John Templeton Foundation awarded Professor P. Scott Richards at Brigham Young University a $3.57 million dollar grant to conduct a large, collaborative research study about the processes and outcomes of spiritually integrated psychotherapy. The project is a “practice as usual” study of spiritually integrated psychotherapy with 21 different collaborating research teams in North America, Israel, and several additional countries. Each of the researchers listed below, and their research teams, will collaborate with Professor Richards by using an Internet-based “Bridges Assessment System” to contribute to a “big data” set. This is the largest study of spiritually integrated psychotherapies ever conducted.
Professor of Counseling Psychology, Brigham Young University
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from University of Minnesota
Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology, Brigham Young University
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from University of Missouri-Columbia
Professor, Associate Dean, Religious Education at Brigham Young University
M.S. in Family Science and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Brigham Young University
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Brigham Young University
Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic from Brigham Young University
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from The University of Prince Edward Island
B.S. in Computer Science
Sr. Software Developer, LifeSeasons, Inc.
PhD in Counseling Psychology from Brigham Young University
University of North Texas
Associate Professor of Psychology
Ph.D. Counseling Psychology
Director, Health Services Research & Quality
Health Care Chaplaincy, New York City
Albert & Jessie Danielsen Professor of Psychology of Religion and Theology
Research Director and Senior Staff Psychologist, Danielsen Institute
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology, 1997
Professor of Psychology and Director of Training
Iowa State University
PhD in Counseling Psychology
Virginia Commonwealth University
Professor of Counseling Psychology (retired)
Professor & Director of Clinical Training, Florida Atlantic University, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin
Dean & Professor
School of Psychology & Counseling
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology
Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology
Bowling Green State University
Ph. D. in clinical psychology
Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University, Teachers College
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
B.A. in Distinction in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude, Yale University
Centre for Psychological Services Research, University of Sheffield, UK
Professor of Clinical Psychology & Director, Centre for Psychological Services Research
Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, PhD
Jeong Yeon Hwang
Jane Frances Nnantamu
Maria Rosaura González Casas
The goal of our study is to investigate the process and outcome of Vocational Growth Psychotherapy Sessions (VGPS) in India, Korea, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malta, Czech Republic, Italy, Bosnia, Belorussia, Uganda, Kenya, Mexico, and Colombia using a multi-method practice-based evidence research. VGPS is a form of psychotherapy based on the Christian anthropology and attempts to help Christians live freely and joyfully through the understanding of the self and the internalization of Christian values. The research team is especially interested in studying spiritually integrated therapy as a way to improve the effectiveness and cultural sensitivity of psychotherapy for spiritual clients outside of North America.
The research team consists of researchers, pastoral professionals, practitioners, and mental health educators from the United States, Italy, India, Korea, Uganda, Malta, and Mexico.
Wonjin Sim is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program at Chatham University and a licensed psychologist. Her primary research interests include process and outcome of psychotherapy, multicultural counseling, spirituality, dream work, and qualitative research.
Clara Hill is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland and a licensed psychologist. Her major research interests include helping skills, psychotherapy process and outcome, training and supervising therapists, dream work, meaning in life, and qualitative research.
Jeong Yeon Hwang is a Catholic priest and an Associate Professor in Gregorian University in Rome. He also practices psychotherapy in Rome. His research interests include compassion, peer exclusion, human relations and morality.
Joseph Farrugia is a Catholic priest and a clinical psychologist in Malta. He is the director of the Family Counselling Centre of the Diocese of Gozo, Malta and offers individual psychotherapy and family therapy. He also delivers lectures in Theology and Psychology at the University of Malta and at the Diocesan Seminary in Gozo.
Jane Frances Nnantamu is a lecturer, trainer, and supervisor of counsellors at UgandaMartyrs University-Nkozi and at the University of Kisubi in Uganda. For the past 20 years, Dr. Nnantamu has offered counselling or psychotherapy to a variety of clients integrating spirituality in these therapies.
Maria Rosaura González Casas the Academic Director and teaches Interdisciplinary Anthropology and is specialized on integrating psychology with spirituality while training young people who wished to consecrate their lives to God.
Babu Sebastian is a member of the Claretian missionary congregation and a faculty member at the Institute of Theology of Consecrated Life (Claretianum). He also practices psychotherapy in Rome.
Considering the high prevalence of PTSD among military veterans, there is an urgent need to expand treatment options. The goal of the proposed multi-site study is to test the efficacy of a 10-week spiritually related intervention called Search for Meaning. The intervention was developed at a VA medical center by a chaplain and mental health clinicians with the goal of addressing spiritual wounding among military veterans with PTSD. If shown to be effective, the Search for Meaning intervention could serve as a model for how chaplains and mental health providers could work together to provide integrative care for the military population, as well as others who are diagnosed with PTSD.
We have a strong multidisciplinary research team in place for the current project consisting of a military chaplain trained in pastoral counseling and trauma treatment (Dr. Clyde Angel), two research psychologists (Dr. Louanne Davis and Dr. Irene Harris), a licensed clinical psychologist (Dr. Donna Lazerick), two licensed social workers (John Sullivan and John Cocco), and a PhD level university employed professor (Dr. Vincent Starnino, Principle Investigator).
The research team has been working together for the past three years and together has secured several research grants, including a grant supporting a qualitative study on the topic of spiritual injury among veterans with PTSD, as well as grants supporting the development of written participant and facilitator manuals of the Search for Meaning intervention.
