REPORT OF SPA MEETING DATED 4-5 OCTOBER, 2004
After the opening prayer, the new members were welcomed. Fr. Edwin D‟Souza who
has joined SPA had informed of his inability to attend. Devassy Chirackel, George
Palamattathil, Philo D‟Souza, Joe Mannath, and Peter Lourdes are the others who are
absent and have informed of their inability to attend. T.C. Joseph who has just
returned from the US after completing his studies in clinical psychology (still to
submit his thesis) and has joined DB Yuva Prachodini as the administrator, would in
all likelihood join for the meeting.
thReport of the 5 AGM
After the Secretary, PO Jose, read the report, the following clarifications were made.
PO Jose informed that he had not sent the letter to Varkey as decided. He took the
responsibility for not sending it as it was not relevant any more. C.M. Jose informed
that he is the Principal of the school and not the administrator. Anelfreeda continues
with the assessment of the candidates. Jose mentioned that the report that was sends
out contains more details, whereas the newsletter would have only the important
points. SPCSA has not informed anything after the last communication.
After the clarifications were made, the report was passed.
The counsellor‟s Training programme that we have been conducting in three modules
is being dropped. It has not been effective in the present circumstances. Bosco
Psyhological services will continue the same programme for the time being.
Kuriakose suggested that we could have shorter and specialized programmes.
Regarding other such programmes, Godfrey mentioned that he was organising
training programmes for teachers to be counsellors. They would have 3 hours training
a week for 5 months, besides practicum.Fr. Clive also has 2 week counsellor training programmes. NVSC has a 10month programme for counsellors. Montfort has the
one-year Sampurna programme and 2-year MSc (Counselling). MS programme in
psychotherapy is available by correspondence. IBMS as well as PRH, Bangalore,
have their own programmes. Carmelites conduct a programme for three summers.
Sapientia in Kerala, conducted by the Sacred Heart Sisters, has a 12 month
counsellor‟s training programme. Rulla‟s programme continues in Bangalore. Christ
College offers a 2 year MSc programme in clinical psychology. Atma Darshan, Patna
has also a programme, though it is more oriented mainly towards personal growth.
Banjara Academy has a systematic training programme (part-time) for four months by
professional trainers. Xavier Institute, Mumbai, has 3 days-a-week, 10 months
programme in counselling, besides Fuster‟s counsellor training following the Carcuff
It was pointed out that the different commissions that have been appointed have not
been functioning. For that matter there were hardly any SPA programmes during the
? There are a number of members who are not even participating in the AGM. ? There is not sufficient networking; IDs are bouncing.
? There were no common programmes.
? There were suggestions to the effect of creating an organisation where people
would want to be members.
? It would be good to remove members when membership automatically ceases. It
is good to remove deadwood. At the same time it was pointed out that
programmes should be such that coming for programmes whould have their own
? We need to take up cases for presentation and share about them. ? Training could be conducted, but that should not become the main focus. ? An issue with regard to irregularity in attendance and taking up programmes may
be also because our priorities are other works and SPA related programmes are
not priority enough. People have one year notice and if they still do not come,
then their interest would also only that much.
? Kuriakose mentioned that we need to have other engagements to be carried out
together in between the annual meetings. This is not just coming together. These
could be training programmes where we are jointly involved. ? There is no national body. Make the body appealing. Let it be a strong body. ? We do not interact enough. We need to use this forum for professional updating,
as opportunities for personal interactions.
? PO Jose said that we need to make what is set up function, such as the committees.
If committees function, and committess give the lead, then there will be better
? TD John and others also felt that SPA is very alive and those around also fee that
SPA is very much there.
? Godfrey felt that people know spa as doing something. We can do for the jubilee.
He has done for 4 groups of rectors in Bangalore Province. They look at SPA with
a bit of fear, reverential fear. Now he is being invited to do a programme on
education to love. May be we could take up a programme for the training of
formators, as part of the Jubilee through LB Anthony.
? Loddy Pires is now in the SPCSA and will be able to speak on behalf of SPA.
