INSTITUTE TEACHES PSYCHOLOGY WITH A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

Autor: ---- Fuente: Culture of Life Foundation and Institute

The societal trend of seeking greater understanding of the human mind may be observed everywhere, from self-help guides in bookstore windows to popular television talk shows. The desire to gain this understanding often leads to avenues within the mental health community that do not practice what some see as the necessary holistic approach to the human person. The Institute for the Psychological Sciences, a graduate school accredited in 1999 for clinical psychology, however, seeks to incorporate this holistic approach into the training of mental health care professionals.

Dr. Gladys Sweeney, the current Dean of the Institute, believes that "America is a therapeutic society. Psychology tends to have an impact on society, and all of the issues that are debated within society." The Institute was founded by Sweeney along with a group of scholars, clinicians, and other mental health professionals who believe that "secular psychology was missing the mark, yet had done very much.but still lacked grounding, not recognizing the impact it has in the way that the human life is lived."

Sweeny tells Culture and Cosmos that "the purpose of the school is to incorporate the (Catholic) Church's teachings about the human person, the family and marriage into psychology. Current psychology starts from the pathology model which shows what is wrong.but is missing the healthy model, which is something that the Church has." Sweeney says that the Institute responds "to the need to bring the psychological sciences into harmony with the truth and wisdom of the Christian vision of the human person. Psychologists grounded in an understanding of the nature and dignity of the human person will better influence the children, adults, married couples and families they serve, and by doing so will contribute to a better society."

Thirty students now study at the Institute and is expected to expand to 55 in the next school year. Along with traditional psychological methodology and training, Institute course work includes topic not generally includes in such a course of study; theology, philosophy, ethics, and the integration of the Christian perspective with psychology. All of this maintains the Institute's commitment to "instruct in accordance with the teaching of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church." According to Sweeney, "It is important to give a strong grounding. The teachings of the Church permeate all aspects of the material."

The Institute intends to create what they call "a new generation of clinicians trained in this approach" and also to have a "role in the transformation of thought and scholarly research." The Institute sponsors a variety of programs, including annual conferences such as the Human Nature Project, the Anthropology Project which "aims to identify those elements of the Christian tradition that remain indispensable for sustaining a proper dialogue between Christianity and secular psychology", and the John Henry Cardinal Newman Lecture Series. In the fall of 2004, they will add a visiting scholar program with Blackfrair College in Oxford. The Institute also sponsors the Catholic Psychology International Resource Network (CPIRN) which is a network for professionals who seek to integrate the study of psychology with the holistic Catholic approach to the person, and includes access to forums, conferences and workshops sponsored by IPS.
http://www.christianity.com/CC/article/0,,PTID4211|CHID617574|CIID1731870,00.html
 
 
 
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