Center for Psychotherapy and Spirituality Advisory Board

John McDargh PhD

John McDargh, PhD
Associate Professor, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Director CPS

Email: or
Phone: 617-552-3752 (BC); 617-680-4533 (cell)

Emory University BA; Harvard University (Committee on the Study of Religion), PhD

I did an inter-disciplinary doctorate at Harvard on contemporary psychoanalytic object relations theory and religious development across the life cycle and have taught the psychology of religious development at Boston College for thirty years. My earliest and memorable experiences at BC were to team with Dr. Margaret Gorman, RSCJ , who was second chair of the Board of William James College, to teach a year-long version that course. Some of the major influences on my interest in the specific integration of spirituality with clinical practice were my experience team teaching for eleven summers a course through Einstein Medical School's Cape Cod Institute on "Psychotherapy and Spirituality" and a clinical post-doctoral fellowship in community mental health at the Schiff Day Treatment Center of Cambridge City Hospital. I have had a deep respect for William James College since serving as the outside reader for the first dissertation done in this area at William James College by Dr. Carol Catton over 20 years ago! I have been teaching for many years a course on Spirituality and Clinical Practice at Boston College for graduate students in the dual degree programs in Counseling Psychology / Pastoral Ministry and Masters in Social Work/ Pastoral Ministry that also draws MDiv and MA students and some PhD/D Min students from Harvard Divinity, Andover Newton Theology School and other member seminaries of the Boston Theological Institute.

Dean Abby MEd

Dean Abby, MEd
Director of Continuing Education at William James College

Phone: 617-327-6777 x1545

Boston University, MEd (Existential Humanistic Counseling Psychology)

Dean has directed the continuing education program at William James College since 1989. In the last 20 years our/CE program has offered workshops and conferences focusing on many aspects of spirituality and psychotherapy. In the 1990's, in conjunction with Dr. Phil Aranow and the meditation and psychotherapy study group, William James College/CE assisted in the establishment of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Dean has been a member of the Psycho-Spirituality Initiative at William James College for the past 6 years. In addition, He is one of the founding members of Earth Circles which have been designed to help us move from feelings of despair and denial to positive action, using the power we gain from sharing concerns, learning together and acting in community. Earth Circles are small groups of people who meet together to acknowledge their concerns and fears around climate change and the environmental, social, psychological, spiritual and economic destruction that may lie ahead, and to support one another in discovering and carrying out effective action, as we shift toward a more sustainable way of life.

Jane Adelizzi PhD

Jane Adelizzi, PhD
Faculty, William James College
Professor Emerita, Curry College

Phone: 617-327-6777  x1341

Lesley University,  PhD (Educational Studies)

A Board Certified Educational Therapist with the Association of Educational Therapists (AET), Dr. Adelizzi developed the post-masters Certificate in Educational Therapy at Curry College.  She has served as national liaison and as coordinator of research and publications for AET, and as editor of the journal, The Educational Therapist.  Jane is a registered art therapist with ATCB, and recently worked for two years as a clinician at Westwood Lodge Psychiatric Hospital in the partial hospitalization program for adults.  Her writing activities include co-editor and contributing author to  The Clinical Practice of Educational Therapy (2010)  and contributing author to A Closer Look:  Perspectives & Reflections on College Students with Learning Disabilities (1995);  author of Shades of Trauma (1998);  co-author to Parenting Children with Learning Disabilities (2001);  contributing author to Gender Issues and ADHD:  Research, Diagnosis and Treatment (2001).  She teaches Life Span Development and is an affiliate at the Brenner Center for Psychological Assessment and Consultation at William James College.

Rev GF Chonyi Richard Allen

Rev. GF Chonyi Richard Allen
Psychotherapist/Healer, Teacher and Guide

Phone: 617-566-4251 (Brookline);  802-453-6320 (Vermont)

BA, Sociology, University of Massachusetts;  MEd, Counseling Psychology, Antioch University.

With a rich background in depth-oriented and transpersonal psychology, energy healing, cross-cultural spiritual perspectives, and  meditation. Ordained in the ancient priestcraft of the Ywahoo Lineage, Wild  Potato Clan, Etowah Band,  Eastern Cherokee Nation (Ani Yun Wiwa) and Buddhist Traditions.

Has served as Adjunct Faculty at Lesley University and Burlington College, and the Institute for the Study of Archetypal Psychology. Most recently ad hoc committee member at William James College establishing new graduate programs in Psychology of Peace and Violence Transformation and  Psycho-Spiritual Studies.

