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Paul Cantz and Kalman Kaplan

 Overcoming the Tragic: Applying Biblical Narratives to Wellness
presented by Kalman J. Kaplan PhD and Paul Cantz PsyD ABPP

90 minutes (1.5 CE hours)

$55/member; $95/nonmember
Item Number: WebR1408
Shipping Weight: 0lbs. 0oz.
Price: $95.00
This webinar builds on a 12-week online program funded by the Fulbright Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation. It is designed to offer a Judeo-Christian biblical alternative to the Greek views of 1) relationship to the environment, 2) the relationship of self and other, 3) a view of human development as opposed to cyclical oscillation, 4) man and woman, 5) obedience and disobedience, 6) fathers and sons, 7) mothers and daughters, 8) sibling rivalry and its resolution, 9) the relationship between body and soul, 10) freedom, life and suicide, and 11) a hopeful vs. a tragic view of life. The biblical emphasis on hope, and the sense that people can and often do change, is offered as an alternative to the tragic cyclical view of the Greek narratives underlying much of modern mental health. The biblical narratives of Isaac, Ruth, Jonah and Adam and Eve are offered as an alternative to the Greek narratives of Oedipus, Electra, Narcissus, and Prometheus and Pandora.

Chaplains work day-to-day with people in despair, caused often by breakdowns in their meaning structures occasioned by trauma of various kinds, such as loss of health, fortune, career or family. Such traumas are also experienced in many biblical stories that can be used to assist people in overcoming trauma and progress from being a victim to survivor to thriver. Our approach provides a link between positive psychology and biblical narratives. Board certified chaplains are trained to minister to those of any faith or no faith at all, and are thus inclusive and multicultural in their approach. Our program fits these goals by treating biblical narratives as psychosocial models for therapy and counseling. It is thus aimed at applying biblical psychosocial wisdom to everyday life for religious and secular alike.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this educational opportunity, participants will:
1. Review how much of modern psychology and psychiatry is based on a tragic Greek view of life and suggest that Judeo-Christian biblical narratives provide a much more hopeful and purposeful alternative.
2. Be able to describe specific biblical narratives as a resolution to the cyclical pattern emerging from classical Greek narratives.
3. Through case studies, learn how biblical psychology can be applied to therapeutic contexts.

Content level: Intermediate - informal research/clinical applications


Kalman J. Kaplan, Ph.D. is professor of clinical psychology and director of the Center for Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine; and adjunct professor of Psychology and Judaism at Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. Dr. Kaplan has published widely in the area of interpersonal and international relations, the emerging field of Biblical Psychology, schizophrenia and suicide/suicide prevention. In 2007-2010, Dr. Kaplan was awarded a startup grant from The John Templeton Foundation to develop an online program in Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health at the University of Illinois College of Medicine ( Over the last four years, his program in Biblical Psychology has enrolled close to 140 students from all over the world, and he is developing a Hebrew-subtitled version of the program at Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Paul Cantz is a licensed, board certified clinical psychologist. He is the associate director of training/core faculty at the Adler School of Professional Psychology; clinical assistant professor of psychology, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine; coordinator for the UIC program in Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health; and an adjunct faculty member at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies. Dr. Cantz concurrently works as a supervising psychologist at Hartgrove Hospital's Inpatient Unit and maintains a therapy caseload at a community-based nonprofit mental health center. He has published and presented on the topics of the historical intellectual foundations of psychiatry, the psychology of religious conversion, psychodynamics of music, biblical psychology, cross-cultural concepts of femininity and, most recently, on a biblical approach to death anxiety.

How it Works

When you purchase this webinar recording, you will receive a PDF file with links to watch the recording and access supplemental materials directly from our website. You'll be able to hear and see the complete presentation, including Q&A with the audience. To participate, all that is needed is a computer with Internet access and speakers, as the presentation audio and visuals are "webcast."