Gateways to Spirituality in Psychotherapy and Counseling Conference

The first academic conference in Israel about the connection of psychotherapy and counselling with spirituality.
The conference took place on March 11th, 2019 at the University of Haifa

Humanity has been interested in spirituality and spiritual development since time immemorial. However, the acceptance of spirituality as a legitimate field of scientific research in psychology is relatively new. For many years, the psychotherapy field has regarded spirituality with reservation, suspicion and separation. In the current fast-paced age of constant stimulation and instability, there is a growing recognition of the importance of the spiritual aspect of human existence, including the significance of human longing for the mysterious and the sublime and for a connection to “the beyond”. These insights have led to the development and growth of both research and practices which integrate spiritual elements in therapy and counselling, viewing spiritualty as a major and universal part of optimal human development.
This conference was the culmination of many years in which we have been thinking, researching, discussing and dreaming about such conference,. Hence such conference held historic significance in Israel, breaking new ground in connecting spirituality and psychotherapy and in highlighting the spiritual realm and its applications in psychotherapy, combining academia and practice in the field. The opening keynote lecture was given by Prof. Kenneth Pargament, one of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians in this field. It should be noted that the integration of spirituality and therapy is already thriving in Israel. While preparing the conference even we were surprised at the amount and variety of therapeutic methods integrating spirituality which are already practiced in Israel. In this conference we could only showcase a small part of the vast activity in the field.
We hope that this conference, which was attended by almost 250 people, will help form a community and a network of therapists and researchers interested in further studying and implementing the many possibilities offered by this combination. There are already various activities designed to promote the integration of spirituality and psychotherapy, among them an MA specialization in Integrative Psychotherapy: Body-Mind-Spirit at the University of Haifa, and a future issue of the Journal of the Israeli Psychological Association dedicated to this vital combination of therapy and spirit.This conference is an example of the many activities undertaken by the multi-university center for the study of human spirit and its members.

The conference’s guest of honor, Prof. Kenneth Pargament
Prof. Kenneth Pargament
Abstract of Prof. Kenneth Pargament’s keynote address
Co-chairs of the conference:
Prof. Ofra Mayseless   Dr. Pninit Russo-Netzer
Academic Committee of the conference
(in alphabetical order):
Dr. Dana Amir, Dr. Aviva Berkovich-Ohana, Prof. Ofra Mayseless, Dr. Marianna Ruah-Midbar‏ Shapiro, Dr. Pninit Russo-Netzer,  Dr. Avihu Shoshana, Prof. Nurit Yirmiya Conference Coordinator: Ms. Pnina Ohana.
The conference website & Detailed program

Videos from the Gateways to Spirituality in Psychotherapy and Counselling conference (March 11th, 2019)

For a PDF file of the detailed program, please see below.