The therapy sessions were part of a new effort by Columbia University’s clinical psychology
program to experiment with integrating psychotherapy and spirituality in ways seldom seen at a major research university.
Mainstream psychology programs traditionally exist in the realm of academic language and empirical fact, keeping the supernatural at arm’s length. But in January, Columbia began a spirituality concentration in its clinical psychology master’s program, and last month, the university created a broader program, the Spirituality and Mind-Body Institute, to conduct research and host colloquia.
There were already institutes around the country — like the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and Sofia University, until last month known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, in Palo Alto, Calif. — teaching from similar perspectives, as well as faith-based universities that teach psychology in particular religious contexts. But Columbia is the first Ivy League university to develop a master’s concentration in spiritual psychology.
Well, "psyche" does
mean "soul, spirit".