Psychotherapy as Spiritual Practice
A Six-Month Intensive for Therapists

with Lionel Corbett, M.D. and Guest Presenters

January - June 2010

Registration Form

The six-month intensive will be in session:

Session Times: Fridays 10AM–5PM; Saturdays 9AM–5PM; Sundays 9AM–12PM

Fees: Tuition $2,600; Residential Fee $1,800; Commuter Fee $750
Fees include Friday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner;
Sunday breakfast and lunch; and break service. Residential Fee includes two
night’s accommodation plus 10% occupancy tax; additional nights available for $80
per night plus tax.

Psychotherapists are increasingly realizing the importance of spirituality. This six-month intensive is dedicated to the idea that, in addition to technical aspects, psychotherapy can be thought of as a spiritual practice, and even a sacred activity. Because the human personality has a spiritual foundation as well as its developmental aspects, everyday psychological work need not be separated from spirituality. Many therapists, and people undergoing therapy, would like to incorporate a spiritual dimension into their therapeutic work, but believe that traditional religions are the only form of spirituality available. This program will show that in order to practice with a spiritual sensibility, it is not necessary to import preexisting theological notions into psychotherapy.

Problems such as despair, emptiness, hopelessness, and lack of connection to others are commonly expressed in psychotherapy, where the spiritual dimension of these difficulties can be discussed if both participants are open to it. While one may think of emotional difficulties in terms of a self disorder or an existential dilemma, at the same time they are also important spiritual crises. When life seems to have become empty of meaning or when we suffer anguish or despair, we see the inextricable connection between our psychological make up and our authentic spirituality. At the same time the therapist works with such difficulties psychologically, it is important to be aware of the spiritual concerns raised by emotional problems.

The program will have a largely Jungian and psychodynamic orientation. It will combine both theoretical and experiential components, including lectures, small and large group work, dream work, movement, and Gendlin's approach to focusing in order to incorporate the body. It will be of interest to practicing psychotherapists who would like to incorporate a spiritual dimension in their work that does not depend on any particular religious tradition. It will also be valuable for spiritual directors and pastoral psychotherapists who wish to discover more about a depth psychological approach to psychotherapy.

The intensive is strictly limited to mental health practitioners, spiritual directors, and students in graduate counseling and clinical psychology programs.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Psychotherapy as a contemporary form of spiritual direction
  • The difference between individual spirituality and collective religion
  • The search for meaning in psychotherapy
  • Values in psychotherapy
  • The expression of the sacred or the holy in psychotherapy
  • The relationship between psychopathology and spirituality
  • Psychodynamics, temperament, and spirituality
  • The problem of evil in psychotherapy
  • Approaches to suffering
  • Spiritual development seen in psychotherapy
  • A comparison of depression and a dark night of the soul
  • Love, forgiveness, and hope in psychotherapy
  • The evolution of a personal God-image
  • Theories of the origins of human spirituality
  • Faith in psychotherapy
  • Spirituality as a motivational system
  • Typology and spirituality
  • Spirituality used as a defense against psychological difficulties
  • A psychological approach to care of the soul
  • The nondual attitude in psychotherapy

This seminar is open to all mental health practitioners and/or students in graduate level psychology programs.



Lionel Corbett, M.D., trained in medicine and psychiatry in England and as a Jungian analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Dr. Corbett is a core faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute teaching depth psychology. He is the author of Psyche and the Sacred: Spirituality Beyond Religion, The Religious Function of the Psyche, and is co-editor, with Dennis Patrick Slattery, of Depth Psychology: Meditations in the Field and Psychology at the Threshold: Selected Papers. He also produced a set of audiotapes with Sounds True, Spirituality Beyond Religion.


The intensive will be held at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus. Located on 35 acres in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this residential retreat center provides a unique and peaceful environment for these event. The campus has lodging and dining facilities as well as a swimming pool (seasonal) and hiking trails. Please note that Pacifica shuttles do not provide service to and from the Ladera Campus for public programs.

The Residential Fee includes fees and tax for a single room in the Residence Building for Friday and Saturday evenings. Additional nights are available for $80 per night plus 10% occupancy tax. Accommodations are simple, dormitory-style rooms with shared bath and shower. Single (twin or double bed), double (two twin beds), and couple (one double bed) rooms are available. Reservations for rooms must be made through Pacifica’s Public Program’s office. Please reserve accommodations at the Ladera Campus on the registration form.

Meals are provided to encourage ongoing dialogue and community exchange throughout the weekend. Both the Residential and Commuter Fees include Friday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch; and break service. No other meals will be available.

Major airlines provide service into the Los Angeles International Airport located 90 miles south of Santa Barbara and into the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, approximately 18 miles from the Campus. Information on ground transportation will be included with your confirmation letter. 

Registration and Cancellation
Enrollment is limited to 30 participants. To register for the six-month intensive, please complete the registration form and return it with a deposit of half the total fees to hold your place. The balance in full is due by September 15. To obtain a refund on your registration fee, send a written cancellation request postmarked no later September 16. Tuition less a $100 processing fee will be refunded. Cancellations made from this date through the start of the program will receive a refund less $200. In the event of cancellation after instruction begins, a pro-rata refund on the tuition will be based on the portion of the instruction already completed. Additionally, for Residents, a refund on room and meals will be given less a $25 fee for each of the remaining room nights. For Commuters, a refund on meals will be given less a $25 fee for each of the remaining sessions. No refunds will be issued after the first two sessions. A $100 administrative fee is non-refundable.

Please send your registration to Pacifica Graduate Institute, Public Programs, 249 Lambert Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013; fax to 805.565.5796; e-mail to; call 805.969.3626, ext. 103, or register online.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available to those who find it prohibitive to pay the full cost of the programs. To apply, send a letter of request with your registration and payment. Please be specific regarding your financial circumstances. If accepted, you will be contacted to approve processing payment.

Continuing Education Credit
90 hours of continuing education credit is available for RNs through the California Board of Registered Nurses (provider #CEP 7177), for MFTs and LCSWs (provider #PCE 2278) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and for National Certified Counselors (provider #5436), through the National Board of Certified Counselors. Pacifica adheres to NBCC continuing education guidelines. MCEP credit for psychologists is pending through the California Psychology Accrediting Agency (MCEP provider #PAC014).