Priests and religious are often among the psychologically healthiest people, but the challenge of their vocations place them more at-risk for mental health struggles than most people. St. Raphael’s provides customized assessments to help bishops, religious superiors, and formation directors the nature of a priest’s or religious’ psychological wounds as well as a clear path to help get them the support that they need. Our evaluations are multidisciplinary, and depending on the need, they assess the following areas:
- Psychological health, including personality disorders, proneness to addiction, anxiety, and depression.
- ADHD and other issues that impact the ability to manage responsibilities
- Attachment and boundaries
- Interior Life
- Physical health
These comprehensive assessments provide healing for the priest’s themselves and clear direction for the diocese or religious order. Our goal is to understand the psychological and spiritual state of the person being evaluated, and then provide a supportive and actionable treatment plan. Our clinicians are also available for ongoing treatment and consultation to ensure the very best care possible.
Our approach highlights collaboration so that priests find healing and dioceses, or religious orders know how best to support them. After the initial consultation with the bishop, vicar for clergy, or religious superior, the lead psychologist would have a phone interview with the priest to be assessed in order to start building rapport and help him build trust in the process. The priest would then travel to Denver for the evaluation, which would last several days.
While many of the situations we are assessing priests for are quite serious, we nonetheless emphasize a positive and therapeutic process. At the conclusion of the evaluation, individual feedback is provided to the priest, followed by feedback given to the bishop, vicar for clergy, or superior with the priest present. A detailed, but useful report is provided, as well as appropriate follow up with the priest, diocese, or religious order.