Our research team has a strong record of publications focusing on the topic of spirituality and mental health, and has presented at various national and international conferences on this topic (e.g., Davis, 2017, Park, Currier, Harris, & Slattery, 2016; Starnino, Gomi, & Canda, 2014; Starnino, 2016). Members of our research team recently conducted a two-part podcast in which we explain the concept of spiritual injury and military trauma, and describe the key components of the Search for Meaning intervention (http://www.insocialwork.org/episode.asp?ep=220; http://www.insocialwork.org/episode.asp?ep=222)
Jones, Melissa 1607-88 06 1607-88 Melissa Jones portrait Psycology Photography by Todd Wakefield / BYU © BYU PHOTO 2016 All Rights Reserved email@example.com (801)422-7322
The Spiritually Integrative Psychotherapy (SIP) project at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Brigham Young University (BYU) will examine the effects of accommodating client spirituality, and integrating scripture and spiritual topics in psychotherapy provided to university student clients most of whom—more than 95%—are adherent members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. CAPS is a large treatment facility, with 25 licensed, doctoral mental health therapists and 23 doctoral student trainees. Ten percent of more of the university’s students seek treatment at CAPS in a typical year. We will assess level of adherence and spiritual commitment among clients before intake and after psychotherapy has ended and we will assess how therapists respond to spiritual topics raised by clients before and during treatment. These assessments will help answer developmental questions about how spirituality fares during psychotherapy provided to young adults.
Our research team includes five members, Stevan Lars Nielsen, Ph.D., Jon Cox, Ph.D., and Davey Erekson, Ph.D., are clinical faculty members at CAPS. Melissa G. Jones, Ph.D., is a professional faculty member with the clinical psychology training program in the Psychology Department at BYU. Rabbi Ilana Schwartzmann, MHL, is Rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dr. Nielsen is principle investigator for the project. He helped establish practice-oriented research at CAPS more than 20 years ago, and will oversee the details of enrolling CAPS psychotherapists in the SIP project and ensuring that evidence about their efforts is captured.
Dr. Cox is coordinator of group services at CAPS, and will ensure that we examine the role of spirituality in group, and the effects of spiritually integrative interventions that occur during group therapy.
Dr. Erekson has recently examined effects of basic elements of therapy (e.g., regularity and frequency of sessions; longitudinal effects of increasing psychotherapist experience). He will help us capture detail in how religious clients respond to spiritually integrative interventions
Dr. Jones will focus on how principles of spiritually integrative psychotherapy are practiced by the 23 trainees working at CAPS and formulate criteria for teaching skills and supervising accommodating client spirituality and integrating client spirituality in psychotherapy. Rabbi Schwartzmann will consult with our research team and with the larger group of SIP therapists on pastoral issues, including tensions and conflicts, that arise attempting to help within a shared-faith community like BYU.
Shannon K. Johnson, PhD, MSW, MPP
Sharon O’Brien, PhD
Christine Anlauf Sabatino, PhD
Eileen Dombo, PhD, MSW, LICSW
Reverend Monsignor John Enzler
Joseph J. Shields, PhD
The National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS), a school of social work at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Consortium for Spiritually Centered Psychology and Education will engage in a project titled Bringing Back the Spirit: Enhancing Practice-Based Evidence for Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapies. The project has dual purposes: first it will utilize a practice-based evidence approach in the study of spiritually-integrated psychotherapies among mental health practitioners and their clients; second, it will examine changes in spirituality as they occur in the context of spiritually-integrated psychotherapies.
The team consists of faculty and research professionals at NCSSS of The CUA and a clergy member; team members demonstrate expertise in mental health counseling and education, spirituality, research on mental health counseling and spirituality, and pastoral service. Members include Dr. Shannon Johnson: Principal Investigator; Dr. Eileen Dombo: practitioner and mental health educator; Monsignor John Enzler: clergy member; Dr. Christine Sabatino: social work educator; Drs. Joseph Shields and Sharon O’Brien: research consultants.
Shannon Johnson, PhD, MSW, MPP, is an Assistant Professor at NCSSS and an accomplished scholar dedicated to research on mental health and spirituality. She has an interest in spiritually-integrated interventions for bereaved and traumatized populations.
Eileen Dombo, PhD, MSW, LICSW is an Associate Professor, Assistant Dean, and Chair of the Masters of Social Work (MSW) Program. Her interests include testing clinical models of practice and exploring effective therapeutic intervention techniques for social workers in trauma treatment.
Christine Sabatino, PhD, is an Ordinary Professor and Director of the Center for the Advancement of Children, Youth, and Families. Her research and scholarship interest include school social work theory and practice and consultation theory and practice.
Monsignor John Enzler, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, has more than 40 years of experience as a priest, leader, and advocate serving the needs of the most vulnerable in the community.
Joseph Shields is an Ordinary Professor and holds an MA and PhD in sociology with a concentration in the sociology of religion. He is the Director of the Center for the Promotion of Health and Mental Health Well-Being and is chair of the Social Work PhD Program.
Sharon O’Brien is the Director of Catholics For Family Peace Education and Research Initiative. She is an international presenter, author, and trainer on faith communities’ responses to domestic abuse and violence.
Sufi Psychology integrates the 1400-year-old teachings of Islamic Sufism into psychotherapy. As a result, this paradigm is heart-centered and holistic in nature. This study will identify how and when clinicians integrate the teachings and practices of Islamic Sufism into psychotherapy and examine the efficacy of this added intervention. We have a multidisciplinary research team who are all active members of the Sufi Psychology Association®.
Saloumeh Bozorgzadeh, Psy.D., is the current President of the Sufi Psychology Association®. She’s a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Chicago. Her training was focused on high-risk adolescents (self-injury, eating disorders, substance abuse, and suicide), and her clinical work includes a special focus on spirituality issues. In addition, she’s taught graduate courses for 7 years at both the Chicago School and Adler School of Professional Psychology.