Supervising teacher Sunray School of Sacred Studies and Trainer  International Institute for Visualization Research. Currently in private practice in Brookline and consulting in leadership and transformation internationally.

A Grandfather who also enjoys being close to the fire at home in  the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Nilda M Laboy PsyD

Nilda M. Laboy, PsyD
William James College Head, Counseling Psychology Department

Phone: 617-327-6777 x1481

University of the Sacred Heart (San Juan PR) BA, Carlos Albizu University (San Juan, PR) MS & PsyD (Clinical Psychology)

Dr. Laboy completed advanced training in forensic psychology at the University of Virginia Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy. She is licensed as a psychologist in MA, and as a clinical psychologist in Virginia; certified as a health services provider in MA and in the National Register, certified in addictions specialist by the AAHCP, and certified as a sex offender treatment provider in Virginia. In addition, she is a trained mediator.

Her professional experiences include service as a clinical and forensic psychologist in Puerto Rico, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts. In addition, she has consulted on the development of counseling and forensic psychology courses and has taught courses in clinical, counseling, and forensic psychology for Argosy University; during the period of 1998-2001, Dr. Laboy served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University. Raised Catholic and now a Unitarian Universalist, she has actively participated in church life as a lay leader as an extraordinary Eucharistic minister, a worship associate, and pastoral care associate. She is very interested in the integration of the spiritual life in assessment and psychotherapy, and in creating a space to encourage this in our programs at William James College.

Ronald E Cobb PhD

Ronald E. Cobb, PhD
Faculty, William James College

Phone: 617-327-6777 x1402

Furman University (psychology/ religion) BA; Princeton Theological Seminary (Hebrew Major, Jewish studies concentration) MDiv; Wake Forest University (Experimental Psychology, cognitive focus ) MA , Vanderbilt University (cinical and cognitive psychology), PhD

Ron completed a one-year internship in chaplaincy at the United Campus Ministry (Presbyterian) of Texas A&M University ('86-'87). In his own words, "He was too much of a heretic to ever be ordained in his native religious tradition (Southern Baptist). He left the Southern Baptist church in 1990 and remains a self-described liberal and churchless Christian who celebrates Jewish holidays and who enjoys a fumbling attempt at a Buddhist meditation practice (Vipassana tradition; Empty Sky Sangha).

Professionally, his clinical work has focused primarily on neuropsychological and psychological assessment with a variety of individuals, including children and geriatric populations. He completed his pre-doctoral clinical internship at the Brockton/West Roxbury VA hospitals and has worked with inpatients and outpatients at McLean hospital, with a particular emphasis on dementia screening and assessment.

Research interests include how both associative and item-specific information affect explicit memory, the activation dynamics of semantic representations in clinical disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's disease, and the nature of representations underlying visual repetition priming. Dr. Cobb's dissertation research explored how Alzheimer's disease may affect semantic memory representations.

Chris Kowalcky

Chris Kowalcky
William James College  PsyD, Student  (2nd year)

Phone: 617-527-6167

Boston College, BA (English), MA (Pastoral Ministry), Spiritual Direction Certificate, PsyD (Clinical Psychology, anticipated 2013)

I am currently a full-time, second year doctoral student at William James College.  Prior to these studies, I worked at the Boston College Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry (IREPM) where my responsibilities were a combination of administration and spiritual formation work.  IREPM is a graduate program that attracts students from around the world (laity, ordained and vowed religious) who seek education and formation for careers in ministry.

My work on IREPM's Spiritual Formation Committee included planning retreats, offering individual spiritual direction to students, co-authoring its year-long Holistic Formation curriculum (topics included: a spirituality of sexuality, prayer as a resource for ministry, ministry-identity-culture, and vocational discernment).  I also served (and still serve) as a small group facilitator for students required to take this program as part of their graduate studies.  I also facilitate (and still do) workshops on "Contemporary and Traditional Christian Ways of Prayer" as well as online continuing education courses focused on spirituality and spiritual practices.

In addition to my ministry work at Boston College, I have served as a high school campus minister and parish pastoral associate.

Julie Oxenberg

Julie Oxenberg
Clinical Psychologist in Private Practice
Phone:  617-354-4829

Washington University in St. Louis, BA;  Loyola University of Chicago, PhD, Clinical Psychology;  Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, MA, International Diplomacy

My interest in the intersection of psychology, spirituality, and political/social issues is long-standing, and has taken a variety of forms throughout my training and career.

