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A Biblical Approach to Mental Health
A Biblical Approach to Mental Health
An online course taught by
Kalman J. Kaplan, PhD
and Paul Cantz, PsyD
This integrative, 12-week, online, continuing education course was offered by Spertus in conjunction with the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
This course is designed to bridge the differences between religion, spirituality, and mental health. Students will compare Biblical and classical Greek perspectives on a number of mental health issues and will learn the basis for Biblical psychotherapy. This course calls for a paradigm shift.
Thirty-six (36) continuing education credits (CEUs) are available for psychologists, pastoral counselors, LPCs, physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains. The course can be taken for 3 quarter-hour graduate degree credits at Spertus Institute. In addition, The Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) has approved this course to be placed in the ACTS online catalogue. Any ACTS student at one of the eleven consortium member institutions can register/cross-register and receive 3 semester-hours of credit for this course, in addition to 3 semester hours of continuing education credit. Cross-registration needs to be processed at the ACTS student home school and forwarded to the registrar's office of the Catholic Theological Union (email@example.com) to receive ACTS credit. (This is in addition to registering on the Spertus website through the portal for ACTS students). The tuition for ACTS students will be collected by CTU and then forwarded to Spertus, since the course is offered by a third party institution. Finally, all students who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois in Chicago College of Medicine.
Nowhere in medicine has the dependence on Greek thought been more apparent than in psychology and psychiatry, a position demonstrated by the fact that the very word "psyche" is Greek and the central psychoanalytic concept of the formation of character and neurosis is shaped after the Greek Oedipus myth. This course will explore a Biblical reformulation of mental health involving the replacement of Greek narratives by Biblical ones.
Topics to be discussed include:
- God, nature, and creation
- Self and other
- Obedience and disobedience
- Man and woman
- Fathers and sons
- Mothers and daughters
- Sibling rivalry and its resolution
- Body and soul
- Freedom, life, and suicide
- Hope against tragedy
- Practicum and applications
This course addresses the disconnect between Biblical, religious, and spiritual counselors and secular psychotherapists. Upon completion of the program participants should be able to:
- Describe spiritual therapeutic techniques related to each of the topics listed above
- Discuss classical Greek biases in mental health related to each of the topics listed above
- Describe the relationship between self and other, and discuss the effects cycle and development have on this relationship
- Discuss the basis and application of a biblical therapy related to each of the topics listed above, especially with regard to providing a sense of hope as an antidote to the Greek sense of tragedy
- Describe how knowledge of Greek and Biblical narratives can impact mental health in health care receivers
Dr. Kalman J. Kaplan
Dr. Kalman Kaplan is Professor of Clinical Psychology in both the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Medical Education at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. He is also Director of the Program in Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health originally developed with the generous help of the Fulbright International Exchange Program and the John Templeton Foundation. Dr. Kaplan is a social and developmental psychologist as well as a licensed clinical psychologist and has published widely in the areas of interpersonal and international relations and life-span developmental psychology, specifically concentrating on aging, family theory, and therapy. He is former editor of the Journal of Psychology and Judaism and an expert in the emerging field of biblical psychology, in transactional analysis in schizophrenia, and in suicide/suicide prevention. Dr. Kaplan was the co-recipient of the 1998 Alexander Gralnick Award for outstanding original research in suicide and schizophrenia, a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a member of a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) panel on religion, spirituality, and suicide-prevention.
Dr. Paul Cantz, Course Coordinator
Dr. Paul Cantz is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine. He is also the Coordinator for the UIC Program in Religion, Spirituality & Mental Health as well as Associate Director of Training/Assistant Professor at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Cantz is a licensed clinical psychologist and concurrently works as the Supervising Psychologist at Hartgrove Hospital's Partial Hospitalization Program and maintains a small therapy caseload at a community-based, nonprofit mental health clinic on the north side of Chicago. Dr. Cantz has published on the topics of the intellectual foundations of psychiatry/psychology, the psychology of religious conversion, cross-cultural concepts of feminism, and, most recently, the psychodynamics of music.
Image: Detail of Chevalier, 1958, oil on canvas, by Maryan, Spertus Collection