Pastoral Psychology

Pastoral Psychology
Starts from:Mon, April 12, 2021
Campus Location

175 Royal Parade,Parkville,Victoria,Australia

Course Feature
  • KEY UNIT Key unit in the following awards: Graduate Diploma in Supervision; and Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction. An Elective unit which can be taken within the supervision, spirituality or spiritual direction pathways.
Class Description

Online Class

The relationship between practitioner and client, spiritual director and directee or supervisor and Supervisee takes place in an environment of trust, emotional intimacy and confidentiality. The Christian practitioner/spiritual director carries the responsibility of containing, caring and guiding the client/directee/supervisee with tools and skills, based on solid theory, empathy, love in a spirit of service, led by God’s Spirit .

The Relationship Psychodynamics Unit provides an experiential, safe, yet challenging, environment to learn:

(i) solid theoretical relational-psychological principles;

(ii) the neuro-biology of relationships;

(iii) practical and immediately applicable techniques;

(iv) techniques forreflecting on personal life experiences in the context of new knowledge; such knowledge is gleaned  principally through deep engagement with Ignatian Spirituality and also through engagement with other traditions.


Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that participants will be able to:

  1. describe and evaluate the neurobiology of the psychological process involved in the emergence of the self, and of non-conscious and conscious behaviour;
  2. demonstrate an informed and critical understanding of the self through role theoryand concepts of true’ and false’ self;
  3. illustrate and reflect on the following from personal experience: self and relational identity; personal experiential life events that made the person the “I am” of today; and, personal conversion and spiritual growth;
  4. explain and evaluate the role that culture, race, gender, ideology, and other potentially unconscious perspectives, play in contributing to interpersonal behaviour;
  5. analyse, compare and evaluate a number of personality theories.


Rev Dr Michael Smith SJ



Jesuit College of Spirituality, 175 Royal Parade, Parkville VIC 3052

Nadal Classroom

FEES – For 10 cp units. Double for 20 cp units.

Students enrolled for academic credit | $2,266 Domestic Students | $2,925 International Students

Audit students (not for academic credit) | $1,133


* = set texts recommended

** = relevant chapters will be available to enrolled students in ARK

Arnold, Magda B, and John A. Gasson.  The Human Person: An Approach to an Integral Theory of Personality. Charlston, SC: Nabu Press, 2011.

** Buber, Martin. I and Thou. New York: Scribner, 1958.

** Castonguay, Louis Georges, and Clara E Hill. Insight In Psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007.

** Damasio, A. Self Comes to Mind, Constructing the Conscious Brain.New York: Patheon Books. 2010

* De Chardin, P. T. The Phenomenon of Man. New York:HarperPerennial. 2008

Forshaw, Oliver. Personhood and Christianiy: in psychodynamic and corporate perspective. Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2010

** Fox, J., & Moreno, J. L. The essential Moreno : writings onpsychodrama, group method, and spontaneity. New York: Springer Pub. 1987.

** Frankl, V. E.  Man's search for meaning: An introduction toLogotherapy. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1984

Goldstein, E. Bruce. Cognitive Psychology. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011.

** Hatch E., & Fairbairn, A. Influence of Greek ideas and Usegesupon the Christian Church. London: Williams and Norgate. 1890

Heschel, A. Man Is Not Alone : A Philosophy of Religion. NewYork: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1976

* Ivens, M. The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola.London: Newton Printing. 2004

* Lonergan, Bernard. Method in Theology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971.

** Maturana, H. R., & J, V. F. The Tree of Knowledge The BiologicalRoots of Human Unerstanding. Boston: Sambhala. 1998

Meisner, William J. Foundations for a Psychology of Grace. Glen Rock, NJ:Paulist Press, 1966.

** Moreno, J. L. Who Shall Survive? Beacon NY: Beacon House. 1953

* Pagola, J. A.  Jesus, An Historical Approximation. Miami: Convivious. 2011

Rahner, K. Spiritual Exercises. South Bend: St. Augustine's Press. 2014

* Scroope , M.  Ignatian Spirituality for Today: key readings for busy people. Pymble, NSW: Loyola Institute, 2011

Weiten, Wayne. Psychology. Belmont Calif.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2014.


  • Michael Smith SJ


    Originally from New Zealand, Michael entered the Jesuits in 1976 and was ordained in 1984. Michael, Prof Maryanne Confoy RSC, and Dr Peter Cantwell OFM designed the curriculum for the Master of Spiritual Direction degree, which was the first graduate prog...