After completing a psycho-dynamically-oriented internship at the Beth Israel Hospital I pursued subsequent training in various spiritually-informed psychological practices; these included studying a derivative of Psychosynthesis at Tom Yeoman's Concord Institute, exploring the Diamond Approach through the Ridhwan School, studying intercultural and inter-religious conflict transformation through the Contact Program at the School for International Training in VT. and, more recently, learning and working with the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of psychotherapy.

I've written on topics that address the intersection of psychology, spirituality and political relations, particularly, (though not exclusively) focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A few published pieces describe my involvement with a dialogue process that took place in Berlin between descendents of Holocaust survivors and descendents of Nazis, exploring, in particular, its impact on faith; my own as well as that of other dialog participants.

Shortly after 9/11 I became very involved with the national Tikkun Community, an organization committed to advancing a spiritual progressive perspective; the organization is associated with Tikkun Magazine, a publication addressing the intersection of psychology, spirituality and politics.  After serving as a co-chair on the local Steering Committee and on the National Advisory Board I helped put together the infrastructure for a think tank through which study, discussion, writing, and advocacy can be further developed and promulgated.   

In the past few years I've connected with a group based in Israel-Palestine called "Beyond Words," which works to promote peace by strengthening the voice of women in the Middle East across differing ethnic and religious backgrounds.  They have begun to integrate the "Internal Family Systems" (IFS) process into their work; I'm working with them to develop ways to formally research the impact of the IFS process on changing attitudes, emotions, and behavior of individuals from groups in conflict. 

I've been involved with the Psycho-Spiritual Initiative at William James College almost since its inception. In that capacity I've presented at several conferences and taught a multi-part CEU course entitled: "The Impact of Social and Global Issues on Psychotherapy." I'm also a founding member of the "Psychology of Peace" initiative at William James College, a project that first evolved out of the inspiration and work associated with William James College's Psycho-Spiritual Initiative.

Stan Rosenzweig PsyD

Stan Rosenzweig, PsyD
Professor, William James College (retired)
Phone:  781-234-2203

On April 20, 2009 at William James College's 35th anniversary celebration Stan received our Community Service and Training Award.  The press release on that occasion read:  "One of the founders of William James College, and its first interim president, Rosenzweig has been applauded as an agent of change in the entire field of psychology. Entering the field in 1956, at a time when psychology was barely gaining acceptance, Rosenzweig helped steer its course to the essential role it plays today in the mental health of communities. For over 35 years, he helped establish therapeutic credentials of psychologists and created programs addressing special mental health needs of returning military soldiers from the World Wars to the Vietnam War. In addition, he was the inspiration behind one of Boston's first mental health day- treatment programs where veterans with severe emotional problems could live at home."

Stan was the inspiration behind the Psychotherapy and Spirituality Initiative which has helped the school to find ways of addressing spirituality and clinical practice in the curriculum and culture of the institution. Last year he lead a course on Stress Reduction in therapeutic practice that included his own interest in the emergent field of Positive Psychology.

Colleen Sharka MA LMHC

Colleen Sharka, MA, LMHC
Psychotherapist & Spiritual Director; Still Harbor
Center for Discernment & Action, South Boston, MA
Phone:  617-816-9278

University of New Hampshire, BS Business Administration; Framingham State College, MA in Counseling Psychology;  Certification in Post Traumatic Stress Management, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Response Networks, The Trauma Center; Spiritual Direction Internship Program, Weston, MA, Certificate in Spiritual Direction

Colleen has a private psychotherapy practice located at Still Harbor's Center for Discernment and Action in South Boston (  She provides individual psychotherapy, spiritual direction, grief and traumatic grief groups, and psycho-spiritual integration training.  She is also a member of the Still Harbor staff providing training and support through programs focusing on discernment of purpose, leadership development, and self-care & resilience.  Program participants include those working in Boston-area non-profits as well as in global health.

Previously she served as the assistant director of Trinity Boston Counseling Center, Trinity Church, Boston, where in addition to the daily operations of the counseling center she provided psychotherapy and self-care/resilience training.  She also supervised the masters-level internship-training program which specialized in the integration of therapy and spirituality.

She was one of the co-founders and trainers of Trinity Boston Counseling Center's Self-Care and Resilience Training Program.  This group program provides support for front-line caregivers who work with youth at-risk.  The focus is self-care, trauma, and secondary trauma within the context of the participants' spiritual/faith lives.

Colleen served for 5 years on William James College's Psycho-Spiritual Initiative.  "I strive to offer a safe and sacred space in all of my work.  Besides the client's history and significant relationships, I hold the spiritual life of the client as central to meeting the desired therapeutic goals.  My work is spiritually-informed, trauma-informed, and racially-informed.  Integrative work transforms the client and the therapist."

