Presentation on theme: "Psychological wellness in religious life"— Presentation transcript:
1 Psychological wellness in religious life Paul Midden, Ph.D.,Clinical Director,Saint Louis Consultation Center
2 TopicsMaintaining health & wellness in a vowed, apostolic life of service. Recognizing distress/depression. How therapy/counseling can help with these things. Taking care of oneself.
3 Preliminary thoughts/considerations No one chooses an emotional or psychological disorder. No one joins religious life to be unhappy. Balance in life is an ongoing goal. There are obvious tensions in a life of service between caring for others and caring for self. Our self care is our personal responsibility.
4 Maintaining health, wellness in apostolic life We are happy whenwe are relatively stress-free,we enjoy ourselves,we relate to others with a sense of ease and pleasure;we pursue our goals and responsibilities in a comfortable way.Our life is in balance among the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects.
5 Tensions & risks. . . Man for others versus self-care Hero ideal Compassion fatigueSelf-care versus self-absorption
6 More tensions, risks. . . The allure of narcissism The allure of avoidanceSexual tensionThe dilemma of formation
7 Recognizing distress/depression What is it? A multi-system disturbance of emotional regulation which negatively impacts one's outlook, body, and spirit and which compromises a person’s ability to function effectively.
8 A few things to consider It is an affliction; it is not a choice.It affects those so disposed for lots of complicated reasons.It can be triggered in many ways, some complicated and some simple.By sunshine deprivationBy reactions to interpersonal tensions or any of the other tensions noted above.By griefBy circumstances that trigger memories of earlier abuse.By trauma, either recent or historic
9 Types of depression Major Depression Dysthymic Disorder Bipolar Disorder I & IIReactive depression (Adjustment disorder)
10 Major Depression Depressed mood* Markedly diminished interest in things that are ordinarily pleasurable.*Fatigue or loss of energyFeelings of worthlessness, guilt.Impaired concentration, indecisivenessInsomnia or hypersomniaPsychomotor retardation or a agitation (slowed down or restless)Recurring thoughts of death or suicide.Significant weight gain or loss (+/- 5% body weight/month)Must have loss of interest or depressed mood among symptoms most every day for two weeks
11 Dysthymic Disorder Poor appetite or overeating; Insomnia or hypersomniaLow energy or fatigueLow self esteemPoor concentrationDifficulty making decisions.Feelings of hopelessness.
12 Bipolar I Disorder, manic phase Mood Changes:A long period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing moodExtremely irritable mood, agitation, feeling "jumpy" or "wired."
13 Bipolar I Disorder, manic phase Behavioral ChangesTalking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughtsBeing easily distractedIncreasing goal-directed activities, such as taking on new projectsBeing restlessSleeping littleHaving an unrealistic belief in one's abilitiesBehaving impulsively and taking part in a lot of pleasurable, high-risk behaviors, such as spending sprees, impulsive sex, and impulsive activities.
14 Bipolar I Disorder, depressed phase Mood ChangesA long period of feeling worried or emptyLoss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
15 Bipolar I Disorder, depressed phase Behavioral ChangesFeeling tired or "slowed down"Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisionsBeing restless or irritableChanging eating, sleeping, or other habitsThinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide
16 Reactive depression a.k.a.Adjustment Disorder The development of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor(s) occurring within 3 months of the onset of the stressor(s). These symptoms or behaviors are clinically significant as evidenced by either of the following: (1) marked distress that is in excess of what would be expected from exposure to the stressor (2) significant impairment in social or occupational (academic) functioning
17 How Therapy Can HelpTherapy provides a safe place where a person can talk about anything, including their most serious and private personal difficulties, and expect to be understood, attended to, and cared for.
18 What therapy does Provides a forum outside the internal dialogue. Provides a place to check out one's thinking, get to the root of emotions, and practice new skills.Provides a way of receiving feedback that is not judgmental
19 What therapy does not do. It does not change your experience or your history.It does not take away your feelings, including whatever anger or resentment you might have.It does not turn you into someone else, or a more perfect version of yourself.
20 Therapy is about change In your behaviorIn the ways you think about thingsIn the way you deal with your emotional lifeIn the way you deal with your relationships
21 Shedler’s List Helping a person work out his feelings Exploring attempts to avoid distressing thoughts and feelingsIdentification of recurring themes and patternsDiscussion of past experience (developmental focus).
22 Shedler’s List, cont’d Focus on interpersonal relations Focus on the therapy relationshipExploration of fantasy life
23 Self-care 1) a sense of personal autonomy/centeredness 2) awareness of personal, interpersonal needs and limits3) awareness of sexuality: orientation, attraction profile, vulnerabilities4) emotional/interpersonal skills
24 Self-care, cont’d5) social support network, or relationships, relationships, relationships6) clarity about one's vocation/life path
25 Key concepts Integrity Self-awareness Mindfulness Being who you say you are.Self-awarenessKnowing the self that you areMindfulnessPaying attention to the self that you are.