Honkblarg

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Hi guys! I'm looking at the PsyD programs at both George Fox in Oregon and Fuller Seminary in California. I'm honestly stuck between the two, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice for choosing between the two programs, or if anyone has first-hand knowledge of either program. There have been a few threads like this in the past, but it's been a few years so I'm hopeful there might be some new information out there. Thanks!
 

xXIDaShizIXx

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Neither has particularly great stats in terms of APPIC match or EPPP match rates. No other programs you want to consider?
Well the problem I have with George Fox is that it seems way to fundamentalist to be an effective program. Do you necessarily have to stay in that area?
 
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Honkblarg

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I looked at their EPPP pass rates and they seemed pretty decent; what kind of numbers should I be looking for in a APPIC match or EPPP matches? And why are high match rates in those areas desirable? I thought only an APA-accredited internship is what matters.

And I am a Christian and am interested in a program that integrates faith and psychology. There are only 6 Christian PsyD programs in the US, and George Fox and Fuller are the best two of the bunch. I'm open to other suggestions, but right now these two are the top programs I'm looking at.
 

MCParent

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Fuller's match rate is pretty bad. Fox has an ok match rate and both have ok EPPP pass rates.

Being Christian is not a good reason to take on massive student debt, however. I'm not sure what you've heard about us heathens in the state schools, but we've recently begun dismantling of the lion dens.

I know many people of faith who have completed training at non-religious schools. I think the challenge of putting up with a few militant atheists is probably worth the tuition savings.
 

WisNeuro

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You can do faith based research in psychology at "non-christian" schools. Not all that uncommon. What you should be doing is looking at programs that give you a solid grounding in research and evidence-based treatments. That's what is going to get you a job. After that, go nuts. As for Match and EPPP match rates, I honestly wouldn't pull the trigger on anything less than 85% for each.
 

erg923

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I am Catholic and integrate my faith into all aspects of my life. However, when I treat psychiatric illness as a clinical psychologist, it is my moral, legal, and ethical obligation to provide the best care possible that is based on the current scientific literature. If a session happens to includes talking about God/Jesus, so be it. If it doesn't, then it doesn't. Its really not that complicated.

Now, if you want to do faith based counseling, then get a degree in that and go nuts. But lets not blur the boundaries between "psychologist" and faith-based counseling/pastoral counseling too much.
 
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Honkblarg

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Are there any secular PsyD programs that have excellent match/pass rates, so I can compare? And erg923: How does your worldview influence your counseling? Of course, if you're only treating psychiatric illness, that's one thing. But if a client is concerned about their relationships, or a sense of meaningless in their life, or something similar, how do you guide them without a philosophy (for yourself) about the purpose of relationships or the purpose of life, etc?

Basically, I'm not anticipating explicitly bringing up Christian principles or ideas in counseling sessions, but I feel hesitant about the idea of completely "turning off" my faith when in the counselor's chair, since I could probably no more do that than I could turn off my gender or culture or etc. So I want training in how to bring my faith into counseling in a way that is beneficial and respectful for clients of any faith background. Does that make sense?
 

WisNeuro

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Why Psy.D? By and large, those match/pass rates are terrible as a group? Not too mention the debt load. And, I have never had a problem with faith as a therapist when it comes to patients. I've treated christian, catholic, muslim, atheist, you name it. Some times it comes up, some times it doesn't. I'd focus on solid clinical training first, the rest will follow. If you want to work with a variety of people, you have to find them where they are, regardless of your faith system. If you want to only work from a christian worldview, get a degree in faith-based or pastoral counseling.
 

erg923

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"Wanting to bring MY faith into the session" means you want to do faith based counseling. That is distinct from what clinical psychologist does and how they approach treatment.
 
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Honkblarg

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Erg923: As a Christian, everything I do is influenced by my faith (whether I recognize it or not), just as everything I do is influenced by my culture. It's not that I want to force my faith on a client, but rather that I want to let my faith inform my counseling in a conscious way rather than an unconscious way. Does that make sense?