David J Stern PsyD

David J. Stern, PsyD
Psychologist in Private Practice

Phone:  401-274-2844  (Office)

William James College, PsyD  Post Graduate Studies in Existential Phenomenology with  Robert Fox;  Student of Stephen Gilligan PhD for 8 years. Student of "Self-Relations" psychotherapy;  Training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing

I am a clinical psychologist, healer, trainer, and consultant. I help people restore a wholesome relationship between their cerebral intelligence and their natural intelligence.

I help individuals, groups, and organizations enjoy an ever-deeper felt connection with the spiritual dimension of their lives. I teach them how to seamlessly fold spiritual practices (within and beyond their particular religious tradition) into the fabric of their professional and private lives.

I teach people that problems are, almost always, a path to enduring peace.

Among the healing tools that I use are Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), One Eye Brain Integration technique, and a practice that I have been developing over the past 15 years, Structured Self-Presence™. Increasingly, my work is informed by "Internal Family Systems."

  I also draw upon traditional tools from a variety of the world's wisdom traditions and work as deeply with the body as with the mind.

Robert L Weber PhD

Robert L. Weber, PhD
Psychologist  and Consultant in Private Practice
Director ContemplAging Project
Participant in Psychotherapy and Spirituality Initiative
Phone:  617-492- 7264 x3

PhD, MA (Clinical Psychology);  MDiv (Master of Divinity) ;  MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching)

For many years now I have been working to integrate spirituality into my clinical practice.  My efforts to do so include a basic respect for what spirituality has to offer, particularly in light of the deeper, existential questions of life and the necessity for meaning and purpose in our lives.  I have also been very conscious of the fact that spirituality and/or religion can sometimes not be healing in an individual's therapeutic work and may, indeed, contribute to and reinforce the emergence of psychopathology.

My integrative efforts start with my own understanding of spirituality and religion and of what spiritual practice means to me.  At the same time, being a psychodynamically-oriented clinician, I try to respect and understand the possibilities and limits of a strict psychodynamic, psychoanalytic approach to the healing process.  For years the bias of the psychoanalytic world, rooted in Freud's notion of religion(spirituality) as "illusion," discouraged my being  more explicit about the spiritual dimension in clinical practice.  Partly, as the years have gone on, I realized that theory, even one as remarkable as psychoanalytic theory, is just a "good guess" and the not the whole truth or reality.  There are always more good questions than good answers.

My clinical practice is focused on individual, couples, and group therapy, with an occasional foray into family therapy and family business consultation.  In each of these domains I am always very interested in the individual's spiritual/religion and how it serves or does not serve them to live life to the full.  So, at the outset of any intake and evaluation I am curious and explicit about this dimension.  My chapter in Scott Fehr's book entitled, A Spiritually Informed Approach for the Group Leader, will give you a good, beginning sense of my approach and the background to it.  Below I have also included other relevant articles and a list of the courses, workshops and presentations that will give you a better sense of my perspective.

Group therapy is a core of my practice and the spiritual is very much a part of my group work.  Last fall I begin a Psycho-Spiritual Issues Group that still continues.  Its goal is to provide a context for individuals who are or have been in individual treatment and who want a context to talk more openly and explicitly in a focused manner about spirituality and its value and usefulness in their lives.  A corollary goal is to appreciate the fact that good spirituality and good psychological theory and therapy are convergent and compatible, not divergent or conflictual.

One final area of my integrative efforts is focused on the role(s) of spirituality/religion in the face of aging.  At this time I am working on a number of initiatives.  First, in collaboration with Dr. Erlene Rosowsky, a gero-psychologist who is a member of our faculty, I  organized a conference at William James College  for the May 15, 2010, entitled "Silent Connections: Spirituality, Mental Health and Illness in Old Age."  Second, I am teaching an e-learning course, "Baby Boomers, Spirituality, and ContemplAgeing," for the Tufts University Osher Life Long Learning Institute.  Third, in collaboration with my gerontologist colleague at the Medical School of the University of Louisville (Kentucky) I am establishing a program call ContemplAgeing. The goal of the program and practice is to foster, through contemplation, a deepening of the interior and spiritual lives of those who are aging and a greater appreciation of the presence of the sacred in one's life and aging, whatever the particular circumstances of the aging process.

Latino Mental Health College-Wide Concentration

Latino Mental Health Program

Military & Veterans Psychology Program