Drake Spaeth presenting "Magic as Psychotherapy: Honoring the Frameworks of Contemporary Pagans" at the Cultural Impact Conference

Drake Spaeth, PsyD is a licensed clinical psychologist and faculty member at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I had the privilege of taking his ecopsychology class at Cherry Hill Seminary www.cherryhillseminary.org/ several years ago. I learned a lot about the deep psychological need humans have to participate in natural surroundings. The books and class discussions motivated me to be fully conscious of my relationship with the earth. This week, he is presenting “Magic as Psychotherapy: Honoring the Frameworks of Contemporary Pagans” at the Cultural Impact Conference.

This is another leap forward in quality mental health care for Pagans. When cultural anthropologist Kimberly Hendrick presented the findings of the Pagan Health Survey to the American Public Health Association she said “If a mental health professional does not have knowledge of how to separate mental illness from spiritual practice among Pagans, this can generate significant problems for the patient as s/he attempts to cure the patient of [his/her] religion.”

Here is the conference announcement about Drake’s presentation. http://ego.thechicagoschool.edu/s/843/index.aspx?sid=843&gid=65&pgid=3597

“The presentation honors the theme of the conference in its description of how an intentional crossing of the border between religious concepts and psychotherapeutic intervention strategies might be a uniquely powerful and empowering strategy for Pagan clients, as well as an advocacy of an attitude of respect for the boundaries and frameworks of contemporary Pagans.

The presentation will introduce the rapidly growing religion known loosely as contemporary Paganism. It will also elucidate the nature of the uneasy relationship between Paganism and the psychology profession and describe the conflicting attitudes that many contemporary Pagans have toward mental health professionals. From there, it will discuss the correspondence among important Pagan beliefs, values, and practices and key concepts from major psychological theories. It will describe how psychotherapists may utilize this correspondence to encourage positive therapeutic change and growth, focusing particularly on Pagan belief in the concept and efficacy of magic and ritual. This presentation is intended to facilitate awareness and cultural competence among therapists who may encounter Pagan clients. The likelihood of this prospect is increasing significantly, as according to religious scholars, Paganism may well be the most rapidly growing “new” religion in the United States (Adler, 2006).

Drake Spaeth, Assistant Professor, The Chicago School

Drake Spaeth, PsyD is a licensed clinical psychologist and faculty member of the MA Clinical Psychology Department, Counseling Specialization at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He is also an ordained minister in a contemporary Pagan context. Among his professional interests are a fascination with religion and spirituality across diverse social contexts, Humanistic-Existential and Transpersonal Psychology, and the connection between spirituality and positive psychotherapeutic change. Dr. Spaeth is an alumnus of The Chicago School, and he has worked in diverse settings such as the US Air Force, residential treatment centers, hospitals, counseling centers, and private clinical practices. He currently operates a private practice that focuses on spiritual counseling.”

Fore more about ecopsychology visit www.ecopsychology.org/

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Cultural Impact Conference http://ego.thechicagoschool.edu/s/843/three-column.aspx?sid=843&gid=65&pgid=61&cid=160

Staff of Asclepius Interview with Kimberly Hendrick, PhD about the groundbreaking Pagan Health Survey http://www.patheos.com/community/paganswithdisabilities/2011/01/16/interview-with-kimberly-hendrick-phd-about-the-groundbreaking-pagan-health-survey/

About Tara "Masery" Miller

Tara "Masery" Miller is a Neo-Pagan panentheist Gaian mage living in the Ozarks with her husband and pets. She's also a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church. She is the editor of Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul which you can find at Immanion press. www.immanion-press.com/info/books.asp She has a minor is religion from Southeast Missouri State Missouri State University with an emphasis in mysticism. Masery has lead various groups over the years and organized Pagan Pride Day events. Her magic and author page is at www.taramaserymiller.com


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