Also WisNeuro: Most Ph.D programs have more of a focus on research than clinical work. Since I don't want to do academic research, that doesn't seem like the right fit for me. Of course, both PsyD and PhD programs equip you to both research and counsel, but the focus on PsyD is counseling, while the PhD focus is academic work.
 

xXIDaShizIXx

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Fuller's match rate is pretty bad. Fox has an ok match rate and both have ok EPPP pass rates.

Being Christian is not a good reason to take on massive student debt, however. I'm not sure what you've heard about us heathens in the state schools, but we've recently begun dismantling of the lion dens.

I know many people of faith who have completed training at non-religious schools. I think the challenge of putting up with a few militant atheists is probably worth the tuition savings.
It would be just the same as putting up with militant Christians. Do a secular program to save you money and a headache and integrate your religion in your practice as you please after you are licensed.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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It's not that I want to force my faith on a client, but rather that I want to let my faith inform my counseling in a conscious way rather than an unconscious way. Does that make sense?
That is a slippery slope. If a patient is struggling and needs help coping with their anxiety, are you going to be more likely to recommend prayer or deep breathing? If someone is having an affair, will your faith impact how you view that person? Would your clinical approach change when you treat an Atheist?

Also WisNeuro: Most Ph.D programs have more of a focus on research than clinical work. Since I don't want to do academic research, that doesn't seem like the right fit for me. Of course, both PsyD and PhD programs equip you to both research and counsel, but the focus on PsyD is counseling, while the PhD focus is academic work.
No, no, no. This is a false dichotomy.

http://psychologygradschool.weebly.com/myth-busters.html
 

xXIDaShizIXx

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I am Catholic and integrate my faith into all aspects of my life. However, when I treat psychiatric illness as a clinical psychologist, it is my moral, legal, and ethical obligation to provide the best care possible that is based on the current scientific literature. If a session happens to includes talking about God/Jesus, so be it. If it doesn't, then it doesn't. Its really not that complicated.

Now, if you want to do faith based counseling, then get a degree in that and go nuts. But lets not blur the boundaries between "psychologist" and faith-based counseling/pastoral counseling too much.
This. I don't agree with erg much, but if you want to do faith based counseling, then do a program like that, but do not blur the boundaries between an ethical evidence based psychologist and a faith-based pastoral counselor.
 

xXIDaShizIXx

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That is a slippery slope. If a patient is struggling and needs help coping with their anxiety, are you going to be more likely to recommend prayer or deep breathing? If someone is having an affair, will your faith impact how you view that person? Would your clinical approach change when you treat an Atheist?


This. I think the entire idea of Christian counseling is biased from the beginning. It leads to treating the client out of your own beliefs, not out of evidenced based practice.

No, no, no. This is a false dichotomy.

http://psychologygradschool.weebly.com/myth-busters.html
 

WisNeuro

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Also WisNeuro: Most Ph.D programs have more of a focus on research than clinical work. Since I don't want to do academic research, that doesn't seem like the right fit for me. Of course, both PsyD and PhD programs equip you to both research and counsel, but the focus on PsyD is counseling, while the PhD focus is academic work.
You have a fundamental misunderstanding of PhD programs.
 
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MCParent

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Also WisNeuro: Most Ph.D programs have more of a focus on research than clinical work. Since I don't want to do academic research, that doesn't seem like the right fit for me. Of course, both PsyD and PhD programs equip you to both research and counsel, but the focus on PsyD is counseling, while the PhD focus is academic work.
I'll just jump on the bandwagon that this is super super wrong.

