• Program for Psychology & Religion


    How do I schedule an appointment and get more information?

    If you are a minister interested in an assessment or one of the P&R intensive programs, please call Sue Mertens at 314-289-9407. If you are interested in Christian Counseling, or another one of our general outpatient services, call our intake coordinator at 314-298-9411 to schedule an appointment. Mention you are calling for the Program for Psychology & Religion.

    Is the Program for Psychology and Religion strictly for clients in the intensive program?

    No. Our intensive treatment services are just part of our program.  We also offer assessment services and general outpatient services.  We take pride in being able to tailor a treatment program to meet your unique needs. We are not a “one size fits all” center.

    Where do clients who come from outside the St. Louis area stay when they enter the intensive program, a special program, or an aftercare program? 

    Clients who come from other cities, states or countries often stay with religious communities (Catholic Sisters or Brothers), or stay within local parishes and sometimes continue to practice a sacramental ministry. Lutheran pastors coming for an assessment may stay at Concordia Seminary. We assist clients with locating appropriate housing options that fit their needs. 

    How long do clients typically remain in treatment? 

    The length of treatment varies entirely upon the particular need of the individual. The length of care ranges from one-week for those who come only for evaluation and recommendations, two to three months for those who enter a brief focused program, to four to eight months for those who enter our traditional intensive program. 

    Is the program only for Catholic priests and religious? 

    Although many of our clients are Catholic clergy or religious, we also work effectively with other denominations and other faith traditions. We are pleased to work with Concordia Health Plans to provide assessment and treatment for Lutheran (LCMS) pastors.  We have also had the honor of assisting United Methodist, United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian Church (USA), Presbyterian Church in America, and other Protestant denominations.  

    How is spirituality integrated in your psychological approach? 

    In the Program for Psychology and Religion, we integrate the spiritual dimension of the problem and the solution into all phases of a client’s work. Spiritual directors play a critical role in both the assessment and treatment phases. Individual meetings with a personal spiritual director and participation in a spirituality group are integral components of the intensive program. Additionally, our staff members have diverse, unique backgrounds: some hold advanced degrees in dual disciplines (psychology and religion) while some are members of Catholic religious congregations.   All members of the team are trained in respect for religious faith, recognition of spiritual issues, and the importance of scientific research as the foundation of psychological evaluation and care. 

    Do you involve religious leadership in treatment and planning? 

    Yes. Religious leaders are closely involved from the evaluation of their member to the recommendations for aftercare at the conclusion of treatment. Regular contact with leadership is a part of any extended treatment plan. 

    What happens when clients return home after intensive treatment? How do you prevent relapse? 

    For any client who has come to the program from a distance, effective treatment after an intensive or special program may consist of follow-up visits to the Institute. If this is not possible, we offer phone consultations as a level of aftercare. When our clients leave, they do so with specific recommendations for treatment, spiritual direction, self-care, social support, and supervision. These recommendations are particular to the individual.  Aftercare continues until there is confidence on the part of staff and leadership that the client has developed a supportive and effective network in his or her place of ministry. 

    Additionally, we offer Renewal Week programs twice a year, in January and July to help encourage and support clients in the maintenance of gains achieved during their intensive program.  Learn more about our Aftercare Programs.

    Do you offer a program specifically designed to address health issues including physical well-being, weight management and nutrition? 

    Yes.  Our Weight Management Services for clergy and religious was the first intensive outpatient program to address the unique health and wellness needs of the religious community. The entire Weight Management team works together to determine the most effective way in which to meet the needs of each patient through group and individual therapy, medical management, nutritional counseling, exercise and lifestyle change.  Learn more about our weight management services.