Area of Study Description
The Psychotherapy and Spirituality Area of Study within the Clinical Psy.D. program invites the personal and professional transformation of psychologists through engagement in the diverse breadth and meaningful depth of integrating spirituality and psychology into their clinical work.
Specialized coursework includes subjects such as social psychology and spirituality, neurobiology and spirituality, and discernment diagnostics, assessment, and research in psychology and spirituality.
Discernment: Diagnostics, Assessment, and Research in Psychology and Spirituality
Addresses both assessment and research in the field of psychology and spirituality. Course begins with the origins of the history of assessment and diagnosis in the "discernment of the spirits" among various traditions. It explores both formal instruments used to assess spirituality and significance in individual lives, as well as explores the un-thematized spiritual aspects of more commonly used instruments in administrating psychological batteries. The course also addresses various kinds of diagnostic discourse used in spiritual assessment (i.e., DSM, Pastoral Diagnoses, etc.), as well as critiques the presumptions and practices of diagnosis and assessment by way of various pastoral traditions. As this concentration understands research to also be an activity of assessment, it also explore various research methodologies and topics in the field of psychology and spirituality in order to facilitate more clarity and options for future projects, including but not limited to the student's dissertation.
Social Psychology and Spirituality: Contemporary Issues in Culture and Society
Addresses the presence and purposes of spirituality within current issues in social-political-economic-cultural context, both nationally and internationally, and explores the role of the professional psychologist as assessor and intervener in these matters. The course surveys the centrality of spirituality in war, allocations of resources, technology, conflict mediation, among other issues. It then proceeds to an exploration of a current issue in world politics to address in academic and practical ways. The contemporary topic of concern may vary each time the course is taught.
Neuro-Biology and Spirituality
Explores various topics in the field of neuro-science (e.g., imaging, psychophysiology, pharmacology, etc.) and spirituality. Topics include the biology of belief, the theology of the body, neurobiological understandings, and measurements of various states of consciousness (i.e., altered, meditative, etc.), neurobiological understandings of spiritual, transcendent, and paranormal experiences, and spirituality among individuals with various brain pathologies, among other topics.
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