But if a client is concerned about their relationships, or a sense of meaningless in their life, or something similar, how do you guide them without a philosophy (for yourself) about the purpose of relationships or the purpose of life, etc?
I think your orientation to counseling is deeply, fundamentally flawed. Implicitly, you are saying that your way of being in the world is superior to others' ways of being, and you're seeking to "guide" them to your way of being. With that attitude, frankly I think you would be abysmal counseling anyone who doesn't enter therapy already agreeing with you (and even then, probably not very good). Presently, a short pastoral counseling program would probably suit your needs. If you wanted to engage in some deep personal exploration of your values, then maybe a PhD would be good.
 
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xXIDaShizIXx

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I'll just jump on the bandwagon that this is super super wrong.



I think your orientation to counseling is deeply, fundamentally flawed. Implicitly, you are saying that your way of being in the world is superior to others' ways of being, and you're seeking to "guide" them to your way of being. With that attitude, frankly I think you would be abysmal counseling anyone who doesn't enter therapy already agreeing with you (and even then, probably not very good). Presently, a short pastoral counseling program would probably suit your needs. If you wanted to engage in some deep personal exploration of your values, then maybe a PhD would be good.
But I dont think the OP wants to do anything other than force their beliefs. The OP should help the client guide their own beliefs, not the therapist guiding their beliefs for them. Thats why the Christian programs are fundamentally flawed.
 

MCParent

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But I dont think the OP wants to do anything other than force their beliefs. The OP should help the client guide their own beliefs, not the therapist guiding their beliefs for them. Thats why the Christian programs are fundamentally flawed.
I was saying that if he or she is willing to give that up, then maybe a PhD or PsyD would be a good route.
 

Neuropsych2be

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This is a somewhat complex issue since religion can be a part of a person's identity and culture. I went to a conservative Lutheran college and seminary to get my terminal master's and my Ph.D. program is utterly secular unless political correctness can be defined as a religion :) :) :) The only religion I received from the Lutheran school was a cross emblazoned on my diploma and the cheerful psychology department secretary putting a scriptural reference as a signature line in emails... oh and the alumni association asking for money to further the religious mission of the school's initiatives. Other than that, the training and education were utterly non-sectarian and non-religious. I am an Orthodox Christian and I figured Lutherans were close enough to us that I would feel comfortable in that environment. The reality was that this graduate program seemed utterly non-religious in content despite the mission of the university. I know a graduate of Fuller who describes the training in the clinical psychology department as being generally secular in nature with the exception that they also had to take theology coursework outside the department.

Where a knowledge of religion and theology may be helpful is if you are planning on working in a region of the country where the majority of the population belongs to a particular confession. Since I am doing my internship in a very conservative christian part of the country with a rural under served population, my faith tradition is helpful ... but only up to a point. My own Orthodox Christian tradition is very very very different than what is found here in the rural south that I am often left scratching my head in confusion. But my faith tradition allows me to understand enough so that I can hopefully build a therapeutic relationship a bit easier. Here at the hospital, psychosis with religious delusions are rather common so I aam confronted with religious issues very frequently. But in clinical practice, you will also encounter a large number of people from non-christian backgrounds.

Despite the nonsense you may hear about evidence-based practice, all the evidence points to the therapeutic relationship as the primary variable associated with positive outcomes rather than specific technique or one's theoretical orientation. Religion is a very important part of culture and to ignore religion is to engage in culturally insensitive practice and can impede the development of a good therapeutic alliance. But I don't think that you need a graduate program to do that given that you come from that cultural and religious background. In my experience, students who seek out the few sectarian/religious programs out there do so from the belief that they will feel more comfortable in such an environment.

But exposure to a secular viewpoint and other students who have different religious views or none is actually a very good experience for a person of faith.We always need to move out of our comfort zone. One concern I would have about Fuller, Regent or Fox or any of the other such programs out there is how insular such a training experience might be. Being trained more broadly from a variety of perspectives can only help you in the long run. Also, frankly the treatment and assessment you do as a psychologist within a christian context should be to the same standard as in a non-christian context. We don't train physicians to practice christian medicine so we really should not be training psychologists to practice within a particular religious tradition either. Does an anti-religious bias exist in academic psychology? Almost certainly in many quarters. In fact my immediate supervisor on internship is an open atheist. But this does not impact my ability to work with him or to learn from him in any way.
 
