The Pastor as Partner in Therapy

Report
The Pastor as Partner
in Therapy
Miriam D. Ukeritis, CSJ, PhD
July 7, 2007
Overview
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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
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Reluctance to explore religion, spirituality,
relationship with God
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Role of religion in childhood, currently
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Relationship with God
Therapist Attitude: Non-judgmental
Role of Religion in Life
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Positive coping factor
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Potential for additional support
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Roots of guilt
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Roots of depression
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Faith tradition provides larger context
Life Influences on Spirituality
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Developmental stages of patient
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Chronologically
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Psychologically
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Faith-wise
Authenticity
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Memory or attribution/experience-based
Considering Presenting Issue
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Direct connection with religious schema
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Tangential
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E.g., grief, loss, relationships
E.g., means of acting-out authority issues
Clear or unclear?
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E.g., “recovering Catholic”
The Pastor/Spiritual Guide
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Is s/he presently in patient’s life?
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If yes,
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Quality of relationship?
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Supportive of growth?
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Supportive of therapy process?
Contact May Be Useful If:
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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
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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”?

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