There is a suggestion to link Education commission, Schools and SPA. ? Accounts: The financial situation is good. We must use the funds. Godfrey
suggested that relevant articles and other materials could be made available to the
members. The fund could also be used for the development of the members. The
three modules also went well, though there was a slight loss. The statement of
accounts was passed.
? PO Jose suggested that for those interested in finding good articles, there was a
website suitable for that: www.findarticles.com.
? There was a proposal that we could learn from Peter Lourdes in doing therapy.
Godfrey has taken the initiative to organise a group therapy programme (13-20
March 2005). Those interested in joining were to give their names. (Peter Lourdes has
since disclaimed the offer saying that therapy was therapy and not a forum form learning counselling. People
were welcome to join him as co-therapists to learn. He has informed Godfrey to that effect.)
? Mumbai province has taken up a study on the Religious attitudes of Catholic
Youth in India. SPA could look at this data. This would be useful to do a
developmental stage analysis, especially with regard to religious development. ? The content of live-ins: Self knowledge, interpersonal relationships, spirituality,
psychology, awareness through some small tests, interaction. Usually these are 3-
day programmes. Basic group processes are done. The Rectors are very happy.
? Kuriakose did a workshop with Mani Karote with Nimhans and Ford Foundation
on Sexuality for the education of Street Youth. There is a training book which
give modules for a 12 week-programme, 3 hours a day. 10 groups were involved
in the preparation of this book. He is presenting a Paper on March 2005 on:
Opening up discourse on Sexuality.
? Young at risk and Neighbourhood apostolate for Salesians: A training programme
was conducted for themanagement and Staff of Bosco on Opening up discourse.
There was also an Inter-state convention for young at risk: 396 participants took
part in the training and seminar, all 8-22 years old. It was 4 day residential
convention: self-image, life orientation, adventure training, integration of children
from different states, kannadigas and malayalees. It was conducted in the forest
under thee trees at Magadi.
? Kuriakose also conducted a Psycho-spiritual retreat.
? After the accident at Madurai he was handicapped for over three months. (He was
still in plaster and moving on a wheelchair even during the conference days.)
Presidential Address: Fr. Clive
Fr. Clive spoke of the growth of SPA from the previous year when he had spoken of
sucide. This time he took up the topic of loneliness. Among other things he mentioned
that self-sufficiency blocks growth. The Past is like fertlizer for seed to grow into the future. One is not to sit on one‟s laurels, not to stay too long in blue or red dimensions,
to use the spiral of consciousness vocabulary, too long. Staying with one‟s loneliness
will bring out the Prophetic dimension in us. Or we will tend to get back to the crowd
for security. Something that can help us to stay with loneliness is having some one to
talk with.. Existential solution of quitting is suicide. Loneliness is often created by
prejudice… For instance, the comment that one is unfit for community. A mistake is
often quoted all one‟s life. We need healing of past hurts. Stubborn convictions, right
or wrong, without grey areas can lead to loneliness.
Greater consciousness of reality being widen\r that what we think can help us to get
over loneliness. Higher you want to grow, the more isolated you are likely to become.
At the same time, we all have the need for some quietness and the need to make
meaning. Godfrey pointed out that we also need community for my our growth; we
need a sense of belonging, of giving and off receiving love. Not cutting off from the
past, rather enlarge our thinking…bide time… not merely immediate change, take
Chaos and madness can result more easily if psychologically more fragile. No sense
in going higher unless you have done your personal growth. Story of the mother
superior locked her community sister out of the convent for one year. Of course she
has to take responsibility for the mental break down.. St. Francis had mystical
experience. What occasioned these mystical experiences are to be examined.
It is important to make people aware of warning signs. Warning signs of the
victimiser as well as of the aggressor. We need to be professional in these matters.
There is also the question of people who are violent, especially those in authority are
violent, what are the steps to be taken. We need a policy against emotional abuse and
intimidation, similar to sexual abuse. Here the question of protecting one‟s own,
avoiding scandal, protecting the congregation, and so on will arise.
