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Spirituality in Psychotherapy
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Many clients find strength in spirituality and want spiritual issues to be addressed in therapy, yet the vast majority of therapists report that they feel ill-equipped to meet clients' needs in this area. In this panel-based workshop we will focus on those therapists who are interested in becoming “spiritually competent” and embracing spirituality to enhance the process of therapy without necessarily fully identifying as a spiritual or religious practitioner. We’ll approach this complex issue in a conversational way and explore: 

  • How to bring client-defined spirituality into your work and bring up spiritual issues without turning off your clients 
  • How to integrate spirituality into treatment in ways that can improve outcomes and help empower clients 
  • Real life case studies across the spiritual spectrum of how at least a partial focus on spiritual issues was a positive factor in treatment 

David Kessler, MA, RN, FACHE

David Kessler is one of the world’s foremost experts on grief and loss. His experience with thousands of people on the edge of life and death has taught him the secrets to living a happy and fulfilled life, even after life’s tragedies.

He is the author of six books, including his latest bestselling book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. He co-authored two books with Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Life Lessons and On Grief and Grieving, updating her 5 stages for grief. He also co-wrote, You Can Heal Your Heart with Louise Hay. He authored Visions Trips and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die. His first book, The Needs of The Dying received praise from Saint (Mother) Teresa.

David’s personal experience as a child witnessing a mass shooting while his mother was dying in a hospital helped him begin his journey. For most of his life, David has taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about the end of life, trauma, and grief. However, despite his vast knowledge of grief, his life was turned upside down by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son.

David’s volunteer work includes being a founding member of Project Angel Food, a well-known and loved non-profit organization. He currently serves on the board of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation which provides cancer research, patient assistance, and prevention efforts. He also serves as Specialist Reserve for the Los Angeles Police as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team.

He has a new online model of grief support called Tender Hearts with over 25 groups each as well as one of the most respected Grief Certification programs. He is the founder of, which receives millions of visits yearly providing helpful resources to over 167 countries.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: David Kessler is the is the co-founder and President Emeritus of Project Angel Food. He is a published author and receives royalties. David Kessler receives a speaking honorarium and recording and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: David Kessler is a board member for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. He is a team member of the Health Care Executives of Southern California, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Red Cross.

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, is a recognized expert in the strengths-based, de-pathologized treatment of trauma and has been in private practice for over 35 years. She presents workshops and keynote addresses nationally and internationally, and is a clinical consultant to practitioners and mental health agencies in the United States, Canada, the UK and Ireland.

She has been an adjunct faculty member at several Universities, and is the Founder of “The Ferentz Institute,” now in its 11th year of providing continuing education to mental health professionals and graduating over 1,200 clinicians from her two certificate programs in Advanced Trauma Treatment.

In 2009, she was voted the “Social Worker of Year” by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work. Lisa is the author of Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2014), Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing (Routledge, 2014), and Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapist’s Couch (PESI, 2017). Lisa also hosted a weekly radio talk show, writes blogs and articles for websites on self-harm and self-care, and teaches on many webinars.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Lisa Ferentz maintains a private practice and is the Founder and President of the Ferentz Institute. She receives royalties as a published author and is a consultant for Northwest Hospital. Lisa Ferentz receives a speaking honorarium and product royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Lisa Ferentz is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the American Psychotherapy Association.

Sabrina N'Diaye, PhD, LCSW-C, MDiv

Sabrina N’Diaye, PhD, LCSW-C, MDiv, is an integrative psychotherapist, storyteller, and peacebuilder based in Baltimore, MD. She recently completed her first book, The Laugh of Love.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Sabrina N'Diaye is the founder and clinical director of The Heart Nest Center for Peace and Healing. She has employment relationships with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, The Ferentz Institute, Saybrook University, and the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Sabrina N'Diaye receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Sabrina N'Diaye has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Matthias Barker, LMHC

Matthias Barker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Northwest University. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Matthias specializes in treating high-acuity sexual trauma, childhood trauma, and marital issues.

Matthias is a prolific educator and content creator, having self-published two mental health journals on a trauma-informed approach to motivation and gratitude. He has developed seven workshops on a variety of topics such as trauma, anxiety, and setting boundaries with parents as well as co-creating a comprehensive course on healing from trauma with Dr. Frank Anderson, a renowned trauma expert.

As a passionate advocate for mental health, Matthias is dedicated to making psychoeducation more accessible by bridging the gap between the academic realm and the everyday experiences of the general public. As a result, he has become a sought-after authority in both the mental health and social media fields. Through his social media platforms, Matthias reaches millions, sharing psychoeducational content and building a thriving community dedicated to mental health awareness and education. With over 3 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, and his podcast, which once ranked #38 on the Spotify global health and fitness charts, his impact continues to grow.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Matthias Barker maintains a private practice. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Matthias Barker has no relevant non-financial relationships. journals, for a complete list contact PESI, Inc.



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