Lynn Wilcox, Ph.D., is a Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento and the founder of the Sufi Psychology Association®. She is the author of numerous articles and books concerning Islamic Sufism, including Sufism & Psychology. She has taught classes, workshops, retreats and given lectures on Islamic Sufism for more than 30 years under the direct supervision of Professor Nader Angha, Pir of M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi®, School of Islamic Sufism®.
Mohammad Sadoghi, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at University of California, Davis. His research focuses on high-performance and extensible Big Data Management Systems. He has over 45 publications in leading database conferences and journals and 34 filed U.S. patents. He has been serving as Vice President & Technical Director of Sufi Psychology Association®.
Faith Nouri, Ph.D., is a licensed professional counselor, Clinical Hypnotherapist, certified EMDR therapist and a Board-Certified Coach. She has been a practitioner since 1997 in clinical settings and currently teaches at Texas Woman’s University and Brookhaven College. She specializes in the areas of personal and professional development, relationships, stress management, depression and anxiety, parenting, and overcoming habits such as smoking.
Shahine Tavakoli, L.P.C. , L.M.F.T. has been in private practice since 1989 working with individuals and couples/families. She has received levels I and II of Gottman methodology training and specializes in depression/anxiety, grief/loss and relationships. She has had extensive training in eating disorders, sexual abuse, hypnosis, biofeedback/stress management, and Reiki healing.
Jilla Behnam, Ph.D., has been a student of M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi® School of Islamic Sufism® since 1988. She has been trained directly and appointed by the Sufi Master, His Holiness Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha, to teach Islamic Sufism and Tamarkoz®. She lectures on Islamic Sufism, and conducts Tamarkoz® (Sufi meditation) classes and workshops
Pablo Herrera Salinas
Jelena Zeleskov Djoric
“Spiritually Integrated Processes in Gestalt Therapy: A Study of Faith, Awareness, and Spontaneity in Psychotherapy” is a project involving a practice-based research network consisting of twelve cohorts. The “sites,” or cohorts, are located in Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia,Bosnia & Herzegovina, Malta, Russia, Italy, Mexico, Chile, the United States, and Australia. There is also an “at large” cohort consisting of scattered, individual gestalt therapists. The methodology uses single case, timed series research design, which allows for causal inferences with regards to outcomes in the normal practice of contemporary gestalt therapy.The three constructs or processes mentioned above are defined from Christian, Buddhist, and secular gestalt therapy’s perspectives.The project’s web site can be found at http://www.sigt-pbrn.com.
Philip Brownell, MDiv, PCC, PsyD, (principal investigator) is a trained gestalt therapist, certified professional coach, clinical psychologist, and ordained clergyman. His undergrad is in psychology from California State University, his Master of Divinity is from Western Seminary, his certificate in professional coaching is from Duquesne University, and his doctorate is from George Fox University. Phil is the author of several books and a frequent conference presenter. He is a leader in the growing movement for research in gestalt therapy. He lives in Twin Falls, Idaho, United States. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hannah Hacquaye, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Counseling in Western Seminary’s counseling program. She also works on a volunteer basis with Lutheran Community services where she sees clients twice a week. Many of her clients are refugees. Hannah came to Western from Ghana, West Africa, but she now lives in Portland, Oregon, USA. She obtained her PhD in counselor education from the University of Central Florida. She is a researcher at heart and loves to “play”with statistics. (email@example.com)
Mark Reck, PsyD, works as a therapist at the Counseling & Psychiatry Services at the University of Vermont (UVM). He earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Religion at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He completed the gestalt therapy training program at the Gestalt Therapy Training Center Northwest in Portland, Oregon. His doctorate is from Pacific University. He is Research Liaison and Chair of the Research Committee for the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy: An International Community (AAGT), and he was one of the conveners for the 2017 research conference in Paris. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pablo Herrera Salinas, PhD, is part-time faculty at the University of Santiago and has a private practice in Santiago, Chile. He obtained his education at the Catholic University of Chile and the University of Heidelberg. He studied gestalt therapy at the Centro de psicoterapia Gestalt de Santiago, led by Nana Schnake. He currently works as a researcher through the institute and has been principal investigator for early studies of gestalt therapy with depressed and anxious patients using single case, timed series research design. (email@example.com
Jelena Zeleskov Djoric, PhD, is a Lecturer in Psychology at Charles Darwin University in Australia, a Clinical Supervisor at Catholic Care NT, and a private practice psychotherapist. She originally lived in Serbia, where she obtained her education and early work experience. She has completed several post-graduate trainings in gestalt therapy and has served on the research committee of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy. Jelena is the author of more than 40 publications in psychology and psychotherapy and is a permanent member of the Training Standard Committee of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP). (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marianna Ruah Midbar
This study focuses on psychotherapy that integrates aspects of Jewish spirituality in Israel. We will follow approximately 150 clients in personal and group therapy, which are conducted by approximately 15 therapists who integrate spiritual philosophy, knowledge and practices from Jewish tradition in their clinical work.We will further interview the leaders of the main schools of Jewish psychotherapy in Israel.
Prof.Ofra Mayseless – Researcher & Clinician
Ofra Mayseless is a clinical psychologist and a professor of developmental psychology at the Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Israel. She served as Dean of that Faculty and as Head of the National Pedagogical Secretariat, Ministry of Education. She published over 80 publications dealing with attachment and caregiving processes throughout the life span and in different roles and situations as well as investigated search for life’s meaning and purpose and spiritual development. She is a co-founder of the annualIsraeli Conference for the Study of Contemporary Spirituality. Recently she published in Oxford her book “The Caring Motivation: An integrated theory”.