Reports from the Members
Clive Hurley: He was not able to contact anyone in Madras, including Sr. Kochutheresa fmm. Joe Mannath was very busy. So he would do individual counselling. On Thursdays he goes to a Diocesan school from 9.00 to 4.00. He meets about 40-50 people. He has done one day of animation training for PTA and nd edition, Management. Has completed three books, which have gone into the 2
Published by Arumpu: Be a Winner, A Vibrant You and You can be someone
PO Jose: Besides the programmes at the Bosco Psychological Services, as usual, he has also been writing in Vidya Jyothi (Jan and Feb. 2004), New Leader (Oct. 10, Mental Health Day). He is also the Journal Editor.
T.D John is on a sabbatical this year. His paper for the conference was written in a group and it was a good experience. He did one week with Gouranga Chattopadhyay on the understanding of unconscious processes in the individual and in organisations. He has the home work of doing the diagnosis of a group (Dappu) that is still pending. It was also an exposure to Bion and the works of the Tavistok Institute, London. He is happy to have been able to teach Gestalt for the Module II at Mumabi. Next year he will be involved in Action Research / Cooperative Inquiry on “Bringing psychological skills into Social and Political Action.” He has contacted Philip Lichtenberg, an author of books on Liberation Psychology, who has accepted to support him in this venture. So also Fr. Pio Schilligo in Rome. Salesian Missions are supporting the project. The present paper will form the theoretical basis for the action research.
The programme for a multidisciplinary venture last year could not take off because I could never get into the mood for it because of the circumstances. I hope to take up a programme of this sort as part of my action Research.
Analfreeda: She is still in Godfrey‟s assessment team. Now as Provincial Secretary
the time at her disposal will be very limited.
C.M. Jose: Principal of the school. He animates different groups of the 3 schools in the campus: Parents, teachers, senior students. Parents come for consultation with regard to children, relations, and friends. At the same time he continues with some HRT clinical work. Occasionally he does some sessions in formation houses. He also writes the guidance column in the Salesian Bulletin, Malayalam. He has already finished the Resume for the PhD, published 3 papers and done the relevant examination in the Bharatiyar University.
Godfrey: at Prafulta. Now Edward D‟Souza has joined after completing his Masters in
Specal Education. Godfrey suggested that Edward could invited to join SPA. Godfrey does a has lot of work for the marginalised. He did 10 group therapies: NVSC, FMM, Salesians. 17 live-ins. Psychological Assessments of Candidates: 37 and a programme rdfor 3 year KJC brothers. He is Maxiconsultant for Educationalist – 500 (????).
Presented a paper to the Salesian Brothers Congress on the Emotional Development of the Salesian Brothers which was very much appreciated. A programme for the training of Counsellor Teachers, an 80 hour programme is ready. It needs to be
implemented now. For the vocational guidance, he has developed 8 different tests. To reach out to 20,000 young people a year. His PhD is in progress.
Thomas Varkey: Practically involved full time with the patients in the clinic. Now he is not so much interested in group therapy; that interest has waned. He is interested in severely affected clients and to gather research evidences. He is in charge of a boarding for 90 dropouts. All are psychologically and emotional disturbed. All failed in SSC, not because of being intellectually dull, but rather because of deeper emotional problems. Now the success rate is good. He considers this success because the poorest are helped with therapy and followed up. The community felt that 20 may not pass. So Varkey started therapy for these 20. 15 passed, because of therapy. This time they conducted three camps for which 200 came; only about 75 were selected. He takes up some outside cases only for those with deeper problems. This work is like a passion for him. He is also involved in alternate remedies: Bach flower remedies, bio- remedies, Homeopathy and so on. Varkey is now a registered Medical Practitioner (Dr. Varkey RMP). He looks forward to do some research regarding sexually abused persons. He wants to approach the issue using Psychology and medicine. His Clinic in which he is working is not included in the activity of the house. Provincial supports, not the house. Boys ask for help voluntarily. They see people come from outside. And they ask when they will get their chance. These boys are aged 17-22. The methodology is difficult. Yet it is very promising. 10 of these asked to become priests. Preventive system of the great ancestors is not practiced. There is far more freedom. Too much supervision is avoided. Not too many sermons or homilies or instructions are given. He has to live with what he considers the general mindset of the confreres which is against psychology.