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erg923

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Despite the nonsense you may hear about evidence-based practice, all the evidence points to the therapeutic relationship as the primary variable associated with positive outcomes rather than specific technique or one's theoretical orientation. Religion is a very important part of culture and to ignore religion is to engage in culturally insensitive practice and can impede the development of a good therapeutic alliance. But I don't think that you need a graduate program to do that given that you come from that cultural and religious background. In my experience, students who seek out the few sectarian/religious programs out there do so from the belief that they will feel more comfortable in such an environment.

But exposure to a secular viewpoint and other students who have different religious views or none is actually a very good experience for a person of faith.We always need to move out of our comfort zone. One concern I would have about Fuller, Regent or Fox or any of the other such programs out there is how insular such a training experience might be. Being trained more broadly from a variety of perspectives can only help you in the long run. Also, frankly the treatment and assessment you do as a psychologist within a christian context should be to the same standard as in a non-christian context. We don't train physicians to practice christian medicine so we really should not be training psychologists to practice within a particular religious tradition either. Does an anti-religious bias exist in academic psychology? Almost certainly in many quarters. In fact my immediate supervisor on internship is an open atheist. But this does not impact my ability to work with him or to learn from him in any way.
Although that appears to be the case in many cases, it doesn't even approach half the variance, so why not use scientific principles and maximize the variance you CAN conrol? Psychology utillizes the science of learning and behavior principles. Thats the definition...and thats how we are distinct from pastoral counseling professions. I am not sure how much exposure you have had to treatment, but the relationhip is certainly not the mechanism of change in prolonged exposure therapy, for example. The explanatory model here tells us that it IS very much specific techniques and orientation that produce change here. Can you get there without relationship though? Not likely, in most cases.

I agree with the rest of your points generally, which is why I view religion and spirtuality as "fair game" ad certainly not off limits during traditional psyhotherapy/clinical intervention. Yet, it is not used the same way in my sessions as it is by the priest at our parish. Patients guide me and we "explore" the area togther. And, yes, I will certainly speak to the positive effects faith can have on one's life. However, when is see Fr. Steve, I expect him to bring it up, him to guide me, and for him to use his knowledge of scripture and spiritual matters to help me with any problems in living I may be having. When I see, Dr. X, clinical psyhologist, I do not. I expect something....a little different.
 
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erg923

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Erg923: As a Christian, everything I do is influenced by my faith (whether I recognize it or not), just as everything I do is influenced by my culture. It's not that I want to force my faith on a client, but rather that I want to let my faith inform my counseling in a conscious way rather than an unconscious way. Does that make sense?
Dont want to burst your bubble, but one of the reasons that doctoral training in this field is so lengthy (and why therapy is so difficult) is because that’s kinda what you are trying to rid yourself of in the therapy room. You can certainly have your own personality, demeanor, and approach, but neutrality is what makes the professional therapeutic relationship unique and special. If you are not willing to adjust yourself, then this aint the profession for you, ya dig?
Also WisNeuro: Most Ph.D programs have more of a focus on research than clinical work. Since I don't want to do academic research, that doesn't seem like the right fit for me. Of course, both PsyD and PhD programs equip you to both research and counsel, but the focus on PsyD is counseling, while the PhD focus is academic work ?
Also, you probably just won't find much support for the Psy.D training model on this board. Period. Your statement is just plain false anyway. And trust me, as former adjunct professor in a Psy.D program, I can tell you that there is a focus on clinical training at the expense of appopriate scientific training in many (although not all) Psy.D programs. APPIC survey results of intern applicants continues to show that Ph.D. students accumulate MORE clinical training hours than Psy.D students. See here. http://www.appic.org/Match/MatchStatistics/ApplicantSurvey2011Part3.aspx.
Thus, any global claim that the Psy.D provides more clinical training is lacking data to support it. And, as you can see, data shows that its actually the other way round. Now, will a person from Alliant have more clinical training hours than person from say, the University of Minnesota? When looking at individual cases, sure, this could easily happen. It's even likley in this specific example. Is the person from Alliant better prepared clinically? Not necessarily. If the only thing that contributed to clinical competence was experience, then yes. But that’s certainly not the only training variable that makes a competent practitioner.
 
