Richard B. Patterson PhD is a clinical psychologist and trauma therapist practicing in El Paso Texas. He has spent much of his adult life on a quest to find a bridge between psychology and spiritual studies.
Dr. Patterson has found few answers on his quest but has shared that journey through four books and numerous articles exploring the intersection between psychology and spirituality.
Dr. Patterson is married, the father of four and grandfather of five. He dabbles in writing poetry, is an avid runner, and believes Redsox baseball is a spiritual experience.
Dr. Patterson considers his psychology mentors to be Carl Rogers, Carl Jung, Viktor Frankl, and Harold Goolishian. His spiritual mentors are Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
I so enjoyed your blog and I am anxious to read it in the future. I agree with what you had to say.
Thanks for sending it to me. Joyce
I moved away from my main group of friends a nubmer of years ago because of work, and our lives have all taken many twists and turns since such that we have all found maintaining our friendships at their previous level difficult. I still miss these friends and though I have made others, these friendships do not seem to have the same depth and it is not just because they are newer. As I get older, I find that people seem to have less time and energy for friendship among the competing demands of work and family, and I find this sad although I am guilty of it also. When I moved here, I also met some people who I felt offered potential as friends, but they seemed to already have as many friends as they could cope with and were not really interested in including any more. I would do anything to help my friends, but I could not say the same of all of them. However, one of the pleasures of getting older is that one gets more philosophical about peoples’ capabilities and alters expectations accordingly. My husband remains my best friend and our relationship compensates much for any perceived shortcomings of others. I have also had the enjoyment of forging much better relationships with siblings and some relatives as we have all “grown up” a bit.
I found your blog through your reference to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and it looks like a fascinating blog. I enjoy the intersection between spiritual health and psychological health.
My own spiritual journey has been very circuitous. I grew up Catholic, was a practical agnostic for my early adult life until I hit a spiritual dead end and became a wanderer, which I imagine most of us are deep down. The mentors you list on your blog (Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer) have been very helpful to me also. I discovered the writings of Teilhard de Chardin and was intrigued by his life story, his mysticism and integration of faith and science. Ultimately, Teilhard recognized that the universe is greater and far grander than we can imagine, which means that the Creator of the Universe is greater and far grander than we can imagine, but yet, God is personal (which was my big stumbling block during my early adulthood).
Here are a couple of other resources you may enjoy that fall within the intersection of spirituality and psychology.
First, if you are a science fiction fan, is a series by Julian May titled The Galactic Milieu (named after The Divine Milieu of Teilhard de Chardin). May combines Teilhard’s view of the evolution of human consciousness with Carl Jung’s work in her individual characters. May does a wonderful job of combining these themes.
Second, is an interesting blog by Alexis Trader. Trader is a chemist who became an Orthodox monk who later obtained a Ph.D in psychology. It is obviously from a Christian perspective but Fr. Trader does a wonderful job of weaving science, psychology and Christian theology.
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Just stumbled across your blog from a comment on another and looking forward to browsing through it. The bridge between spirituality and psychology is sure to give lots of great material to work with.
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