Faith & Spirituality in Psychotherapy:
A Theological Consultation Group for Therapists
Approved for 1.5 CE/session (NBCC provider No 524)
Integrating a client’s faith story as part of psychotherapy can take many forms. At a basic level, it is about how we listen to our clients and their stories not just for the overt religious themes and content, but for the more subtle nuances of ultimate concern, sin, grace, forgiveness, love, vocation, belonging, etc. Encountering our clients and their story involves opening ourselves to hearing the story wherever it may take us. Some of our clients’ stories and beliefs may challenge our own understanding and force us to wrestle with our own understandings and beliefs.
This case consultation group will involve shared case material by members in a confidential setting, reflection on the case material through a broad theological lens, and time for personal interaction to enhance therapist growth and development.
For more information, please contact Chris O'Rear.
Who can participate? This group is open to any professional therapist who wishes to integrate a theological understanding into their work ethically and meaningfully with clients. Members do not need to have a theological education, but may find it meaningful if they do. Members will be required to read at least 2 texts to help us develop a common vocabulary for conversation.
What are the benefits of the group? This group will help members work better with clients of various faith backgrounds and understandings by helping develop a method of listening to and assessing the client’s faith understanding. Group members will also be challenged to understand their own faith perspective better and will learn how to work with clients who do not share the same understanding.
Does this group count as supervision? Because the group will enhance work with clients and will help in the development of awareness of “person of the therapist” issues, it will have a supervisory component. The group leader is Licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist and a Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, he is eligible to supervise LPC candidates for up to 50% of their hours and can supervise CPT candidates for all their hours. This group may be eligible for these license candidates as part of their professional supervision. Supervision would need to be coordinated with the members’ primary supervisor.
Will this group include CEUs? This group is co-sponsored by the Southeast Region of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and NBCC CEUs are applied for through them. If approved, the CEUs will be available for an additional one-time $25 fee. This group is also approved for CEUs for Clinical Pastoral Therapists (no additional fee). Future groups may be eligible for MFT CEUs as well.
What is the size of the group? The group will be limited to 10 members.
When & where will the group meet? The Group will be begin on March 31. Members will agree to a minimum of 6 months and the group may renew, adjust times , or add members at the end of that time. The group will meet at the Brentwood office of Sage Hill Counseling located at 312A Wilson Pike Circle, Brentwood, TN 37027.
What is the cost? The group will cost $60 per session (An additional one-time $25 one-time fee will be charged for those desiring NBCC CEUs) and can be paid monthly, bi-monthly or in full. To maintain group continuity, each member must agree to a minimum of six months. No refunds will be given for missed sessions. NOTE: I am offering financial assistance to therapists who work for nonprofit agencies, who are new in their practice, or those who are currently students.
Who is facilitating the group? Chris O’Rear will be facilitating the group. Chris is licensed Clinical Pastoral Therapist in Tennessee and a Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. He holds a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care & Counseling as well as a Master of Marriage & Family therapy. Chris is an ordained minister is currently endorsed by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He is a former hospital chaplain and Executive Director of Insight Counseling Centers in Nashville. He is currently a therapist at Sage Hill Counseling.
What are the requirements for group participation? To build continuity and trust, group members must commit to a minimum of 6 months of groups. Members will be present at each session and to bring an open spirit to interact with a broad understanding of faith. Group members will be required to read at least 2 texts to help establish a common vocabulary for case consultation. Previous theological education may be helpful, but it not necessary for this group. Members are encouraged to be in therapy for themselves (or have had significant personal therapy in the past.) All members will be asked to complete an evaluation form at the final group meeting. (Anyone requesting NBCC CEUs must complete this form before receiving their certificate.)
Killen, Patricia O’Connell & John DeBeer, The Art of Theological Reflection, Crossroads Publishing Company, 1994. (Required)
Pruyser, Paul, The Minister as Diagnostician, Westminster/John Knox, 1999. (Required)
Griffith, James & Melissa, Encountering the Sacred in Psychotherapy: How to Talk to People About Their Spiritual Lives, Guilford Press, 2003. (Suggested)
Jordan, Merle, Taking on the Gods: The Task of the Pastoral Counselor, Abington Press, 1988. (Optional)
Rizzuto, Ana-Maria, The Birth of the Living God: A Psychoanalytic Study, University of Chicago Press, 1981. (Optional)
Wood, Charles & Ellen Blue, Attentive to God: Thinking Theologically in Ministry, Abington Press, 2008. (Optional)