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IT514

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OP, out of the schools of the type you seem to be interested in, Wheaton is probably at the top of the list in terms of overall program strength. Ahigh debt load though. Also, it seems like you need to take a step back and consider your goals and whether a doctoral degree is really the best fit for you...and theres been some good info provided on this thread (in regard to the Ph.D/Psy.D misconceptions, that is).
 

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It sounds like you may be better served getting theology based counseling degree (my uncle did this, and I know he is very happy with it), or perhaps a masters in social work. From what you have written, it sounds like you aren't really interested in psychopathology, which is really what doctoral clinicians are for among other things (you don't need to study abnormal psychology for 5+ years to counsel marital problems).

I am an atheist, but from all the therapy sessions that I have seen at secular or public schools and hospitals, I have never seen a therapist dismiss someone's faith when it comes up. In fact, I think most see it as a helpful coping mechanism. I do agree that it is a problem if you are the one who starts to bring it up uninitiated, ignore standard evidence based therapies, or bring bias to those who either don't believe or believe differently (we all have some forms of bias, but it is up to us to recognize them and do our best not to let them get in the way to the best of our ability).

I guess, at least from what I'm hearing, it sounds like you might be happier either going with something that is actually faith based but doesn't try to present itself as something other than that, or be willing to accept that faith based treatments aren't the standard for treatment of psychopathology.
 

erg923

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Well, I do think its bad practice NOT to bring it up, at least in the assessment portion of treatment, given what we know about the positive impacts of faith and how common it is for this to be an important part of a person's identity/character, values, suicide barrier, etc.
 

chman

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Well, I do think its bad practice NOT to bring it up, at least in the assessment portion of treatment, given what we know about the positive impacts of faith and how common it is for this to be an important part of a person's identity/character, values, suicide barrier, etc.
Sure, when doing intake assessments etc. you should get a holistic view of the patient. But, for instance, asking if someone prayed during an anxiety attack or something instead of giving evidence based suggestions would be out of line IMO. I, again, actually think it can be very helpful for some. But there are obvious pitfalls, some more mild, like I just mentioned, to the more severe, like thinking that someone's mental illness is due to their sin (not saying this is you OP, but it is not out of the realm of possibility).
 

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But, for instance, asking if someone prayed during an anxiety attack or something instead of giving evidence based suggestions would be out of line IMO.
Do you mean just asking out of the blue without any indication the person was even religious/spiritual is out of line? I'd want to know personal strengths and resources to inform EBT, and if religion/spirituality is one of those, fine. Maybe you meant that it would be bad to jump straight to "pray it away," but there is certainly a big grey area in there.
 

chman

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Do you mean just asking out of the blue without any indication the person was even religious/spiritual is out of line? I'd want to know personal strengths and resources to inform EBT, and if religion/spirituality is one of those, fine. Maybe you meant that it would be bad to jump straight to "pray it away," but there is certainly a big grey area in there.
Yes. Like if I went to a psychologist for panic disorder and it was suggested that I pray I would be, quite frankly, angry. But if the person is religious and it is part of a treatment strategy along with an evidence based treatment like exposure therapy, then I'm cool with that I guess. I could see how it might let a person stop trying to control their physiology and realize that they aren't in real danger. However, if I can keep it real and be honest, if praying really worked I don't think they would need to pay a therapist, because, well, it would have worked the numerous times they most likely prayed during their previous panic attacks and for the disorder to go away.
 

