Spring Brunch Series - Integrating a Pet God into Therapy

  • 21 Apr 2013
  • 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Location to be e-mailed to registrants
  • 0


Registration is closed

Integrating a Pet God into Therapy: Psychoanalysis and Religion in Practice

Courtney Slater, Ph.D.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Psychoanalysis has contended that early experiences with primary caregivers not only help in forming images of oneself and others, but also contribute to images of God.  In The Birth of the Living God, Rizzuto (1979) states that, “no child arrives at the house of God without his pet god under his arm.”  Since Rizzuto’s groundbreaking work with object relations, others have proposed that attachment theory can also be used as a framework for understanding God-representations.  While some have proposed compensatory or complementary models, subsequent research has attended to the role of implicit and explicit levels of spiritual functioning.  After describing God representations from a psychoanalytic perspective, a case presentation will elucidate the role of object relations and attachment in determining treatment plan, interventions, and integration of spirituality and/or religion into psychotherapy.

The Presenter:

Courtney L. Slater, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, where she teaches courses in social psychology, diversity, assessment, and spirituality and religion in psychotherapy.  She also has a small practice in Newark, Delaware and is committed to offering religious clients a relational therapy that not only focuses on psychological growth, but also values religious process.  Courtney received her Ph.D. at the Rosemead School of Psychology in Southern California, where she received specialized education in the integration of spirituality, religion, and clinical psychology.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the application of relational psychoanalytic theory to spiritual and/or religious development.
  2. Identify practical applications for integrating a client’s spiritual and/or religious identity in practice.

PSPP Brunch Series Registration

PSPP members and non-members alike may register online at the PSPP website, www.PSPP.org, locating the brunch you would like to attend, clicking on ‘register’, and following the instructions.  Seating is limited and reservations will take place on a first come, first served basis. 

Please cancel your reservation if you are unable to attend so that your space becomes available to another participant. To cancel a reservation, please contact Emily Loscalzo, M.S. at eloscalzo@gmail.com  or 215-479-3555.

Registration is open to PSPP members and other interested mental health professionals, school employees, or scholars from related fields that are not members.

Brunch Times and Locations

All Brunches will be held as follows:

11:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.     Brunch

11:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M.       Presentation and Discussion


Registrants will receive an email confirmation containing directions to the location of the brunch for which they are registered.

CE Credits and Fees

Brunch attendees are eligible for 2 Continuing Education Credits.  To obtain CE credits, you must register for a brunch program. CE credits are free to PSPP members. Non-members must pay $40 per program to receive CE credits.


This program is intended for mental health professionals with an intermediate level of knowledge and experience. It is not limited to individuals practicing in a predominately psychoanalytic mode.

PSPP and Division 39 are committed to conducting all activities in strict conformity with the American

Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. If you believe that a violation of ethics has occurred during these presentations, or have any questions or other concerns regarding confidentiality, privacy, access or other issues, please contact Robin Ward, Psy.D. at 610-506-5888 or email robinwardpsyd@hotmail.com.  If you have concerns about such issues as handicapped accessibility, distress with regard to program content or other complaints, please contact Dr. Patricia Rice at (267) 259-6816 or email ricepg@gmail.com. Participants with special needs will be accommodated if possible. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflict of interest. During the program, the presenter will discuss the validity/utility of the content/approach as well as the limitations of the approach and most common risk factors, if any.

Continuing Education

Psychologists: This program is offered for 2 continuing education credits (2.0 CE). Participants must attend 100% of the program. Upon completion of a conference evaluation form, a certificate will be issued. This serves as documentation of attendance for all participants. Psychologists will have their participation registered through Division 39. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists.  Division 39 maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

Social Workers:  Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors in Pennsylvania can receive continuing education from continuing education providers approved by the APA.  Since PSPP is approved by APA to sponsor continuing education, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors will be able to fulfill their continuing education requirement by attending APA approved continuing education programs.

Educators:  Act 48 credits are available to participants who hold an educational certificate in Pennsylvania.  If you need Act 48 credits, please be sure to bring your PPID number to the conference.  Act 48 credits are processed by PSPP, and you will receive a letter in the mail documenting that you have earned 2 Act 48 credits a few weeks after the workshop.

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