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Union of Psychology and Spirituality Retreat 2019
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10/18/2019 to 10/19/2019
When: October 18-19, 2019
Day and half Retreat
Where: Mohican Lodge & Conference Center (419) 938-5411
1098 Ashland County Road 3006
Perrysville, Ohio  44864
United States
Contact: Karen Hardin

Online registration is closed.
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11 CE for psychologists | counselors | social workers | marriage & family therapists 
(Attendees must attend all sessions in their entirety to receive CE credit. No partial credit will be given.)
Cost: $420 OPA Member | $470 Non-OPA Member |$350 Student ... Save $20 by registering on or before August 30!
(Price includes single occupancy accommodations at the Lodge on Friday, October 18 and Friday’s dinner, Saturday’s continental breakfast, Saturday’s lunch and snacks. If you would like to share a room (double occupancy) with another Retreat attendee, please call the OPA office at 614.224.0034)
Registration deadline is Friday, October 7, 2019
Program Description:
This day and a half long retreat is offered for psychologists and other mental health professionals interested exploring the interface between Psychology and Spirituality. Specifically, we will be examining and discussing practices and perspectives associated with spirituality (e.g. meditation, acceptance, compassion) as they can be applied in psychotherapy. We will focus on skill development and how to introduce these practices and perspectives with clients.

This year’s Retreat will focus on several meditation practices as methods to address the constant current of thoughts and feelings, on spirituality sourced practices to cultivate empathy, compassion, and self-compassion, and on methods to increase focus and concentration to enter more often into flow.

While the methods and practices to be discussed draw from traditional religions and modern, secular mindsets, we see such practices as compatible with various “schools” of psychotherapy including psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. Some newer psychotherapeutic approaches such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy are evidence based interventions that explicitly incorporate spirituality sourced practices.Throughout the workshop, we will be discussing how we can use these practices to improve our clinical effectiveness.

This workshop format emphasizes active participation and discussion with less formal lecture. The program is designed to accommodate participants who are new to these practices as well as participants who make these practices a central part of their work and lives. We will be learning together. We will share our experiences with one another.  

Diversity Statement: 
There has been a dynamic interplay between the realms of religion and science that may well predate written history. The term psychology is literally the study of the soul.  The methodology of that study, in the modern era, is the scientific method.

As psychologists, we value science and are most comfortable when our approaches have empirical support.  And as psychologists, we operate from values or beliefs that often originate from religious or spiritual experience or faith or from a moral philosophy this is not subject to the scientific method.  We can the highest regard for science and reason and at the same time follow a specific religious tradition with full devotion.  We can work with clients as they dance across the same realms.  The Union of Psychology and Spirituality Retreats exist to provide an open place for psychologists and other mental health practitioners to talk about how we make a healthy space for ourselves and our clients in addressing life’s most profound questions.

Session 1: Friday, October 18 | 1:30 - 4:45 p.m.
Meditation - A different way to look at thoughts and feelings
Presented by: Nathan Lamkin, PsyD and Rick Reckman, PhD
As humans, essentially all of us have the experience of constantly running towards or trying to hold onto an experience of pleasurable or running away and resisting a negative experience. Furthermore, when we have the experience of pleasure it is short lived and we then try to recreate the experience its never as good as the first time. Usually, we then experience a form of discontent. This is also supported by psychological research on happiness that outside a few things (meaningful relationships, acts of kindness, having a livable wage) nothing increases our happiness long-term. However, research shows our “expecting mind” continues to overestimate how much an experience will bring us happiness. Furthermore, research on thoughts suppression (e.g., running away from a negative experience) indicates we are only going to think about the thought more once the suppression ends. However, we remain hooked on trying to maximize our pleasant experience and minimize our negative experience. As psychologists, we are often confronted with human beings that are very much stuck in this process. Different psychological treatments provide effective ways to help change our thoughts and feelings (e.g., CBT); however, when these thoughts and feelings are racing so fast it can be hard to challenge and the person still remains hooked on them. Maybe thoughts and feelings are not so important. For thousands of years humans across the world have come to realize how this “hedonic treadmill” (as used in psychology) of chasing after positive experiences and running away from negative experiences usually leads us no better off. They have decided to step off the treadmill and engage in a different process of just observing these thoughts and feelings rather than identify with them. We call this process meditation. During this period of time we will practice meditation, learn more what it is, and provide a context to help disidentify with thoughts and feelings in order to be less hooked by them. This will help us be more present to the person we treat and potentially help the person step off the “hedonic treadmill” themselves.

