PSI in Practice: The Art of Referral

We invite you to attend our Wednesday Forum in June, “The Art of Referral: What mental health professionals and clergy need to know about one another,” presented by Mary Ragan, PhD, LCSW.

June 6, 2012
10:30a – 12:00p
Located at the New York Open Center*
22 East 30th Street
**not affiliated with New York Open Center

Program Description

The historical relationship between mental health professionals and clergy has often been marked by suspicion, wary acceptance, and sometimes outright hostility. In recent years that divide between psychiatry and religion has lessened due to a growing appreciation, both in the academic literature as well as popular culture, of the importance and power of spirituality in the lives of people.

This seminar will focus on two areas:

The important pastoral function that clergy provide in making effective, appropriate and successful referrals to mental health professionals:

  1. how to identify symptoms that call for referral
  2. how to talk about referral to a congregant in a way that maximizes the possibility of accepting the referral
  3. how to honor the psychotherapeutic boundary of treatment without abandoning the congregant

The skills that clinicians need to honor the spiritual lives of their clients:

  1. a level of comfort discussing a client’s spiritual and/or religious concerns
  2. a working knowledge of how spirituality functions for people and the ability to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy religious practices
  3. a recognition that a clinician’s own spiritual/religious journey – both positive and negative –needs to be understood and explored so as to minimize countertransference reactions with clients
  4. an ability to use religious professionals as collaborative partners in working with clients

Bring your questions, your stories, your dilemmas and yourself!

All forums are free of charge. To register for any session, please email psi-invite@mindspirit.org or call 212-285-0043.

View video clips from our Wednesday Forums


Our Wednesday morning forums for clergy, therapists, other clinicians and helping professionals include presentations by members of PSI staff as well as invited guests. They are designed to offer opportunities for engagement in topics and modalities that integrate psychotherapy and spirituality. They are also an opportunity for peer fellowship and networking.

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