MCParent

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Yes. Like if I went to a psychologist for panic disorder and it was suggested that I pray I would be, quite frankly, angry. But if the person is religious and it is part of a treatment strategy along with an evidence based treatment like exposure therapy, then I'm cool with that I guess. I could see how it might let a person stop trying to control their physiology and realize that they aren't in real danger. However, if I can keep it real and be honest, if praying really worked I don't think they would need to pay a therapist, because, well, it would have worked the numerous times they most likely prayed during their previous panic attacks and for the disorder to go away.
Well, though, think of how to capitalize on existing resources. Maybe the person has slipped into mindless, perfunctory prayer when they do it and they're just trying to pray the panic away (and maybe make it worse when they have panic and the praying doesn't help). Teach some mindfulness/diaphragmatic breathing for them to employ during normal prayer and the mindfulness becomes reinforcing because they get more out of an activity they enjoy. Then you can help transfer over the skill to panic. Capitalizing on the existing personal resources can make the EBTs more effective. The person can attribute it to the prayer if that's their zeitgeist (I guess ignoring the fact that if they removed the physical calming piece, they would still have panic ;-) ).
 
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xXIDaShizIXx

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I think this thread is going to get derailed way too quickly.
 

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This is anecdotal, but I know a few people from George Fox and Fuller, and they were good therapists and good people--respectful of differences in faith and adequately trained. I have several Christian friends who went to secular programs and felt quite alone in that regard. If you are willing to take on PsyD debt (which I would never advise under any circumstance except independent wealth), you could do a lot worse than these programs. For the field, it's probably better if you become a clinical psychologist than a pastoral counselor, for sure with much less training.
 

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Also anecdotal, but the Fuller people have not fared well in getting interview invites at the two sites that I've been involved in. We've never had a George Fox person, or if they have applied, they never made it past the initial cut for us to even see the file.
 
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Next up, the course listing pasted below makes it seem like they are training clinical psychologists to proselytize/minister to "disenfranchised and marginalized" individuals. In my opinion this is possibly unethical, as it creates a conflict of interest. Are you trying to work on a client's goals or address their religious beliefs and practices? I don't want to drone on what was already said above, but what do you want to be when you grow up?

"PSYD 619 Spiritual Formation 4
.5 hour. A guided spiritual formation practicum in which the student experiences psychology as ministry to the disenfranchised and marginalized. An individualized spiritual formation plan is developed that may include service, reading, journaling, or meeting with a spiritual director."

"
The most appropriate definition of the word ministry as it applies to the Christian faith is service. The course description says ministry, not minister, implying that the objective is for the student to conceptualize working with the mentally ill as a form of service in the Christian context. Interpreted that way, the course seems to address the spiritual development of the student, not the clients. (Whether that is appropriate in a Clinical Psychology program or not is another matter entirely.)
 

IT514

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"Next up, the course listing pasted below makes it seem like they are training clinical psychologists to proselytize/minister to "disenfranchised and marginalized" individuals. In my opinion this is possibly unethical, as it creates a conflict of interest. Are you trying to work on a client's goals or address their religious beliefs and practices? I don't want to drone on what was already said above, but what do you want to be when you grow up?"

You are a little too concrete/dichotomous in your interpretation, as Lisa44201 points out. I've found that many if not most clinical psych grad students, and many psychologists (young overconfident ones in particular), lack the general humanities/philosophy of science background in to discuss a topic like this in a well-informed manner. The recent issue of The Behavior Anlayst actually has a number of solid articles that would be worth a review.
 

ClinPsychEnthus

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"Next up, the course listing pasted below makes it seem like they are training clinical psychologists to proselytize/minister to "disenfranchised and marginalized" individuals. In my opinion this is possibly unethical, as it creates a conflict of interest. Are you trying to work on a client's goals or address their religious beliefs and practices? I don't want to drone on what was already said above, but what do you want to be when you grow up?"

