re: role of spirituality/religion in one’s life? What opportunities can you make to meet other “clergy”?