Season 9: Episode 9 | Spiritual Transformation and Psychology

What happens when you record a podcast and the lawn service is working very hard outside your window? Find out on today’s podcast! We will also discuss the integration of psychology and spirituality – an important topic for spiritual leaders. Leaders can fall into the trap of over spiritualizing in order to avoid doing the hard psychological work of facing real brokenness. Ruth invites her friend Bob Watson, a licensed clinical psychologist, for a fascinating discussion. As part of their own self leadership leaders need to not just look at the spiritual aspects of their lives, but also attend to their mental health. Control, pain, drivenness, and shame are just some of the topics covered. The episode concludes with helpful guidance on how a leader can know when the thing that we are dealing with should be attended to psychologically with therapy–as part of their journey towards wholeness in Christ.

Dr. Robert Watson, PsyD, LP holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College and a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. Bob is licensed as a clinical psychologist in the states of Michigan and Illinois. Bob considers himself privileged to play a part in healing the “noble wounds” of those in ministry, and serves as the director of counseling at Alongside, a Christian retreat center offering professional counseling and shared community designed to help leaders and their families emerge from burnout or breakdown . Learn more Alongside by visiting their site. In addition, Bob maintains a counseling practice in Hoffman Estates, IL.


You can also access podcast on Google Play or Stitcher.

Listen to other episodes from Season 9 Access past podcast seasons

Mentioned in this podcast:
Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation, Robert Mulholland
The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard
The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need, Gerald G. May M.D.
Will and Spirit: A Contemplative Psychology Gerald G. May M.D.

Exploring Further:
Transforming Community
Ruth Haley Barton

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Music Credit:
New Way to Live written by Joel Hanson. I am New written by Joel Hanson and Jason Gray.

Transforming Center

We desire to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation – and that begins with transforming leaders. We seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings. Read more about the Transforming Center.
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The blog post on Season 9: Episode 9 from Transforming Center resonated with me, especially the part about the interplay between spirituality and psychology. It reminded me of a phase in my life where I was entangled in over spiritualizing to escape confronting my personal issues, much like the leaders discussed in the podcast. Engaging in a therapy session during that time, akin to the guidance offered in the episode, was a wake-up call, enabling a journey towards a balanced understanding of spiritual and mental health.

The conversation between Ruth and Bob Watson was incredibly insightful, shedding light on the importance of integrating both aspects into the lives of spiritual leaders. This episode truly emphasized the significance of attending to our mental health alongside our spiritual growth, and I look forward to exploring further resources mentioned to continue my own transformative journey.

Ruth, Thank you for an excellent podcast with Dr Bob Watson.. It will be one I will share with others. Sibyl

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