Certificate Courses

Family: First Lessons in Love, First Moments of Hurt

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Price: $400.00
Avg. Completion Time: 5 hours

People often talk about learning from the past, but we may fail to recognize how each person’s past affects one’s present. Families and the events of childhood shape our inner workings. We are left marked by them and affected for years to come, even without recognizing it. In this course, you will learn how the first years with mothers, later years with fathers, and even later traumatic events can impact people, their relationships, and spiritual lives.

Certificate Program Description

This course brings explores how early life experiences in the family as well as later experiences of trauma impact our ability to love, be loved, and form healthy interpersonal relationships and spiritual life. The content is well-suited for spiritual directors, particularly those working with women, but it may also be helpful to others in mentoring or guiding roles. The presenters draw on psychological research and theory as well as Catholic/Christian sources to present a holistic understanding of these topics and steps toward healing and growth.

By the end of this certificate program, participants will be able to:

  1. Compare the childhood and adult characteristics of the 4 attachment styles.
  2. Describe how attachment styles relate to a person’s relationship with God or relationship of spiritual guidance.
  3. Explain how the presence of the father impacts outcomes for children, mothering, and the developmental tasks of gender identity and separation and individuation.
  4. Describe recommendations for understanding fatherhood and assisting families where the father is absent.
  5. Describe factors that contribute to the ways a person experiences and responds to a traumatic experience.
  6. Explain how trauma may affect a person’s self-image and his relationship with God and some spiritual tools to aid in healing.
  7. Explain how a Catholic understanding of the self differs from a secular view of the self.
  8. Identify the place of love within the Catholic understanding of the self.
  9. Discuss how love affects the development of the self.
  10. Differentiate between the various types of intimacy and describe how they are interrelated.
  11. Explain individual differences in need and capacity for intimacy.

Sequence of Certificate Program Webinars

Attachment and Family of Origin by Lisa Klewicki, M.A.T., Ph.D. (36 min)

How do our earliest relationships as infants impact the relationships we form in adulthood and with God? This presentation addresses these questions describing the 4 attachment styles resulting from nurturance in the earliest years of life. The presenter also explains how these patterns may be present during adulthood and offers guidance for spiritual directors to help individuals of different attachment styles experience healthy relationships and more trusting relationships with God. These suggestions may also be helpful to others in guiding/mentoring roles. This webinar is 36 minutes long.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this seminar participants will:

  1. Define the meaning of attachment and the areas that affect attachment.
  2. Compare the childhood and adult characteristics of the 4 attachment styles.
  3. Describe how attachment styles relate to a person’s relationship with God or relationship of spiritual guidance.

The Importance of Fatherhood by Paul C. Vitz, Ph.D. (51 min)

Societies have long recognized the significance of mothers in raising children, but this presentation addresses the importance of the less-talked-about person in the parenting duo–the father. Viewers first learn about a number of studies highlighting the effects of absent fathers and poor fathering. In addition, the presenter describes how the presence of the father impacts mothers and the formation of a firm identity in the child. Finally, viewers are given various recommendations for combating cultural attitudes towards men and fathers, as well as practical solutions for supporting children who are growing up without fathers. This webinar is 51 minutes long.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe research findings about the effects of absent or poor fathering on outcomes for children.
  2. Explain how the presence of the father impacts mothering and the developmental tasks of gender identity and separation and individuation.
  3. Describe recommendations for understanding fatherhood and assisting families where the father is absent.

Experiencing, Reacting to, and Healing from Trauma by Lisa Klewicki, M.A.T., Ph.D. (43 min)

Trauma, whether occurring one time or repeatedly, during childhood or later in life, can leave a significant impact. This presentation describes differing ways that people may experience and respond to trauma. The presenter advises spiritual directors in understanding how trauma impacts a person and his spiritual life, and provides recommendations for ways spiritual direction may promote healing. These suggestions may also be helpful to others in guiding/mentoring roles. This webinar is 43 minutes long.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe factors that contribute how a person experiences and responds to a traumatic experience.
  2. Explain how trauma may affect a person’s self-image and his relationship with God.
  3. Explain various spiritual tools to aid a person’s healing from traumatic experiences.

