Engaging theological research with clinical practice

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Friday, 5th June 2015Seminar Thursday 18 June 2015:
A psychological approach to evil eye: an understanding of the impact of evil eye to individuals’ mental health

This seminar took place on Thursday 18 June 2015, 4.30-6pm in Wallis Room
(St John’s College, 3 South Bailey, Durham - Find St John’s College HERE and Wallis Room HERE).

Mr Nikolaos Souvlakis, PhD candidate in Spirituality, Healing and Mental Health, MA, Msc, Bsc, Clinical Supervisor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Psychometric Tester, Critical Incident Manager. MBPsS, BACP reg., PTC, IAFP, EFPA

To watch the Lecture, please click on the video below:


One of the prominent phenomena that has survived even in the 21st century, when science is gaining more and more space in the scientific world, is the evil eye within non-Westernised societies and more specifically in Greek culture. Based on the Eastern Christianity belief and tradition, the evil eye is one of the most prominent social and religious phenomena fuelled by Satanic powers. Thus, they try to violate believers’ spiritual life, which is manifested in mental health problems or spiritual suffering. The present presentation focuses on the methodological steps that the researcher will apply in order to investigate the phenomenon giving also a thorough explanation of the phenomenon in Greece.


Nikolaos has graduated as a psychotherapist and psychologist. He has extensive experience working in psychotherapeutic settings providing individual, couples, group therapy and clinical supervision. His first Master’s degree is in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Investigation, linked with psychoanalysis while his second Master’s is in Psychology of Religion. Nikolaos specialized in spirituality.  He has years of experience as psychotherapist working with individuals, couples and groups. He has worked in a variety of settings such as the NHS, the Ministry of Justice, and other charitable organizations across London. Nikolaos has a keen interest in exploring spirituality and individuals’ well-being which is the main focus of his PhD.


Friday, 17th April 2015Seminar Thursday 30 April 2015:
The therapeutic value of Evagrian prayer on depression

This seminar took place on Thursday 30 April 2015, 5-6.30pm in Wallis Room
(St John’s College, 3 South Bailey, Durham - Find St John’s College HERE and Wallis Room HERE).

Revd Dove Jang, PhD candidate in Spirituality, Theology & Health, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University

Considerable research has examined the relationship between prayer and depression. Spiritually-oriented psychotherapy and spiritual intervention have also come to the fore in psychiatric treatment and prevention measure for depression. While most research of this kind has been devoted to show promising evidence for reducing depressive symptoms, nevertheless, few discussions have focused on the nature and the dynamics of prayer contributing to these beneficial effects. In other words, there is a lack of theological reflection on therapeutic theory of spirituality about how prayer can reduce symptoms. It will be suggested that people who suffer from depression must not be reduced to depressive symptoms but be treated as a whole person, a bio-psycho-social-spiritual being. Through the investigation of Evagrian prayer, especially his treatment of eight difficult thoughts, his practice of chanting psalmody with the interval of imageless prayer in silence, the journey to healing and transformation will be mapped out.


Reverend Dove J. L. Jang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. She has served as a pastor, counsellor, and consultant for Evangelical churches in Taiwan and Canada since 1991. She holds a ThM degree from Regent College, Canada, an MSc degree from Leuven University, Belgium, and an MA degree from China Evangelical Seminary, Taiwan.


Wednesday, 15th April 2015SEMINAR PROGRAMME
Easter Term 2015

SEMINAR PROGRAMME – Easter Term 2015

These seminars are open to all staff and students of Durham University and to the general public. However, please be aware that they are aimed at a postgraduate level and are therefore especially suitable for MA, PhD and DThM students, as well as for others engaged in postgraduate study in relevant areas of enquiry.


If you would like to attend any of these seminars, please send an e-mail to Charidimos Koutris (charidimos.koutris@durham.ac.uk) in order to ensure that a place will be available for you.


Also feel free to visit the Durham University website to Subscribe to these seminars, download future seminars as an iCal calendar file or download the seminar programme in pdf format.


Thursday 30 April 2015 (5-6.30pm)
The therapeutic value of Evagrian prayer on depression
Wallis Room, St John’s College, 3 South Bailey, Durham
by Revd Dove Jang, PhD candidate in Spirituality, Theology & Health, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, UK


Thursday 18 June 2015 (4.30-6pm)
A psychological approach to evil eye: an understanding of the impact of evil eye to individuals’ mental health
Wallis RoomSt John’s College, 3 South Bailey, Durham
by Mr Nikolaos Souvlakis, PhD candidate in Spirituality, Healing and Mental Health, MA, Msc, Bsc, Clinical Supervisor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Psychometric Tester, Critical Incident Manager. MBPsS, BACP reg., PTC, IAFP, EFPA



Durham University logo (transparent)


Wednesday, 15th April 2015‘Explorations in Psycho-Spiritual Care 2015′ course

8 Sept. – 8 Dec. 2015 (10am-4.30pm) @ Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (Oxford, UK)

SPEAKERS: Revd Stephen Bushell, Mr Bob Heath, Dr Sarah Shaw, Revd Dr Victoria Slater, Mr Guy Harrison & Ms Jill Buckeldee


For information on the course, click here. For registration by 30 August 2015, please download the booking form by clicking here and send it to: guy.harrison@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk.


