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Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy (SIP) Program

Program Overview

The ACPE Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy (SIP) Training Program is a multi-disciplinary, inter-spiritual, multi-racial community of persons gathered for education, connection, and formation in the work of spiritually integrated psychotherapy. It serves licensed and pre-licensed mental health professionals (i.e., counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, addiction specialists, and more), as well as graduate students in any of those disciplines, who seek to explore the ways spirituality, religion, and the search for meaning influence their own lives and the lives of their clients.

 The Program includes:

  • A 30-hour continuing education curriculum offered by SIP Trainers in the communities where they live and work
  • A post-curriculum certification process (20 hours of consultation with a local SIP Trainer and a Peer Review)
  • SIP Communities of Practice where connection, learning, and professional formation can continue beyond the certification process
  • A Train the Trainer program to develop and support SIP Trainers

The SIP Program recognizes that high-quality therapists become high-quality therapists over time, in formative relationships with colleagues and mentors. In addition to teaching theory and skills foundational to spiritually integrated psychotherapy, the SIP Program emphasizes personal integration, development of professional identity, and growth in a distinctive way of being. 

Four persons sit in a line looking at the camera with their thumbs up

 ACPE’s SIP Program is an alignment with ACPE’s core values:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity
  • Curiosity
  • Process
  • Service

Curriculum

The word psychotherapy means “care of the soul” (from the Greek psyche + therapeia). While the history of psychotherapy includes theorists and practitioners with a bias against spirituality and religion, there have always been those who found effective ways to include spiritual wisdom in psychotherapeutic work. In recent years, there has been an outpouring of research and instruction in spiritually integrated psychotherapy, and empirical evidence demonstrating the therapeutic efficacy of attending to clients’ spiritual beliefs and practices.

The ACPE SIP Curriculum draws upon diverse spiritual traditions and psychological research to provide practical, usable resources to help therapists integrate spirituality into their work. It teaches therapists how to elicit and make therapeutic use of their clients’ spiritual perspectives and how to make ethically appropriate use of their own spiritual perspectives.

The program consists of 10, 3-hour courses. These are: 

CourseCourse TitlesContact Hours
1Foundations and Ethics of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy3
2Developing Spiritual Conversations in Psychotherapy3
3Spiritual Assessment3
4Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Resources, Part 13
5Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Resources, Part 23
6Spiritual Interventions: Working with Harmful Spirituality and Religion3
7Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Struggles3
8Spirituality and Belief System of the Therapist3
9Spiritually Integrated Case Conceptualization, Part 13
10Spiritually Integrated Case Conceptualization, Part 23
 Total Contact Hours30

The courses draw upon multiple modes of teaching and learning, including:

  • interactive seminars;
  • role plays;
  • small group work; and
  • personal reflection.

Many of the 10 courses can be taught independently. However, the curriculum is most effective when taught in its entirety in a sequential manner. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of course 1, Foundations and Ethics of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the benefits of integrating spirituality and religion in psychotherapy when done well.
  2. Define a holistic understanding of humans: bio-psycho-social-spiritual.
  3. Recognize different models for integrating spirituality and religion in psychotherapy.
  4. Summarize the ethical principles that guide how therapists integrate spirituality and religion in therapy.
  5. Comprehend how therapists can ethically draw upon their own spirituality as a resource.

At the conclusion of course 2, Developing Spiritual Conversations in Psychotherapy, participants will be able to:

  1. Approach spiritual conversations in therapy in a collaborative rather than directive manner.
  2. Understand the difference between explicit and implicit spiritual language.
  3. Recognize and respond to spiritual openings that clients offer.
  4. Initiate spiritual conversations.

At the conclusion of course 3, Spiritual Assessment, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify clients’ spiritual and religious resources.
  2. Identify clients’ spiritual struggles.
  3. Assess whether clients’ spirituality is helping or hurting.
  4. Recognize “heart of the matter” spiritual issues affecting client’s well-being.5.Determine whether spirituality will be an explicit part of the therapy process.

At the conclusion of course 4, Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Resources, Part 1, participants will be able to:

  1. Conduct spiritual assessment.
  2. Help clients deepen existing spiritual resources. 
  3. Help clients reconnect with forgotten spiritual resources.
  4. Help clients develop new spiritual resources.

At the conclusion of course 5, Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Resources, Part 2, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the Spiritual Interventions in Four Dimensions rubric.
  2. Identify explicit spiritual practices that can be integrated into psychotherapy.
  3. Identify implicit spiritual practices that can be integrated into psychotherapy.
  4. Incorporate spiritual interventions in therapeutic practice with beginning competence.
At the conclusion of course 6, Spiritual Interventions: Working with Harmful Spirituality and Religion, participants will be able to:
  1. Identify elements of harmful spirituality or religion.
  2. Discuss how spirituality and religion become harmful.
  3. Discuss strategies for countering the impact of harmful spirituality or religion.
  4. Apply strategies for countering the impact of harmful spirituality or religion to a clinical example.

At the conclusion of course 7, Spiritual Interventions: Working with Spiritual Struggles, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize and describe spiritual struggles.
  2. Identify spiritual struggles commonly encountered in psychotherapy.
  3. Identify therapeutic strategies for addressing spiritual struggles in ethical and effective ways.
  4. Apply therapeutic strategies for addressing spiritual struggles to a clinical example.

At the conclusion of course 8, Spirituality and Belief System of the Therapist, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize the connection between their spirituality and therapeutic presence.
  2. Identify ways their spiritual beliefs impact how they understand clients, the therapeutic relationship, and therapeutic process.
  3. Investigate areas of spiritual countertransference that may influence therapeutic process.
  4. Identify personal examples of spiritual countertransference. 

At the conclusion of course 9, Spiritually Integrated Case Conceptualization, Part 1, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe connections between spirituality and bio-psycho-social factors.
  2. Recognize the “heart of the matter” spiritual issues implicit in clinical symptoms and client personality styles.
  3. Name strategies to distinguish between spiritual issues and mental health issues.
  4. Describe elements of a spiritually integrated case conceptualization.
  5.  

    At the conclusion of course 10, Spiritually Integrated Case Conceptualization, Part 2, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe elements that distinguish a spiritually integrated case conceptualization from a case conceptualization that does not include attention to spirituality
  2. Identify ways their own spiritual perspectives can ethically inform case conceptualization and clinical practice
  3. Describe core competencies of spiritually integrated psychotherapy
  4. Identify skills for use in post-training spiritually-integrated professional development
  5. Describe and demonstrate skills for giving/receiving spiritually integrated feedback according to professional best practices  

 

ACPE has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7004. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. ACPE is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.