You are a little too concrete/dichotomous in your interpretation, as Lisa44201 points out. I've found that many if not most clinical psych grad students, and many psychologists (young overconfident ones in particular), lack the general humanities/philosophy of science background in to discuss a topic like this in a well-informed manner. The recent issue of The Behavior Anlayst actually has a number of solid articles that would be worth a review.
Spiritual Direction and Spiritual Formation are typically spoken of (in some evangelical Christian circles, from my anecdotal knowledge of it) as a specific set of interventions where the spiritual director helps someone get a sense of what G_d is leading them or telling them to do in a certain area. There are certifications that people can pursue in some seminaries and pastoral counseling programs in Spiritual Direction and Formation.

From a Google search: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/january/27.30.html

From what I've been told (and I by no means have extensive knowledge) the Spiritual Director or pastoral counselor is directly guiding and telling the person what G_d is saying or doing. This, to me, would absolutely fall outside what is considered ethical for clinical psychologists to do, and much more in the realm of clergy or religious leadership.
 

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There are definitely large differences between what I'd consider scope of practice for a psychologist and what may be more appropriate for a pastor or similar type person. Some of the "guidance" and "interpretation" of things that I hear from the more religious-centric practitioners really gives me pause as a psychologist. I'll just leave it at that.
 

IT514

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Well if some dude from christianitytoday.com says it, it must be true. C'mon now. You do know that there are journals that discuss this stuff in a more academic, scholarly manner, right? That is, if you really want to learn something rather than shoot from the hip with anecdotes and google. Books, journals, etc document the wide, wide variation in how this stuff is operationally defined, and may at times be appropriately integrated and at other times is absolutely not appropriate in clinical psych practice.
 

erg923

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I would be lying if I said I wasn't beaming with pride when one of my first patients (my 3rd or 4th, maybe) left for the seminary. Not that I had much to do with decision or anything, as he was headed that way for the entire 6 months I saw him, but it was nice to be able to connect with a patient at that level and talk about those kinds of things after our 50 minute therapy was over.

There is a well known monastery not far from me (Cistercian Order), and I think it would be swell to be involved in the psych eval process for the candidates/postulates. Maybe ill just call the archdiocese tomorrow and ask about some monk side work....:)
 
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Jan 25, 2011
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From what I've been told (and I by no means have extensive knowledge) the Spiritual Director or pastoral counselor is directly guiding and telling the person what G_d is saying or doing. This, to me, would absolutely fall outside what is considered ethical for clinical psychologists to do, and much more in the realm of clergy or religious leadership.
I agree that it's unethical if a psychologist is doing this with a patient; I interpret the course listing as encouraging the spiritual growth of the student, not the student's future patients; an "individualized spiritual formation plan" (per the course listing) by definition would not apply to everyone, as it is individualized. The course does not say it teaches students how to develop individualized spiritual formation plans with patients (which is decidedly a task for a religious minister, not a psychologist).
 

Neuropsych2be

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One of the other issues with training at places such as Fox, Fuller, Wheaton, or Regent is that these institutions tend to pull students and faculty from protestant evangelical backgrounds. The problem with this is that Christianity like all religions is extremely diverse. Protestant evangelicals and pentecostalists are actually a small minority within the larger framework of Christianity even though they may dominate in some geographic areas like the south. Persons attending such a program may be well prepared to understand the religious culture within evangelicalism. However, how well would a graduate of Wheaton or Regent do providing psychological services to Christians from a radically different theological perspective?? My own religious tradition is very heavily sacramental, very liturgical, incarnational and rooted in eastern christian mysticism. This is Greek to many persons from protestant evangelicalism (pun intended). One problem that these institutions might pose is religious insularity. Students graduating from these schools who want to integrate their faith with practice will inevitably have to navigate through lots of religious complexities if they wish to integrate faith into psychological practice.
 

