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Tribute to Jean Monbourquette (1933-2011) – Colloquium “ From psychology to spirituality “ Organizer:
Judith Malette

Date :March 27th, 28th, and 29th 2014
Room: Amphithéâtre, G-203
Regular Student


For quite some time Psychology has doubted religion; however, we are witnessing today a new openness about the role of religion in human development. The dialogue between psychology and religion was improved by the emergence of spirituality and the acknowledgement of it being an essential dimension of the person. In a sense, we have experienced a transition from religion to psychology and from psychology to spirituality.

In fact, this mutual recognition is highlighted by the publication of ‘’Integrating spirituality into treatment’’ (1999), a book endorsed by the American Psychological Association. This book paved the path for a new closeness between clinical psychology, empirical psychology and spirituality. When the links between psychology and spirituality were no longer thwarted  by theoretical or empirical obstacles, they became slowly being recognized by the public in North America. Conversely, numerous factors played a part in developing an integrated view of psychology and spirituality: the introduction of seeing human beings in a holistic manner by the medical and other health fields; the contributions of different cultural beliefs to scientific psychology, as well as the popularity of the mindfulness approach in psychotherapy. These various factors have facilitated our understanding but the links between psychology and spirituality continue to expand to other areas. Countless researchers and clinicians have spent time and efforts studying the ties between psychology and spirituality in various facets of human

functioning. Additionally, on an academic level, the rising popularity of graduate studies programs in Counselling and Spirituality speaks to this recognition. However, it is not clear whether this recognition is temporary or simply rooted in the present psycho-social reality that encourages a new way of conceptualizing the human experience, psychological disorders, their treatment and psycho-spiritual research.

Regardless of the obstacles, there is a ‘’pocket of resistance’’, inspired by European free-thinkers/clinicians like Viktor Frankl, Carl Jung, Roberto Assagioli, who have stressed the major bond between psychology and spirituality: it is a reality and we must try to explore it in order to understand it better. In that, Fathers Yvon Saint-Arnaud and Jean Monbourquette, both French-Canadians, are also some of the pioneers in this area. Moreover, some contemporary minds like Michel Fromaget (ternary anthropology), Karlijn Demasure and Ramón Martinez de Pisón (theologians) have explored the psychology-spirituality links in the context of practical theology, as well as in the relationship between spirituality (theology) and counselling (psychology). Additionally, this conference aims to be a tribute to Jean Monbourquette and his contributions, through various workshops addressing topics dearest to him: grief, forgiveness, how to discover your personal mission, and self-esteem, to name a few.  The workshops will be offered by individuals who have been trained by Father Monbourquette, and will welcome everyone interested in psycho-spiritual growth.


Researchers, clinician-researchers, doctoral students, master’s students and everyone interested in psycho-spiritual growth.

Number of participants: minimum: 50; maximum: 150


This conference will, first of all, allow researchers, clinician-researchers, doctoral students and master’s students to present case studies, qualitative or quantitative empirical researches which explore the relationships between psychology and spirituality. This conference will also encourage discussion on questions such as: how are the links between psychology and spirituality researched? Ex: what methods can be used to explore these links? Can psychology lead to spirituality? If so, how? By viewing the human experience as holistic, in what sense is the bond between spirituality and psychology unbreakable? Does a deep self-awareness lead to a blooming of spirituality or to an acknowledgement of spirituality?  Finally, how is psychology useful in discerning a healthy spirituality that can help a person grow from one that could compromise growth or even steer a person towards fundamentalist attitudes?