Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health

Pages: 241
Item #: 4317178
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0429-8
List Price: $49.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $39.95
Copyright: 2009
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock

This book is for mental health practitioners who want to enhance their clients' psychological well-being using therapeutic tools drawn from spiritual and religious thought.

  • What can a non-religious therapist do when a client directly requests help with a problem involving spiritual matters?

  • How can a therapist who is engaged in a religious tradition frame strategies such as discerning vocation, participating in spiritual or religious rituals, and forgiving in ways that are acceptable to secular clients?

Thomas Plante answers these questions and more by presenting thirteen tools to improve psychological and spiritual health that can be integrated into secular or religious-oriented practice.

Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy first reviews history, philosophy, and research behind and evidence for integrating tools such as meditation, learning from spiritual models, and becoming part of something larger than oneself into therapy practice. Dr. Plante makes a case for integrating spiritual and religious tools in therapy as part of ethical practice, and as a way to add value to services such as assessment, counseling, and consultation with other professionals. A rich and diverse collection of case illustrations shows how to conduct psychotherapy using these tools, and walks readers through real-world examples of how to consult with clergy. Finally, the book offers an agenda for continued research and education and a variety of resources for further study in this area.

Table of Contents




  1. Religion–Spirituality in the Practice and Science of Psychology
  2. Thirteen Tools From Religious–Spiritual Thought: Definitions and Philosophical Grounding
  3. Assessment Issues
  4. Internal Religious–Spiritual Tools
  5. External and Other Religious–Spiritual Tools
  6. Five Ethical Values to Guide Professional Behavior
  7. Special Circumstances: Seven Types of Clients
  8. Consultation With Religious Professionals: An Often-Overlooked Tool
  9. Best Practices in Action
  10. Next Steps: Focused Research and Training

Additional Resources

Appendix: Assessment



About the Author

Author Bio

Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP, is a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University and adjunct clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. He also directs the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara University and serves on the National Review Board of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops. Born and raised in Rhode Island, he received his ScB degree in psychology from Brown University, his MA and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and health psychology from Yale University.

He has authored, coauthored, edited, or coedited 11 books including Sin Against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church (2004); Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned: Perspectives on Sexual Abuse Committed by Roman Catholic Priests (1999); Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives (2001); Do the Right Thing: Living Ethically in an Unethical World (2004); Contemporary Clinical Psychology (1999, 2005); Mental Disorders in the New Millennium (Vols. 1, 2, and 3; 2006); and most recently, Spirit, Science, and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness (2007). He also has published more than 150 journal articles and book chapters.

His areas of clinical and research interests focus on faith and health outcomes, psychological issues among Catholic clergy and laypersons, ethical decision making, stress and coping, and the psychological benefits of physical exercise. He has been featured in numerous media outlets including Time magazine, the New York Times, USA Today, NBC, PBS, the British Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio, and CNN, among many others. On April 1, 2002, Time referred to him as one of the three leading American Catholics. He maintains a private practice as a licensed psychologist in Menlo Park, California.