Becoming One’s True Self Through Love and Relationship by Greg Kolodziejczak, Psy.D. (1 hr 1 min)

Human beings are first and foremost receptive; we then pass on to others what we ourselves have received. In this presentation, Dr. Kolodziejczak ties this dynamic into the Catholic philosophical understanding of the person as substance and relation, and then focuses on this dynamic with regard to love and the psychological construct of the self, with an emphasis on empathic attunement and verbal and nonverbal communication. Drawing from attachment theory, developmental neurobiology, self-psychology, Conrad Baars’s work on affirmation, and Karen Horney’s conceptualization of the self and its distortions, this presentation examines the development of affect regulation and the self, as well as compensatory mechanisms (the false self) that often arise in response to deficient socio-emotional environments. The false self in turn keeps the person trapped in vicious cycles that undermine the capacity for psychological growth and authentic love. The almost universal spiritual concept of the True Self is offered as the ultimate goal of psychological development and the deepest foundation of authentic love. This webinar is 1 hour and 1 minute long.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain how a Catholic understanding of the self differs from a secular view of the self.
  2. Identify the place of love within the Catholic understanding of the self.
  3. Discuss how love affects the development of the self.

Authentic Intimacy by Lisa Klewicki, M.A.T., Ph.D. (44 min)

This video delves into the topic of authentic intimacy, defining what it is and also what it is not. It begins with descriptions of six types of intimacy, how they function, and how they can differ among individuals and between men and women. People have varying needs, capacities, and fears related to intimacy. After explaining these differences, the presenter offers suggestions for meeting one’s own needs for intimacy and for expanding one’s own capacity for it, as well as for attending to the needs and capacities of others and helping them to overcome their fears. This webinar is 44 minutes long.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between the various types of intimacy and describe how they are interrelated.
  2. Explain individual differences in need and capacity for intimacy.
  3. Describe how fear of intimacy may relate to past experiences, and address some common fears of intimacy.

Instructor Biography

Lisa Klewicki, M.A.T., Ph.D.

Lisa Klewicki, M.A.T., Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who has degrees in Psychology and Theology. She integrates the Catholic faith with sound psychology to provide psychotherapy, consultations, and assessments. She also addresses both lay and academic audiences through various types of speaking engagements. Dr. Klewicki speaks on such topics as intimacy, relationships, marriage, family, mental health and women’s issues from a Catholic perspective.

Paul C. Vitz, Ph.D.

Paul C. Vitz, Ph.D. is a psychologist whose teaching and research is focused on the integration of Christian theology, especially Catholic anthropology, with psychology. This requires breaking from the modern secularism and post-modern relativism prevalent today. He is presently focused on the following special topics: The Psychology of Hatred and Forgiveness; The Psychology of the Virtues; The Psychological Importance of Fathers; and the Positive Relevance of Psychology for the Priesthood. Dr. Vitz’s books include: Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship; Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious; Modern Art and Modern Science: The Parallel Analysis of Vision; Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism; and The Self: Beyond the Post-Modern Crisis. He was Professor of Psychology at New York University for many years prior to joining the faculty* at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. *Senior Scholar is a designation used by the Institute to acknowledge individuals who have made significant contributions to their field, and who serve as mentors for more junior members of the faculty.

Greg Kolodziejczak, Psy.D.

Greg Kolodziejczak, Psy.D works primarily in private practice in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA. In addition, he is involved with the Archdiocese of Boston, working with the diocese’s marriage preparation curriculum committee. Dr. Kolodziejczak previously received a Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering from MIT and a Masters in Theology from Catholic University. After studying at the Institute for Psychological Sciences, where he received a Masters and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, he accepted an APA-approved internship at the Danielsen Institute in Boston. He completed his postdoc at Two Brattle Center in Cambridge, a clinic that specializes in utilizing psychodynamic approaches and Dialectical Behavior Therapy in working with patients with severe levels of distress. He currently works with Two Brattle Center and in private practice in Cambridge. His almost-800 page dissertation was a synthesis of psychology, philosophy, and theology on the issue of love. In January 2008, he was chosen to present on a case at the American Psychoanalytic Conference in New York, with Peter Fonagy and Otto Kernberg, both giants in psychology.

Purchasing a webinar or certificate program grants you 30 days of access to the presentations and any accompanying resources.