Dr. Marianna Ruah-MidbarShapiro– Researcher
Marianna Ruah-Midbar Shapiro is a culture and religion researcher who deals with contemporary spirituality whilst focusing on its convergence with Jewish tradition as well as various establishments and trends. She has founded academic study programs of spirituality in Israel and co-founded the annual Israeli Conference for the Study of Contemporary Spirituality, an international conference held since 2009.
Dr. Rabbi Michael Binyamin Aboulafia –Religious clergy person & Clinician
Michael Aboulafia is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. In 2016 he founded“Lev El Lev”[Heart to Heart] school network in which he teaches and trains professional therapists in his “Integrative Jewish Psychotherapy” method. Aboulafia is also an Orthodox rabbi and a spiritual leader as well as a lecturer.
Liat Zucker– Project Manager
Art therapist (M.A). A doctoral student in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at the University of Haifa. Her thesis dealt with Conscious thinking ("Yemima"), as did the doctorate she is currently writing. 'Yemima' teaching, is a spiritual learning that has been taught in Israel in recent decades by several tens of thousands of learners. In her therapeutic work and in her research, Liat connects the concepts underlying Yemima's teachings with therapeutic understandings regarding internal processes of change and growth.
Mary T. O'Neil
Grace Examined: Evaluating Gestalt Pastoral Care Spiritually Integrated Strategies For Clinical Effectiveness is an independent research project aimed at evaluating thistheologically and theoretically integrated modality founded by the Rev. Tilda Norberg over thirty years ago (gestaltpastoralcare.org). Combining spiritual companioning, healing prayer and gestalt experiments, GPC employs the following strategies which are the core of the research: foundational belief that God is always urging us towards greater wholeness; discernment; faith imagination; gathered church; prayer, laying on of hands, & anointing; and personal faith rituals.
Michael Crabtree, Ph.D., is principal investigator of the project. He is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, a professor at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, and a research principal investigator or associate in at least thirteen research projects, including principal investigator for the $5.9 million Combat Stress Intervention Program for the Department of Defense from 2007-2012. He has an impressive list of publications in peer-reviewed journals, general public outlets, books, and book chapters.
Benjamin Seltzer, Ph.D., will lead the analysis of data collected through this research. An assistant professor at Washington & Jefferson as well, Dr. Seltzer’s research interest is in psychometric measures of human differences. He has participated in the data analysis of a number of research projects, has collaborated with Dr. Crabtree to develop the research design for this project, and will continue as the data is collected and ready for analytical investigation
Michelle Zechner, Ph.D., is serving as the mental health educator for the project and will take the lead in guiding the publication, publicity and dissemination areas. An assistant professor at Rutgers University, her area of expertise is psychiatric rehabilitation and counseling. She has served as principal investigator for three research projects, co-investigator for six projects, published nine articles in peer reviewed journals and two articles in technical publications.
Wanda Craner, M.Div., is currently the President of the Board of Trustees of Gestalt Pastoral Care Associates, Inc. and is serving as the clergy and practitioner member of the multidisciplinary team, as well as the “champion” of the project. Rev. Craner is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC), served as Minister of Spiritual Nurture for the Penn Southeast Conference of the UCC for nineteen years, and was trained in Gestalt Pastoral Care by founder the Rev. Tilda Norberg over twenty years ago.
In addition to the four main members of the multidisciplinary research team, two advisory members are Sylvia Crocker, Ph.D., expert in Gestalt psychotherapy and Mary T. O’Neill, D.Min., expert in pastoral care. Finally, the project has named a licensed professional counselor and GPC Minister (practitioner) to be the “site manager” of the project. David Janvier, M.A., L.P.C., C.S.T., will coordinate the data collection, training, and ongoing support of GPC practitioners participating in the study.
We will be conducting a naturalistic study examining the role clients and therapists experiences of stigma, outcome expectations, and preferences in predicting the degree of spiritual integration in psychotherapy. We will also examine the influence of these variables and preference match on psychotherapy and spiritual outcomes. Our research team is composed of the Principal Investigator (Joshua K. Swift, Ph.D.; an Assistant Professor at Idaho State University), a student researcher, and 11 private practice therapists located throughout the state of Idaho. Although all of the private practice therapists are similar in that they regularly integrate spirituality into their treatments, they differ significantly in their years of clinical experience, degrees, areas of emphasis, theoretical orientations, and religious affiliations. Several of the therapists on the team also serve in a dual role as a leader in their various religious groups.
This project will examine whether, how, and for whom spiritually integrated psychotherapies promote attachment security with God. Focusing on patients seeking spiritually integrated care in community-based settings in Mobile, Alabama, we will address four empirical questions: (1) Do these interventions lead to changes in God imagery in a manner that signifies transformation among patients from traditions that emphasize relationship with a personal God? (2) Which trajectories in positive and negative emotion associated with God imagery are conducive to alleviating mental health symptomatology?; (3) Which types of spiritual interventions are linked with changes in emotion related to God imagery?; and (4) Which patient-related factors (e.g., religious commitment) are predictive of trajectories in God imagery and clinical outcomes?
The core project team consists of Joseph Currier, PhD, James “Tres” Stefurak, PhD, Glenn Hollingsworth, PhD., Glenn “Skip” Archer, EdD, and Reverend Todd McGehee. While each of these persons will fulfill multiple roles, Dr. Currier is the Principal Investigator on the project and will serve as the primarily researcher, Drs. Stefurak and Hollingworth as mental health educators, Dr. Archer as the clinician, and Reverend McGehee as the clergyperson. Ranging from clinical psychology, counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy, to chaplaincy, each of the team members possesses rich backgrounds in a mental health profession along with theology and/or ministry-related work.