Learning Objectives: Participants who attend this session will able to:

  1. Explain what is meditation. 
  2. Discuss their experiences with meditation.
  3. Describe why research has proven its benefit across multiple domains. 
  4. Explain psychological reasons why meditation is useful.
Session 2: Friday, October 18 | 7 - 9 p.m. (Weather permitting this session may be held outside around a camp fire)
Meditation - Cultivating Love, Empathy, and Attention for Oneself and in the Therapeutic Relationship
Presented by: Nathan Lamkin, PsyD and Lindsay Armitage, PsyD
After the introduction and initial practice during the first session we will practice and explore our experiences as a group in a relaxed setting. We continue with any ideas that might have been left over from the previous session. We will then explore how research has shown that therapists engaging in a meditative practice are more attuned to their clients, attention, and empathy. We will practice a loving-kindness meditation. This program will also provide opportunity for therapist to discuss their therapeutic experiences and how to incorporate mindfulness in therapy.

Learning Objectives: Participants who attend this session will able to:
  1. Describe how meditation and mindfulness can improve the therapeutic relationship and therapeutic process. 
  2. Discuss ways to potentially apply meditation in case examples. 
  3. Explain and potentially lead a loving kindness or another type of meditation.
Session 3: Saturday, October 19 | 8:45 a.m. - Noon
Concentration, Focus, and Flow 
Presented by: Rick Reckman, PhD
Although the rewards of a calm, readily focused mind are enormous, few people develop the capacity to direct their attention in a sustained manner. The human mind is restless, not so far removed from the wild monkey mind. Our thinking jumps from memories to future speculations. We categorize. We analyze. We plan. We can spend hours of our day lamenting things we have said or done. We can expend our mental and emotional resources justifying or rationalizing our thoughts and behaviors. No wonder that so many of us dull our minds with alcohol or drugs or spend countless hours watching escapist television shows or playing “Angry Birds” or “Fortnight.” In the words of Sigmund Freud, “man is not even master in his own house...in his own mind.” American psychology’s founding father, William James, bemoaned our lack of mental mastery and asserted that an education for developing sustained attention would be an “education par excellence.” Unfortunately, James could not find such an education and psychology largely gave up on the problem. However, the Eastern spiritual traditions do offer paths to sustained concentration. The training of attention has been the central object of many Eastern spiritual practices. While such training is slow in yielding results, the paths and practices are clear and proven over time. Through meditation and mindfulness practices, we can grow our capacity to focus. The decades long psychological research of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Nobel Prize winners, chess grand masters, concert pianists, and other truly exceptional achievers has produced additional insights on how to focus attention, create supportive environments, and enter the state of “Flow.”
Learning Objectives: Participants who attend this session will able to:
  1. List and discuss reasons of working to develop a greater capacity for sustained attention. 
  2. Recognize ways to use the structure of psychotherapeutic practice to train the mind of both therapist and client. 
  3. Practice specific methods of improving concentration. 
  4. Discuss how sustained concentration contributes to psychological and spiritual health.

Session 4: Saturday, October 19 | 1:00 - 4:15 p.m.

Part 1: Compassion and Self-Compassion in the Therapeutic Practice
Presented by: Lindsay Armitage, PsyD and Rick Reckman, PhD

Compassion, a quality valued in many religious and spiritual traditions, has achieved new relevance for therapists as mindfulness and eastern spirituality continue to inform how we do therapy. But what does the research evidence say about compassion and mental health? Is increasing compassion a useful therapeutic goal? We will consider the research evidence for the therapeutic impact of increasing compassion. We will explore techniques therapists can use to facilitate the development of clients’ compassion for themselves (inner or selfcompassion) and compassion in their relationships with others. Participants will have the opportunity to create customize a plan for their own self-compassion practice.
Part 2: In Spirit of Helping: Navigating the Integration of Spirituality and Psychotherapy 
Presented by: Lindsay Armitage, PsyD and Rick Reckman, PhD
Can a therapist’s own spiritual values and beliefs be used ethically and helpfully in the context of therapy? How can therapists engage with religious clients in a way that simultaneously honors their beliefs and respects their autonomy? In the second part of this session, we will discuss integrating spirituality and psychotherapy. The empirical support for spiritual interventions will be reviewed. Relevant sections of the ethics code for psychologists will be considered, along with ethical dilemmas related to self-disclosure of the therapist’s religious or spiritual beliefs and ethical use of the therapist’s influence. Tools for assessing client’s spirituality will be outlined, along with interventions that address and incorporate a client’s spiritual traditions.