Saturday, 23rd March 2013Applications are now being accepted for our
MA/MSc Programmes in Spirituality, Theology & Health
for the academic year 2014-2015

Entry to our MA/MSc programmes 2014-2015 in Spirituality, Theology & Health is still possible for the academic year 2014-2015. These programmes provide a unique opportunity for inter-disciplinary and inter-professional study in this field. They form a good basis both for theological reflection on professional practice and also an introduction to research methods for those who are thinking of working towards a PhD or DThM. They can be pursued part-time or full-time.


To quote one of our MSc students:

Every trip to St John’s College, Durham is eagerly undertaken; not just because Durham is such a fantastic city with a fascinating history and heritage, but because the teaching on the course is to such a high standard, with immensely knowledgeable lecturers who are obviously keen to impart that knowledge and to engage in meaningful debates with the students.


Applications and enquiries from prospective students are always welcomed. For further information, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Secretary in the Department of Theology and Religion, Mrs Susan Tait (e-mail: susan.tait@durham.ac.uk).


Alternatively, you can contact one of the members of Academic Staff to discuss potential thesis topics.


To find out more please click on the Courses tab above, download the Spirituality, Theology & Health MA – MSc Flyer, and visit the Department of Theology & Religion website:


Spirituality, Theology & Health


Friday, 22nd March 2013Spirituality, Theology and Mental Health
edited by Christopher Cook

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Editor: Christopher Cook

ISBN-13: 9780334046264

ISBN-10: 0334046262

Publisher: SCM Press

Format: Paperback

RRP: £45.00

Publish date: 31/05/2013

Flyer: You can view the book’s flyer by clicking here


A few words about the book:

In 2010 a Durham conference on Spirituality, Theology & Mental Health was made possible by support from the Guild of Health. The conference was attended by more than one hundred delegates, from a variety of different professional and academic backgrounds including those working in university departments of theology, anthropology and philosophy, as well as chaplains, clergy and healthcare professionals. The present publication comprises a series of chapters by authors, all of whom presented papers at the conference. It is thus informed by the debate that took place at the conference, but it is more than simply a set of conference proceedings. The aim has been to create a book with multi-disciplinary and multi-professional contributions which show the relevance of theology to healthcare today, and which will provide a resource for postgraduate teaching, research and professional practice.


This book provides reflections from leading international scholars and practitioners in theology, anthropology, philosophy and psychiatry as to the nature of spirituality and its relevance to constructions of mental disorder and mental healthcare. Key issues are explored in depth, including the nature of spirituality and recent debates concerning its importance in contemporary psychiatric practice, relationship between demons and wellbeing in ancient religious texts and contemporary practice, religious conversion, and the nature and importance of myth and theology in shaping human self understanding. These are used as a basis for exploring some of the overarching intellectual and practical issues that arise when different disciplines engage together with an attempt to better understand the relationship between spirituality and mental health and translate their findings into mental healthcare practice.


Are you still unsure why buy this book?

Here are two Commendations by Professors Harold G. Koenig and Sheila the Baroness Hollins


Professors Harold G. Koenig:

Scientists and clinicians will find in this book contributions from theology, philosophy and pastoral practice that will give them new insights into the importance of spirituality in mental healthcare. Theological and inter-disciplinary perspectives offered here help all of us to see things differently. This book is commended to all mental health professionals, chaplains and pastoral carers, and academics wanting a broader perspective on spirituality and mental health.


Professor Sheila the Baroness Hollins:

Theology and Mental health will be essential reading for clergy, health professionals and academics from different disciplines who are learning, talking and working together in the hope of better addressing the place of spirituality in mental health care. It’s a fascinating book that’s integrative of spiritual and theological perspectives with clinical and pastoral care, importantly introducing theology into a debate that has largely ignored a contribution from this discipline. Many of the writers explore the boundaries that sometimes separate different domains of expertise and differing values and assumptions in diverse settings.


Consequently, wait no more and pre-order the book here:




Spirituality, Theology and Mental Health by C.Cook

Monday, 15th June 2009Spirituality & Psychiatry

Eds. Chris Cook, Andrew Powell, Andrew Sims, Royal College of Psychiatrists Press, London, 2009

Spirituality and PsychiatrySpirituality & Psychiatry is a new book published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Emerging from the work of the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it considers the relevance of spirituality to clinical practice in psychiatry. It is edited by Chris Cook (current Chair of the Special Interest Group and Director of the Project for Spirituality, Theology & Health at Durham University) along with two past Chairs of the Special Interest Group (Dr Andrew Powell and Professor Andrew Sims). Further information, and the opportunity to purchase the book, is available from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ website.