Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction

Course Code: RGP3251HS


Joseph Schner, S.J.


Winter 2020

Thursday 9:00 – 11:00




Regis College

Course Description

The course will examine links between psychotherapeutic and spiritual direction theories and practices. Lectures will discuss the following:
  • Humanistic theory (Rogers) and listening skills & counter-transference
  • Cognitive Behavioural theory (Bandura & Williams) and mindfulness
  • Psychoanalysis (Freud) and attachment, God image & transference
  • Analysis (Jung) and personality type and individuation
  • Intensive Soul Care (Benner) and Ignatian spiritual direction



Students are encouraged to explore and evaluate the implementation of these theories in spiritual direction within the Christian tradition

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will have acquired the following levels of knowledge:

  • gained increased familiarity with psychological theories that can impact spiritual direction
  • increased awareness of the links between psychological theory and faith and spiritual life
  • increased their skill in the application of critical tools and methods
  • increased skills to respond constructively to pastoral situations in spiritual direction



This outcome will be achieved through these course elements:

  • by studying and discussing significant aspects of theories of personality and psychotherapy and the ways in which they can be useful in spiritual direction
  • by reviewing various aspects of psychotherapy in relationship to spiritual direction
  • by in-course papers and final paper; by discovering and using resources needed for a more effective ministry
  • apply course material to spiritual direction practica

Course Schedule

A detailed course schedule is available for download.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8