Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction

Course Code: RGP6251HS 


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 personality and psychotherapy theories and their application in spiritual direction
  • increased their awareness of the influence of psychological and psychodynamic variables on spiritual direction
  • increased their skill in the application of critical tools and methods
  • had an opportunity for detailed exploration of a theory or application of a theory



This outcome will be achieved through these course elements:

  • by discussing several theories and practices in psychotherapy and how they might influence contemporary practice of spiritual direction
  • by reviewing various contextual factors and intrapsychic processes at work in psychotherapy and their implication and application in spiritual direction, and by exploring issues involved in such application
  • seminar papers; final paper
  • final paper

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