WisNeuro

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Well if some dude from christianitytoday.com says it, it must be true. C'mon now. You do know that there are journals that discuss this stuff in a more academic, scholarly manner, right? That is, if you really want to learn something rather than shoot from the hip with anecdotes and google. Books, journals, etc document the wide, wide variation in how this stuff is operationally defined, and may at times be appropriately integrated and at other times is absolutely not appropriate in clinical psych practice.
Before criticizing someone for providing non-academic info, you may want to step up to the table yourself. He's provided more actual info than you have at this point. What were the citations that you were talking about?
 

IT514

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How is encouraging someone to reference an academic journal rather than a google search/website non-academic?
 

IT514

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Fair enough that the word is used differently, and I'm happy to have my own cultural competence expanded, but I have to say that the use of "ministry" seems at variance with the Webster definition. Also, it seems different than the religious healthcare/psych institutions with "service" not "ministry" missions that I have encountered. Of course, these have been largely Catholic so there's a denominational difference, but the services at Catholic clinics and hospitals have been secular (aside from issues related to family planning, of course). I think that if I talked about ministry in my clinical practice every one of my supervisors would have some blank stares and serious questions for me.



There is concrete and then there is literal. I take George Fox's course listing literally, assuming that they are describing the content of their course as clearly as possible. Please let me know what the more abstract or figurative way to read their course listing might be, and what inferences I might draw. I'd also like to know how my (primarily ethical) point relates to specific aspects of the philosophy of science that you are referring to, as I've had a good deal of exposure through coursework, research and training as a CBT therapist, and have taken an interest in the area. Finally, please direct me to these articles you speak of.
Well I wouldnt equate the word ministry with proselytize, as you seem to (sorry, but that sounds concrete to me). I dont expect everyone to know religous lingo, but please realize that there an extensive history and varying usage behind the vocabulary that may be different from your imediate understanding of them. Lots of misunderstanding and misinterpretation seems to stem from those who seem to be a little too comfortable with what they think they know of religion. If you really are curious, I would look up anything by Mark McMinn, Ph.D. He was at Wheaton for a while but he may be at George Fox or Rosemead. He's written a number of articles regarding integration of faith and science, and integration of spirituality with clinical psych, particularly CBT. He is perhaps on the more evangelical side of things, as evidenced by his academic affilications, so I dont always agree with his models, but hes a solid academic IMO.
 

erg923

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I dont know the numbers, but alot of psych grad students seem to have never had much formal religious exposure or experience. Either that, or their exposure was limited to one hour on Sunday mornings. So, of course, they have to fill in the holes and inevitably form negative opinions based on that. Im not sure what this is about, exactly, as my Roman Catholic faith and education has always served me well, and I have personally never experierced or felt the "mind-control," "intolerance" or "judgmentalness" that people so often talk about when referring to Christianity/Christians. However, I did grow up post Vatican II and in Parish that was very focused on social justice "ministry" (again, not to be confused with proselytizing) that was generally full of people who live their faith, but do so fairly privately.

I just got done reading a book that has really helped augment some of my stances on things...maybe even Obamacare, although I am not putting any money on that yet. : ) This should be required reading for beggining therapists, IMHO. Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion- by Father Gregory Boyle
 
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Apr 1, 2010
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I just got done reading a book that has really helped augment some of my stances on things...maybe even Obamacare, although I am not putting any money on that yet. : ) This should be required reading for beggining therapists, IMHO. Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion- by Father Gregory Boyle
As a clinical psychology graduate student from a Christian integration program (Azusa Pacific University) this was required reading for one of our clinical practicum courses. I've even had some of the "homeboy" tortilla chips Father Boyle's organization makes since they sell them at the local grocery stores here :)

It helped to show me just how one can integrate his or her faith background in clinical work without proselytizing as many fear is what Christian psychologists are out to do.

I agree with looking up McMinn. He was another assigned read for one of our required integration courses. He's great for those looking to ethically and intelligently integrate faith and psychology with specific interventions and examples given in his books.

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