At present, Dr. Currier is an Assistant Professor and serves as the Director of Clinical Training in the Combined Clinical & Counseling Psychology (CCP) Doctoral Program at University of South Alabama (USA).
Dr. Stefurak is an Associate Professor and currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Counseling & Educational Sciences at USA.
Dr. Hollingsworth is an Assistant Professor of marriage and family counseling and currently serves as Director of Clinical Training at University of Mobile.
In addition to serving as an adjunct profession at the University of Mobile for the past two decades, Dr. Archer is the founder of the Carpenter’s House, P.C., a large spiritually integrated counseling center in Mobile dedicated to providing individual, marriage and family therapy in a caring environment.
Reverend McGehee is the founder and lead pastor of The Grove Community Church, a vibrant, missional church that is launching missional communities and churches to impact the culture in Mobile in constructive ways. In addition to his pastorate with this church, Reverend McGehee also works as a Corporate Chaplain in a number of settings in the Mobile area.
Mac Andrew Jack
Ian Wickramasekera, PhD, MacAndrew Jack, PhD, Upadhyaya Elaine Yuen, PhD
Francis J. Kaklauskas, PsyD, Deborah Bowman, PhD Naropa University
Mindfulness-based approaches are increasingly backed by scientific evidence, yet they integrate only some of the ways Buddhism may inform psychotherapy. This project examines psychotherapeutic approaches that employ a wider variety of Buddhist-informed interventions, such as loving-kindness and compassion meditation, guided contemplative practices involving imagery, and grief-related activities for embracing impermanence.
Our multidisciplinary team was formed to enrich our investigation of Buddhist-informed psychotherapies at Naropa University (NU) by combining the lenses of psychology research, psychotherapy practice, and the Buddhist traditions and practices. The study’s Principal Investigator, Jordan Quaglia, PhD, is Director of the Cognitive and Affective Science Lab and Research Director for the Compassion Initiative in NU’s Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education.
Ian Wickramasekera, PhD, is President-Elect of the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association. His research publications include work on integrating Buddhist principles into psychotherapy practice.
Deborah Bowman, PhD, is the founder of Naropa’s Transpersonal Counseling Psychology degree, and an expert on the incorporation of mindfulness- and compassion-based contemplative practices into not only psychotherapy, but also the training of psychotherapists.
Similarly, MacAndrew Jack, PhD, is a leader in the field of Buddhist psychology and meditation within psychotherapy, including co-editing a volume on Buddhist approaches to psychotherapy.
Francis Kaklauskas, PsyD, is an editor of five books on psychotherapy, as well as numerous articles pertaining to spirituality and psychotherapy.
Finally, Upadhyaya Elaine Yuen is Chair of Naropa’s Department of Wisdom Traditions and an ordained Upadhyaya (Buddhist Minister) in the Buddhist tradition. She teaches many of the practical theology courses in Naropa’s Master of Divinity program, and has presented and published on Buddhist rituals, ethics, and contemplative practices.
Our project is designed to empirically evaluate a novel approach for addressing spiritual themes in therapy, called Spiritually-Focused Multicultural Orientation (SF-MCO) therapy, within a detention center setting. The criminal justice system is arguably one of the most promising contexts for spiritually-oriented therapies, yet there is almost no work in this area. The approach we adopt attunes therapists to focus on the salience of spiritual identity in early sessions in order to make decisions about whether and how to actively integrate spiritual themes in order to optimize clients’ perceptions of several key therapy process variables identified in the multicultural orientation (MCO) model. These processes include therapists being comfortable and willing to explore spiritual themes in therapy, as well as being humble in relation to one’s spiritual identity. This strategy is based on past empirical research showing that early processes associated with forming a strong therapy alliance can set the stage for good work in therapy, as well as amplify factors that could undermine effective therapy. Our interdisciplinary team(including mental health educators, therapists, clinical supervisors, a chaplain, graduate students, as well as, psychotherapy, cultural, and religion/spirituality [R/S] researchers) has strong potential to infuse R/S-oriented therapy into new literatures and settings.
Jennifer S. Ripley
Everett L. Worthington Jr.
The process of spiritually integrated couple therapy is being investigated in outpatient practices in Hampton Roads Virginia and Raleigh NC areas. In our proposed research, we examine 40-80 couple therapists with a target of at least 400 of their couple clients (N=800 individual participant clients) in outpatient practice settings to determine:
Jennifer S. Ripley, Ph.D., Regent University, Principal Investigator
Everett L. Worthington Jr., Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, Co-Principal Investigator
Vanessa Kent, LMFT, Lifecare Counseling and Consulting, Co-investigator
Dr. Fred Boley
Prof. Tara Vossenkemper
Fr. Daniel Hoffman
Dr. Fred Boley is Assistant Professor of Clinical Counseling and Program Coordinator of the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling Program at Central Methodist University in Sedalia, Missouri; and also a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice at Mental Wellness, LLC, Osage Beach, Missouri. He is a graduate of University of Michigan (BA, psychology), Fuller Theological Seminary (MA, clinical psychology), Kings College, University of London (MA, medieval English), and Regent University (PhD, counselor education). Pipe-smoker, partisan of Harold Lloyd, lover of liturgy.
Prof. Tara Vossenkemper is Assistant Professor of Clinical Counseling and Director of the Clinical Counseling Center and Field Experience for the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling Program at Central Methodist University in Columbia, Missouri; she is also a Licensed Professional Counselor at The Counseling Hub, LLC in Columbia, Missouri. She is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University (MA, counseling), and is PhD (ABD) at University of Missouri-St. Louis in counselor education and supervision. Famous for her brains, irreverent humor, and tough teaching standards, she also just had her first baby! Tara also enjoys hiking, documentaries, and wine.
