Catholic Psychotherapy Conference to be held in Denver
By John Gleason
For the first time, the Catholic Psychotherapy Conference will be held in Denver.
The annual conference is set for March 25-26. Conference theme is: “Implementing the Catholic Faith into Your Practice: Psychotherapy in the Service of the Church.”
Catholic Psychotherapy Conference
When: March 25-26
The two-day conference consists of talks, workshops and networking. The list of speakers includes three of Colorado’s four bishops: Denver’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., and Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley, and Colorado Springs’ Bishop Michael J. Sheridan.
Dr. Christina Lynch, staff psychologist for St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, is organizer of the event, which is sponsored by the Catholic Psychotherapy Association. She said that although the conference is only in its second year, participants are excited to meet and share ideas.
“We’re here to serve the Church and integrate our faith into our lives as well as our practice,” she said, “And to help people (our clients) to come to know God in a fuller and more flourishing way.”
The mission of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association is to support mental health practitioners by promoting the development of psychological theory and mental health practices that encompass a full understanding of the human person and society in communion with the magisterium of the Catholic Church.
Conference attendees will be able to participate in a variety of workshops. Topics to be addressed include how to have a happy marriage, attachment issues, and treatment for those addicted to pornography. Dr. Lynch said the conference isn’t just for those in the mental health profession.
“The conference is geared for psychotherapists but we want to specifically invite priests and deacons to attend; in fact, we encourage it,” she said. “It’s a great place to meet those in the field. I think it’s important for them to come and meet their local Catholic therapists who are working with people in their pews as well as develop relationships with therapists who could be part of their support system.”
One of the events planned for the conference is a video screening of the presentation of the first Lifetime Achievement Award given by the organization. The award was presented to Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Father Benedict Groeschel, professor of pastoral psychology at St. Joseph’s Seminary and director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Archdiocese of New York.
Father Groeschel has published a number of books on spirituality and pastoral counseling and founded the Trinity Retreat, a center for prayer and study for clergy. He has taught at Fordham University, Iona College, and Maryknoll Seminary. Due to scheduling conflicts Father Groeschel received the award Jan. 11 at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, where he was leading a retreat for seminarians.
The 2011 Catholic Psychotherapy Conference will be held in Denver at the John Paul II Center, 1300 S. Steele St., and the Courtyard Marriott, 1475 S. Colorado Blvd. Cost of the event is $110 for members, $135 non-members, $40 students and $25 for clergy and religious. More information is available online at www.catholicpsychotherapy.org/conference.