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Integrating Spirituality and Psychotherapy

Format Seminar/Presentation
Presenters Kevin Keith for The Professional Development People
Description Spirituality remains a vibrant and important part of many people's day-to-day lives. However, traditional hostilities between religion and psychotherapy have created difficulties for therapeutic work that might seek to make room for spirituality. This is fortunately changing. Spirituality (something not seen as synonymous with religious practice) and psychotherapy have moved beyond a more conflictual past to a more integrated respectful present. As a consequence, psychotherapy is increasingly incorporating spiritual practice into our clinical interventions. Dyadic conversations within therapy may now include the sort of felt aliveness and experience of salience that may often accompany people's spiritual journeys.
How can we expand our therapeutic competence to include these matters? The seminar will first lay a foundation for the days' practical discussions. A critically informed definition of spirituality will be positioned that builds on the multi-cultural history of various spiritual traditions. Careful attention will be paid to working distinctions between spirituality and religion. Spirituality will be depicted to include three overlapping areas: aesthetics, ascetics and personal meaning.
The remainder to the day will cover three practical topics:
(1) We will explore what we may consider practical challenges in our practice. (2) Thereafter, we will tap into our own creative capacities developing responses to individual case studies seeking to enhance therapeutic breadth. (3) Lastly we will look at how mystical practices have approached the notion of not knowing as how these ideas may support our therapeutic requirements to contain in the midst of uncertainty.
At the completion of the workshop, participants will:
? Be able to distinguish spirituality from religion and understand that today's "fundamentalisms" represent a relatively late (18th-19th century) phenomenon in religious history and reflect a certain discomfort with uncertainties in life that are not present within many forms of spirituality.
? Feel more comfortable making space for spirituality: the clients' their own and the broader community's.
? Be able to assist clients experiencing dilemmas arising from multiple sources of meaning, that needn't always force unhelpful choices
? Understand that an existentially sensitive psychotherapy and certain specific forms of spirituality actually have much in common
? Identify how somatic therapeutic work may often reflect traditional spiritual practices found in many cultures

9:00 - 11:00 An introduction to three key dimensions of spirituality: aesthetics, ascetics and meaning-making.
The differentiation and coexistence of spirituality and traditional religion in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Historical attitudes towards spiritual experience within psychotherapy.
11:15 - 1:15 Identifying 'spiritual' challenges for psychotherapy: The client's, the therapist's, and the community's.
Understanding the complex demands of our ethical and professional obligations for respect, tolerance and duty of care. Group and plenary work exploring therapeutic experience and attendant questions
1:45 - 3:15 Understanding ways of working with the "spiritual": beauty, the body and purpose. Brief review of current approaches incorporating spirituality into psychotherapy.
Three case studies for group exploration with plenary group feedback.
3:30 - 5:00 Conclusion: What spirituality (especially apophatic mysticism) might teach us about "not knowing" in psychotherapy.
Opportunity for final questions and answers.
About the presenter(s) Kevin Keith is a counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor who splits time between private practice and his work as a counsellor with ACON. He is also a lecturer in the Jansen Newman Master's Program. Kevin is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney (History and Philosophy of Science Unit) with research interests in "Attachment Theory". His provisional thesis is "Assessing Bowlby's 'Radical Overhaul' of Freud's Metapsychology: Attachment Theory, Resilience and the Regulation of Negative Affect". He is acclaimed as an engaging and inspiring presenter whose seminars change the way therapists perceive and work with their clients in ways that surprise and delight.
Location NSW Metro, Australia
Venue Aerial UTS Function Centre
Level 7, 235 Jones Street, Ultimo

Please contact the event organiser to confirm if this venue is wheelchair accessible
Start/End Date 10 Feb 2013
Time 9am - 5pm
Cost $198 early bird (students and new grads half price on application)
Notes This event includes morning and afternoon tea and lunch.
Organiser The Professional Development People
Contact Name Carmen Nicotra
Telephone 1300 887622