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Using the Catholic Faith as Part of Recovery


Using the Catholic Faith As Part of Recovery Being Catholic is a walk with resolutions. Every confession and examination of conscious ends with the resolve to do better. Although real changes don’t come easy, we rely on God’s mercy and begin again after each fall. But add in an addiction and failing becomes habitual and can cause a person feel like he is beyond God’s mercy. Research reveals that pleasurable activities... Read More

Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones?


Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones? In 24 years I’ve seen a lot of clients, mostly Catholic and Christian. And because I am a specifically Catholic therapist (i.e. I integrate the faith into the process and follow the teachings of the Church), many of the clients I see will discuss their troubles not only from a psychological point of view but from a spiritual perspective as well. Many seek therapy because they are troubled by past... Read More

Emotional & Spiritual Maturity: The difference? (Part II of II)

October 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Allison Ricciardi, Counseling/Therapy


What’s the Difference Between Emotional and Spiritual Maturity? Part II of II In part I, we looked at the differences between emotional and spiritual maturity. Today, we will look at a follow-on question. The next question naturally flows from this: Can someone who is immature emotionally attain spiritual maturity and perfection? The answer to that is yes, no and maybe. Since maturity refers to a stage that is commensurate with... Read More

Emotional & Spiritual Maturity: The difference? (Part I of II)

October 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Allison Ricciardi, Counseling/Therapy


What’s the Difference Between Emotional and Spiritual Maturity? Part I of II What’s the difference between emotional and spiritual maturity? That’s an interesting question and one that I think warrants definition. As a therapist, I deal with the emotional life of my clients and how those emotions intersect and interact with their thought life. As a specifically Catholic therapist there’s an added dimension of integrating... Read More

Honor Your Father and Mother: Is There a Limit?


Let’s face it, not all parents are perfect and some fall very short of that mark. In our dysfunctional world, many people today have come from homes of abuse and extreme neglect. In striving to be good Christians, many struggle with this commandment. So, let’s take a closer look. Can we honor parents who constantly hurt or abuse us? The answer is yes- but with qualifications. Since we are called to love our neighbor “as ourselves”... Read More

How Does Our Emotional Health Help Us To Be Holy?


The Parable of the “Emotionally Healthy Samaritan” How does our emotional health help us to be holy? In Luke’s Gospel we hear of the “good” Samaritan, the kind soul who helps the man beaten by robbers and left for dead at the side of the road.  In stark contrast, the priest and Levite walk away, even crossing to the other side of the street to avoid confronting this reality. We’re told this... Read More

Can Transference Occur in Spiritual Direction?

February 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Allison Ricciardi, Counseling/Therapy


Can transference occur in Spiritual Direction?      This is an interesting question but I’d like to separate it into two: Can transference occur in the spiritual life? Can transference occur with a spiritual director? First, let’s look at a definition of the term “transference”. Tranference is a psychological term that means “the redirection of feelings and desires, especially of those unconsciously retained... Read More

The Difference Between Counseling and Spiritual Direction

February 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Allison Ricciardi, Counseling/Therapy


Editor’s Note: Today, we are blessed to have Allison Ricciardi join our writing team. Allison is a licensed mental health counselor and has been a guest on the Mother Angelica Live and Abundant Life Shows on EWTN, as well as Johnnette Benkovic’s Women of Grace Show.   Please welcome her warmly! What is the difference between counseling and spiritual direction? When should someone pursue one versus the other? Those... Read More

How do I deal with psychological issues surfaced in spiritual direction?


Dear Father John, when a major issue (in this case, abuse) that surfaces with the help of my spiritual director bleeds over from the psychological realm into the spiritual, how (and when) do I get away from it in my spiritual direction so I can get to the spiritual issues of prayer, discernment, etc.? It is difficult to answer this question, because the timing involved in any healing process like the kind you mention isn’t fixed.... Read More

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