Fr. Daniel Hoffman is the pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, Catholic Chaplain for Edinboro University, and Judge in the Tribunal of the Diocese of Erie. He is a graduate of St. Mark Seminary and Gannon University (BA, Philosophy), St. Mary’s Seminary and University (STB and MDiv), The Institute for Priestly Formation and Creighton University (Spiritual Direction certificate), The Catholic University of America (License in Canon Law). Cigar aficionado, whiskey connoisseur, lover of “stupid humor” in movies, he is known most of all for his ardent love for Jesus and His Church.
This study aims to identify and codify change events patterns elicited by a spiritually-integrated psychotherapy framework and link these change events to outcome results by using a task analysis approach. The following research questions will be proposed: (1) Is there a spiritually-integrated sequence of change events that produce positive outcomes within a SIPF? (2) Are these constructs validated by pre-existing, valid and reliable process measures?
Ms. Kim serves as the principal investigator of this dissertation study. She is a PhD student at Fordham University in the Counseling Psychology program, and was also educated at the University of Pennsylvania, and Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests and professional presentations include spiritually-integrated psychotherapy and evidence-based practices and competencies.
Dr. Chen is an Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at Fordham University. He previously served as the Training Director of the PhD Counseling Psychology program as well as a Department Chair. His academic publications and teaching interests include clinical supervision, group counseling, research methods, multicultural issues and competencies, and concealable stigmatized identities of socially marginalized individuals. An American Psychological Association Fellow, Dr. Chen has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Counseling Psychology (2002-2009) and was an Associate Editor for Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice (2007-2010).
Dr. Cha has been the director of Redeemer Counseling Services for 10 years. She has focused on integrating spirituality and psychotherapy by collaboratively working with clergy and clinical supervisors to develop a spiritually-integrated psychotherapy framework. Dr. Cha is also an educator and has taught in a university setting on how to integrate Christianity into psychotherapeutic practice. She was also educated at Westminster Theological Seminary, and received her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University.
Dr. Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and was the head pastor from 1989-2017. Dr. Keller is known for engaging with society by integrating the Gospel in a culturally-relevant manner. He is the New York Times bestselling author of such books as The Reason for GodandThe Prodigal God, both of which have sold over 1 million copies and have been translated into 15 languages. Dr. Keller was educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary.
Our project will deliver and evaluate weekly multi-faith “Spirituality & Treatment” psychotherapy groups in 10 inpatient and residential units around McLean Hospital, dedicated to the treatment of acute psychiatric patients patients with various presenting problems (e.g., severe mood/anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, eating/feeding disorders). Our clinical approach, which is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, helps patients to identify how spirituality is relevant to their symptoms and treatment and introduces/encourages use of spiritual beliefs and practices in the treatment process. Chiefly, our aim is to establish practice guidelines for provision of spiritually-integrated treatment with acute psychiatric patients, in order to disseminate such methods to other medical centers and hospitals.
Our project will be led by David H. Rosmarin, PhD, ABPP, who is the director of the Spirituality and Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital and an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Rosmarin supervises the provision of spiritually-integrated services in clinical units throughout the hospital’s divisional structure, and collaborates with laboratories to study the clinical relevance of spirituality to anxiety, mood, psychotic, substance use, and other disorders.
Dr. Rosmarin’s clinical work and research on spiritualityand mental health have received media attention from ABC, NPR, Scientific American, the Boston Globe and the New York Times.
Carrie York Al-Karam
This research project is aimed at studying processes and outcomes of an Islamically integrated psychotherapeutic approach that is offered at Khalil Center on Muslim clients suffering from subclinical, mild and moderate psychological distress as measured by their scores on Brief Symptom Inventory. In addition to contributing to the Bridges data set, the study will explore the relationship between this approach on measures of a.) experiential religiosity as measured by the Muslim Experiential Religiousness (MER) assessment and b.) religious coping measured by the Islamic Positive Religious Coping Subscale (IPRC) from the Psychological Measure of Islamic Religiousness (PMIR) and its accompanying relationship with psychological distress.
Dr. Carrie York Al-Karam is a faculty member in the Departments of Religious Studies and International Studies at the University of Iowa and Director of the Al-Karam Lab for Islamic Psychology. She currently teaches a course entitled Introduction to Islamic Psychology.
Dr. Fahad Khan is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Deputy Director of Khalil Center, a community psychology and spiritual wellness center and the largest Muslim mental healthcare provider in the US. He is also a Hafiz of the Qur’an (having committed the entire Qur’an to memory) and has studied traditional Islamic sciences with various scholars in the Muslim world and the US.
Hooman Keshavarzi is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and the Founder and Executive Director of Khalil Center. He has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a BS in Psychology with a minor in Islamic Studies. He is currently an Adjunct in psychology at a number of institutions including Argosy University Chicago, American Islamic College, Hartford Seminary, and Islamic Online University.
Sheikh Bilal Ali Ansari is currently the Chair of the Department of Hadith at Darul Qasim, an Islamic theological seminary in Glendale Heights, Illinois. He is also a Theological Consultant at Khalil Center. His research interests include Hadith, Ḥanafī law, Education and curriculum development, Mental Health, and Islamic Bioethics.