Learning Objectives: Participants who attend this session will able to:
  1. Distinguish between the concepts of empathy, compassion, and self-compassion 
  2. Describe the three components of self-compassion enumerated by Neff - mindfulness, self-kindness, and common humanity 
  3. Give examples of practices that enhance self-compassion along five pathways: physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual. 
  4. Identify two relevant ethical principles that psychologists must consider when using spiritual interventions in psychotherapy. 
  5. Describe the empirical evidence for interventions that incorporate spirituality.
About the Speakers:

Lindsay Armitage, PsyD is a psychologist in private practice in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Cincinnati Christian University and master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Xavier University. She has received training at the Institute of Living (Hartford, Connecticut), Norwich University (Northfield Vermont), and the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute. In her therapy practice, she works with adults in individual therapy, incorporating mindfulness and acceptance strategies to treat anxiety, depression, and trauma. She works as a consultant to the Institute for Reproductive Health and an adjunct instructor in the graduate school of psychology at Xavier University. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, running, cooking, and improv.
Nathan Lamkin, PsyD is a psychologist who currently does clinical work in a private practice, nursing home, and the Army National Guard. He has been doing clinical work for almost 10 years in a variety of settings. Besides his current locations, he has also done clinical work a Kent State University, John Carroll University, Franklin and Marshall College, and a psychiatric hospital. He has treated children to older adults and people of various backgrounds. He has also been and Visiting Assistant Professor at Franklin and Marshall College. While not separate from his work, he has spent much of his adulthood investigating the nature of consciousness. This includes meditation where he incorporates in his daily life. He spent a year living in a Zen Monastery and significant amount of time meditating in a Catholic Carmelite Monastery during his graduate school. He incorporates ideas from various spiritual traditions and scientific research. Dr. Lamkin was awarded his Bachelors of Arts from Miami University and Master of Science and Psy.D. from Indiana State University.

Richard Reckman, PhD is a psychologist who devotes time each day to the mastery of attention. In his own personal development and in his work with others, Dr. Reckman draws on practices and perspectives from the Eastern wisdom traditions, Jungian psychology, and the contemporary Positive Psychology movement to let go of distractions and to move into periods of total engagement. He has been meditating daily for since 1973. Dr. Reckman has worked with over 6000 individuals and couples in his clinical practice over the past 40 years. He has made presentations in business and professional conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His consultation clients have included the Procter and Gamble Company, the Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company, the American Psychological Association, the Ford Motor Company, Bethesda Hospital, the Jesuit Community at Xavier University, and Delta Airlines. Dr. Reckman is a past president of the Ohio Psychological Association and the Cincinnati Academy of Professional Psychology. Dr. Reckman was awarded his B.A. from Williams College in 1973 and his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1977.


Questions? Contact OPA at 614.224.0034


The Ohio Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists: OPA maintains responsibility for the program and its content.
Disclaimers/Cancellation and Refund Policy: Attendees needing to cancel must do so in writing before 7 business days prior to the event and will be subject to a $30 service charge. ALL CANCELLATIONS WILL BE SUBJECTED TO THIS SERVICE CHARGE. No refunds will be given for cancellations received less than 8 days prior to the event. The planners and sponsors of this event are committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information. However, they are not responsible for changes, additions or deletions to the services, but will work toward accommodating the needs of the attendees.

Conflict of Interest Statement: As an APA-approved sponsor of continuing education, the Ohio Psychological Association (OPA) is committed to the identification and resolution of potential conflicts of interest in the planning, promotion, delivery, and evaluation of continuing education as is consistent with concepts outlined in the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Information regarding financial support, in-kind support or possible conflicts of interest will be included in promotional materials and can be accessed by contacting the Ohio Psychological Association Central Office. 
Photo Consent: Registration and attendance at OPA events constitutes an agreement by the registrant to OPA for use of the attendee’s image in photographs.
Continuing Education Credit Policies: Those individuals wanting CE credits must sign and complete the Workshop Evaluation Form and return the form to OPA at the end of each workshop as instructed. OPA guidelines state that a participant may arrive no more than 10 minutes late or leave more than 10 minutes early to receive credit for a program. No partial credit will be given. The workshop planners will make every effort to ensure that each workshop begins and ends promptly at its designated time.
Continuing Education Credits for Social Workers and Counselors:  The Ohio Psychological Association is approved by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board to offer continuing education to counselors, social workers and marriage & family therapists. The approval number is RCS070608 and RTX071703.
Certificates of Attendance will be distributed at the end of the workshop to all pre-registered participants who meet the criteria specified above.