I created this course
interest in spirituality and mental health dates back to 1971, when I
spent 2 months in a spiritual crisis--convinced that I was a reincarnation
of Buddha and Christ with a messianic mission to save the world. In my
clinical practice as a psychologist and my work with the Spiritual
Emergence Network for the past 25 years, I have often found myself
face-to-face with individuals with the same beliefs. By giving me a rare
opportunity to go through the complete cycle and phenomenology of a naturally-resolving
psychotic episode, my spiritual emergency was a valuable clinical experience
as well as a spiritual awakening! In 1994 my work in this area came to
fruition when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition
(DSM-IV) included a category entitled Religious or Spiritual
Problem (V62.89) of which I was a co-author. My personal objective
in developing this course is to help people survive the perils of the
spiritual path and reap the benefits of a consciously lived spiritual
inclusion in the DSM-IV of a new diagnostic category called "Religious
or Spiritual Problem" marks a significant breakthrough. For the first
time, there is acknowledgment of distressing religious and spiritual experiences
as nonpathological problems. This course is designed to teach mental health
professionals about the process of its acceptance, its definition, various
types of religious and spiritual problems, differential diagnosis, and
treatment of these problems. Online resources are used throughout so that
participants are equipped to keep up with new findings and developments
through the Internet.
the end of this course, you will be more culturally competent in treating
religious and spiritual problems. Specifically, you will be able to:
1) discuss the background, history and rationale for
the new diagnostic category, Religious or Spiritual Problem
2) describe the main types of religious and spiritual problems
3) differentiate religious and spiritual problems from psychopathology
4) choose more effective treatment modalities for religious and spiritual
for Taking This Course
lessons for this course are online. For ease of later access, bookmark
the Course Home Page, although you can always access it from the
Spiritual Competency Resource Center homepage.
lesson opens into a new window, so when you are finished with a lesson,
just close that window. The Course Homepage will still be there.
you can move to the next lesson by clicking on the Next Lesson link at
the bottom of each lesson page, or the lesson links at the top of each
link also opens into a new window, so when you are finished with visiting
a site, close that window and you will return to the lesson. .
of the time you will be visiting sites on the World Wide Web, a part of
the Internet. Thus you will need to have online access most of the time
during the course. You can print the lessons out for even easier reading
off-line, and then go back online to visit the links. None of the sites
in this course charge for using their resources.
Four types of links are used in the course.
links marked with the Eyeballs are required for CE credit. Some are Quiz
items and some are Quest Search exercises which require finding a specific
piece of information or type of resource. The Webquest
is a popular method for teaching Internet skills in k-12 settings. I have
adapted that approach because it is congruent with my commitment to a
constructivist approach to education that fosters learning by doing. Note
that only 75% of the Quiz and Quest Search exercises need to be completed
correctly so if you have difficulty locating one of the resources, just
go on to the next Quiz or Quest item.
Globe, the Speaker, and the Book represent different types of resources
that are also part of the course. Look them over although they do not
involve quiz or quest exercises.
links that are underlined in the body of the text are there as references
if you want to check them out, such as the link to Webquest.
Learning has approvals from:
Board of Behavioral Sciences
Board of Registered Nursing
Psychological Association (Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the
American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for
psychologists. Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for
CE availability - This link lets you check whether your state
accepts APA CE.
credit for psychologists in California is available by submitting the
APA completion certificate.
for CE credit
CE requires filling out the CE Quiz Form and paying the tuition fee of
$89. You can register and fill out the Online
CE Quiz Form (includes a secure form for credit card payment). Most
people prefer to
out this form and fill it in as they work their way through the course.
Then complete the form online or mail or fax it to Spiritual Competency Resource Center
(instructions are on the form). Include the tuition fee of $89 by check
or credit card number. Your
certificate awarding 8 hours of CE will be e-mailed to you.
with the Course
can contact the instructor, Dr. David Lukoff, via email
or by toll-free phone at 888.880.2870.
and Equipment Needed
only need to have access to a computer with Internet service and a browser
such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer (which you probably have
to be reading this!) Public libraries usually offer free access to the
& Refund Policy
course is free to preview. If prepayment is made, then a full refund is
available at any point for any reason up until CE is awarded. Full refund
is also available if your state board does not accept the type of CE that
Spiritual Competency Resource Center awards. Contact the instructor, Dr. David Lukoff,
via email or by phone at 888.880.2870
to request a re fund.
get to a link
The server for that site may temporarily be experiencing problems. If
a link doesn't work, skip it and come back to it later. The site will
probably be back up. Occasionally a site used in this course may have
been taken down. Availability of links is checked regularly. If you have
persisting trouble accessing a site, please notify the instructor.
It takes a long time for web site to appear
The World Wide Web has also been called the World Wide Wait. If you are
using a slow speed modem (28k or less), or an older computer with a slow
processor, web pages can take one or more minutes to appear. I have the
late model Apple G4 Macintosh with a cable modem, and this combination
brings up most web pages in a few seconds. But cable modems and DSL high
speed lines typically cost $40-50 per month, more than twice what most
Internet Service Providers charge. Many universities and libraries provide
high speed access. Web pages do come up sooner when they are revisited
because parts of the page are saved in a "cache" on your hard
Outline and Suggested Times
is some flexibility as to how to spend your time. The expectation is that
you will spend 8 hours total on this course.
to Course-15 minutes
Background of DSM-IV Category-60
Lesson 2.1 Religious Problems
Lesson 2.2 Loss or questioning of faith
Lesson 2.3 Changes in membership, practices and beliefs
Lesson 2.4 New Religious Movements and Cults
Lesson 2.5 Terminal and life-threatening illness
3.1 Spiritual Emergence
Lesson 3.2 Spiritual Problems
Lesson 3.3 Mystical experiences
Lesson 3.4 Near-death experiences
Lesson 3.5 Meditation & Spiritual Practice
Lesson 3.6 Psychic experiences
Lesson 3.7 Visionary Experiences
Lesson 3.8 Shamanic experiences
Lesson 3.9 Alien Encounter Experiences
Lesson 3.10 Possession experiences
Co-Ocurrence with Mental Disorders-60
Differential Diagnosis-60 minutes
Lesson 6.1 Spiritual Crises
Lesson 6.2 Psychotherapy
Lesson 7.1 Online Resources
Lesson 7.2 Searching Medline
out Continuing Education Quiz and Quest Search Exercises, and Evaluation