Carlos Fayard, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry Chair, Psychiatry & Religion Program Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Training and Community Mental Health Director, Clinical Psychology Internship Department of Psychiatry, Loma Linda University School of Medicine Also pictured, psychology interns: Tina Lincourt, MA, Jesse Burrell, MA, Amanda Tan, MS, Katheryn Conde, MS, Maria Arellano, PhD (postdoctoral resident), & Byron Rivera, MA
Harold Koenig, MD Director, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Associate Professor of Medicine Duke University Medical Center Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Adjunct Professor, Department of Public Health, Ningxia Medical University Yinchuan, People’s Republic of China
Arnold Tabuenca, MD Chief Medical Officer Riverside University Health System Chair Department of Surgery, University Of California Riverside School of Medicine Professor of Surgery Loma Linda University School of Medicine
David R. Williams, PhD Florence Sprague Norman & Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology Co-Leader, Cancer Risk Reduction and Disparities Program, Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Harvard University
Fr. Miguel Ceja, MDiv Priest Administrator Our Lady of Perpetual Help Riverside, California
The current study seeks to explore the processes and outcomes of spiritually integrated psychotherapy in the context of routine outpatient medical care with medically underserved patients. Specifically, our goal is to identify whether spiritually integrated interventions have a measurable, beneficial effect when implemented with uninsured and under-insured, medically underserved populations suffering from chronic and complex medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, chronic heart failure, and obesity).
Dr. Carlos Fayard, the PI in this study, is Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Training and Community Mental Health at Loma Linda University (LLU), Assistant Associate Director for Mental Health Affairs in the Health Ministries Department of the world headquarters of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, and a consultant to the Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino, California. Dr. Fayard has worked on the development of a community-based mental health model integrating faith-based organizations in Central America and the Caribbean as well as strategies to promote the collaboration of faith-based organizations and public sector resources within County of Riverside, California.
Dr. Harold Koenig is the Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center, and has over 400 publications in peer-reviewed journals. His research has been featured in over a hundred national and international TV and radio programs. Dr. David Williams is Professor of Public Health, African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University and has been involved in the development of health policy. His research has focused on the ways in which race, racism, socioeconomic status, stress, health behaviors and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health.
Dr. Arnold Tabuenca is the Chief Medical Officer at the Riverside University Health System (RUHS) – Medical Center and the chair of surgery at the UCR School of Medicine. Fr. Miguel Ceja is the Priest Administrator at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Riverside, California. Dr. Antonia Ciovica is a Clinical Psychologist and clinical supervisor for psychiatry residents and psychology interns at LLU School of Medicine. Dr. Arellano Piedra is a psychology postdoctoral resident and Tina Lincourt, MA, Jesse Burrell, MA, Amanda Tan, MS, Katheryn Conde, MS, & Byron Rivera, MA are psychology interns at LLU School of Medicine.
Picture from left to right: Bryan Hatcher, Russell Jones, Camila Pulgar, Stephanie Daniel, and Steven Scoggin
Our CareNet Counseling project entitled, “A Practice-Based Approach to Understanding the Role and Impact of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy Interventions on Client Outcomes,” will contribute to the “Big Data”project through the Bridges Practice Research Network (PRN). In addition, our team will explore the role of client diversity as it relates to provider practices (treatment planning and treatment goal monitoring), and in turn, client outcomes (e.g., spiritual changes, symptom level changes, and overall changes in client functioning).
Dr. Stephanie Daniel is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor with tenure in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine (WFSM). Dr. Daniel has over 20 years of continuous extramural research funding (including NIH and foundation funding) with expertise in recruiting and maintaining both clinical and community samples, and in the implementation of longitudinal and intervention development research methods.
Camila Pulgar, Project Manager, is a licensed professional counselor associate (LPC-A) at CareNet Counseling where she provides counseling to children, adolescents, adults, couples and families in individual and group settings. She has also worked in several research projects and will manage the day to day activities of our project.
Bryan Hatcher is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for CareNet of North Carolina, Inc. He offers counseling and psychotherapy for families, adults, adolescents and school-age children, and has extensive experience in treating depression, anxiety, trauma, and relational issues.
Steve Scoggin, Assistant Vice-President of Behavioral Health, President, CareNet, Inc., an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and ordained clergy, Steve leads a statewide network of 35 outpatient behavioral health clinics whose mission is to be the leader in spiritually integrated psychotherapy, counseling, education and research while increasing access to behavioral health counseling and wellness across NC.
Russell Siler Jones has been Director of CareNet’s Residency in Psychotherapy and Spirituality, a training program for associate-licensed mental health professionals, since 2008. In this role, he develops curriculum in spiritually-integrated psychotherapy, teaches spiritually-integrated psychotherapy to residents and other CareNet therapists, and provides clinical supervision for residents.
Core Research Team (from left to right): Alan Fung, Nancy Ross, Taryn Tang, Sheila Stevens, Helen Noh, Purple Yip
The overarching goal for this proposed project is to investigate the processes and outcomes of East Asian Canadian clients (focusing on Chinese and Korean) in predominantly Christian-based spiritually integrated therapy – and how are these affected by various demographic and clinical variables. The project is based at 3 outpatient clinics (Tyndale University College & Seminary Counselling Service; Grace Health Centre; Living Water Counselling Centre) in Toronto - one of the most multicultural cities in the world. The roles of cultural values of both the clients and therapists and their congruence, as well as therapist religiousness/spirituality (in addition to client religiousness/spirituality) - on the processes and outcomes of East Asian clients in spiritually integrated therapy will also be examined.
Dr. Alan Fung (Principal Investigator; roles: researcher, mental health educator) is an academic psychiatrist with significant international involvements in the field of mental health and spirituality/religion – through the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership (US), and the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) – especially in promoting interprofessional collaborations and education between mental health and spiritual care professionals.
Dr. Taryn Tang (Co-Principal Investigator; roles: researcher, mental health educator) is a research psychologist with particular expertise in mixed methods research, Chinese immigrants in Canada, gender role identity, acculturation, adverse life events and mental health, program evaluation, social innovation, stigma and mental illness among diverse populations. She also has extensive experience in knowledge translation with diverse audiences including community stakeholders, academic audiences, the general public, decision makers and funders.
