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Home » Standing on Sacred Ground: Integrating Spirituality and Mental Health

Standing on Sacred Ground: Integrating Spirituality and Mental Health

What role can spirituality play in the healing and recovery of people living with mental health challenges?

Facilitated by Rabbi Elisa Goldberg

For therapists, social workers, mental health professionals and people with lived experience

Tuesdays 3:00 pm-4:00 pm EST— February 20, March 6, March 20

CEU hours available (see information below)

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Spirituality is the part of us that searches for meaning, seeks out transcendent experiences, and recognizes that a force exists beyond the material world. Research has shown that spirituality can help foster positive emotions, coping skills and recovery in the face of behavioral health challenges, yet most professionals have little training in the area of spirituality. In these sessions, we will explore the nature of spirituality (spiritual types, spiritual development, healthy and unhealthy spirituality) the difference between spirituality and religion, and the importance of working with our own counter-transference. Through experiential exercises and case studies, we will provide concrete tools for mental health professionals to address spirituality in their clinical work.

Rabbi Elisa Goldberg has honed the art of pastoral presence through almost two decades of chaplaincy and spiritual direction and hundreds of holy moments at the side of another. She authored a guidebook on spirituality and recovery with Drexel University and consults with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities on the integration of spiritually informed care.

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After completing all sections of the course, participants will receive (upon request) a certificate for 3 hours of Continuing Education approved by the PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors. If you live outside of PA, you will need to consult your state licensing organization to determine if these will be accepted. Most states will accept CEU’s approved by other States.”


In our first session, we went through basic definitions of spirituality, wrote our own definitions of spirituality, and explored how knowing ourselves more deeply can lead to greater understanding and transparency with clients. 

“How Faith Can Affect Therapy” Ashley Taylor, The New York Times

“What Role Do Religion and Spirituality Play in Mental Health?” Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, APA

Our second session deepened our understanding of how spirituality works, looking into spiritual types, spiritual development, and transference/counter-transference. 

In our third session, we dove into toxic spirituality, how to identify unhealthy spiritual beliefs, and spiritual assessment tools.

This step-by-step guide to leading spirituality support groups was created by Rabbi Elisa Goldberg in collaboration with Drexel University.

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