Ms. Purple Yip (Co-Principal Investigator; roles: practitioner, mental health educator) is a marriage and family therapist and supervisor, as well as a registered psychotherapist in Ontario. She has over 15 years of clinical experience working with individuals, couples and families impacted by various kinds of psychiatric illness, as well as extensive experience in mental health education and promotion.
Rev. Sheila Stevens (Co-Investigator; roles: pastoral/religious professional, practitioner) has been the Director of the Tyndale Counselling Services since 1996. She is ordained to Christian ministry by the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec (CBOQ). She is also a marriage and family therapist and supervisor, certified psycho-spiritual therapist, as well as a registered psychotherapist in Ontario.
Dr. Helen Noh (Co-Investigator; roles: researcher, practitioner) is a psychologist, marriage and family therapist, as well as a registered psychotherapist in Ontario. She also has graduate level training in theology. She has extensive experience in teaching and research projects that integrate psychology, psychotherapy, and spirituality; as well as on the impact of cultural values on the relationships between differentiation of self, attachment, spiritual development and wellbeing.
Dr. Nancy Ross (Co-Investigator; role: researcher) is a research psychologist and methodologist, with extensive teaching and research experience in diverse areas within the social sciences, as well as expertise in research methodology, measurement and analyses.
Dr. Kwame McKenzie (Co-Investigator; role: researcher) is an academic psychiatrist with international reputation in the social causes of mental illness, suicide and the development of effective, equitable health systems; cross-cultural mental health research; as well as mental health policy development. He is well connected with various stakeholders including government officials; policy makers; advocacy groups; mental health leaders, educators and service providers in Canada and internationally.
Dr. Paula Ravitz (Co-Investigator; role: researcher) is an academic psychiatrist and psychotherapist, who is VP and President Elect of the International Society of Interpersonal Psychotherapy. She is an award-winning educator with extensive research experience in psychotherapy (including in cross-cultural settings); knowledge translation of evidence-supported psychotherapies; as well as in practice-based psychotherapy research.
People in photo From left to right: Gail Ironson, Jessica Maura, Ana Martinez de Andino, Amy Weisman de Mamani, Olivia Altamirano, Daisy Lopez, Laurie Hafner.
In prior studies, my graduate students and I tested the efficacy of a culturally informed religiously integrated, treatment for schizophrenia against a psychoeducation-only control condition. We found that the treatment outperformed the psychoeducation-only condition in reducing patient’s psychiatric symptoms in single family (Weisman de Mamani et al., 2014) and group formats (Maura & Weisman de Mamani, in press) and was also effective in decreasing caregiver burden among family members (Weisman de Mamani & Suro, 2016). Surprisingly, in a recent study (Gurak, Weisman de Mamani, & Ironson,2017) we also recently found that the more individuals endorsed being religious, the more likely they were to drop out of treatment. However, of those who dropped out prematurely, nearly all did so before the religiosity segment of treatment began. Further, none of the participants who completed the religiosity segment dropped out of the treatment program, despite the fact that six session (one third of the treatment) remained. We speculate that this may be due to a “religiosity gap” in which religious individuals perceive a disconnect between their beliefs and the beliefs of their mental health providers. Our current project will examine whether systematically integrating religious components early on in treatment alongside already established cognitive-behavioral approaches, and offering some of the groups in a religious intuition, will make treatment more relevant and appealing to religious individuals. We expect that this will improve efficacy and satisfaction with treatment and increase therapy retention.
Amy Weisman de Mamani, Ph.D. – PI is an Associate Professor at the University of Miami (UM) and a licensed clinical psychologist. She is also the Associate Director and the Clinical Track Coordinator for the Adult Division of her department. Her longstanding program of research has focused primarily on family, religious, and other socio-cultural factors that influence the course and outcome of mental illness. She has published over 70 manuscripts (60 in peer-reviewed journals) and book chapters on topics that relate to these areas. She formerly received an NIMH Behavioral Sciences Track Award (R03MH060080) to examine how religious beliefs and other cultural values, such as family cohesion and collectivism, relate to psychopathology and family reactions to schizophrenia. She was also the recipient of an NIMH R34 to develop a 15-session culturally informed treatment for schizophrenia.
Gail Ironson, M.D., Ph.D. – Co-investigator
Gail Ironson is a Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Miami. She has an M.D. from the University of Miami and did her psychiatric residency at Stanford. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. She is one of the core investigators in the nationwide Templeton Landmark study on Spirituality and Health and has over 200 publications in the field of behavioral medicine, many of which are focused on spirituality and health.
Reverend Dr. Laurinda Hafner – Consultant
Reverend Dr. Laurinda Hafner received her Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, and holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. She has been the Senior Pastor of Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ since August, 2006.
Graduate student therapists
We have a team of exceptional doctoral student clinicians/assessors who are very eager to work on this project as part of their graduate level research and clinical training: Jessica Maura, Ana Martinez de Andino, Caitlin Brown, Daisy Lopez and Olivia Altamirano
Gurak, K. K. Weisman de Mamani, A. & Ironson, G. (in press).Does Religiosity Predict Attrition from a Culturally-Informed Family Treatment for Schizophrenia that Targets Religious Coping? Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Weisman de Mamani, A.& Suro, G. & (2016). The effect of a Culturally-Informed Therapy on self-conscious emotions and burden in caregivers of patients with Schizophrenia. A randomized clinical trial. Psychotherapy, 53, 57-67.
Weisman de Mamani, A., Weintraub, M. Gurak, K., & Maura, J. (2014). A Randomized Clinical Trial to Test the Efficacy of a Family-Focused, Culturally-Informed Therapy for Schizophrenia. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 800-810.