Godfrey: In the Bombay province there is openness towards the psychological process. The provincial wants therapy to be conucted in every stage of the process of formation.
The issue of psychological testing was debated at length. 3 stages: One at the time of joining, the other at Perpetual Profession and the third at the time of ordination to the deaconate. The tests carried out are IQ tests, MMPI, Projective tests like House – tree
– person. These are further strengthened with structured interviews. Roschak and TAT are done for those who really require them. Getting the candidates ready for testing is already a long procedure. The testing is not meant for selection, rather to increase their self-knowledge. It is proposed that the tests be done two years before Perpetual Profession and two years before the deaconate so that they have time to work on themselves. The reports are kept only with the provincial and are communicated to the individual candidates. Most candidates cooperate very well and are happy. It is clearly communicated at this stage that formation is the responsibility of the individual. The expenses for the testing work out to be about Rs. 2500.00 per candidate. Usually the testing at the second stage, i.e., before Perpetual profession is usually deeper. It was asked whether one test wasn‟t enough? The first test in the Pre-
Novitiate and systematic help would seem to be sufficient. It was felt that at the Pre-novitiate level their understanding is not sufficient.
Someone wanted to know if there are tests for religious motivation. Sanjeevi Cruz CSSR seems to be doing some work in this direction.
Review of the Conference
Some questions asked the participants were: Why do you come for the conference? What do you look forward to at the conference?
Clive: A greater awareness of issues. To meet others and share their experiences. CM: Interaction, sharing of views and experiences.
Mathew: larger umbrella, licensing authority, training centres not properly done. Rosamma: Updating on current issue… meet one another as friends.
Champlani: To find resource persons.
Godfrey: Topics covered; greater networking.
Joe Fernandes: Updating and making a contribution to the Catholic church in India. Varkey: A directory of resource persons.
Thambi: Not finding counsellors. Abuse. Arole to play, ethical formation, terrorism in formation. Exploring the possibilities of collaboration / Networking.
The proposal for the centre for disturbed Church personnel. A letter to the CBCI was prepared for which signature were collected furing the conference.
Next Meeting: nd: Closest weekend to October 2ththPre-conference: 28 to 29 Sept: M. C. Abraham CSC, An Experiential workshop thConference: 30 Sept and October 1-2.
Spa Meeting: October 3-4.
Venue of Meeting: Bhopal, Bro. Mathew SG
New Members: Especially lay catholics. Information and Registration form are to be passed.
Not for Psychiatrists.
If there are service centres, details about those.
Drafting committee: Sr. Elizabeth (39) / Jose Parapully (31) / Rosamma (12) / Joe Mannath (11)
(Honestly I do not remember what is to be drafted)
Learning for Life: A Guide to Family Health (Life Skills Education for teachers and Students)
NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training).
National Aids Control organisation (NACO)
UNICEF / UNESCO
(Book with Paulson)
MCMI (175 Questions)
8. Working commissions
Publication Commission: Website
Healing Centre Committee
Peter Fernando could be approached for funds and for finding a congregation. Medical Sisters of St. Joseph (Ursulines)
To keep contact with Bishops and Religious.
Salesians being open to this.
Joaquim: one province or group of provinces.
Centinary Jubilee could be an occasion.
9. SPA – SPCSA
Response from SPCSA – for modifications
Salesian Sisters to be consulted …
This is part of the methodology of collaboraton. Analfreda to contact her provincial and through her the PCI.
An issue would be with regard to finance. Also the redrafting of texts.
Elections – voting:
Joe Mannath accepted over the phone.
Jose P.O. agreed to continue as secretary.
The flow of the topic was worked out very well. The speakers were good.
Not getting the papers was a shortcoming.
TD‟s paper was good. There was a lot of hard work put in it.
This was the fifth confererence/gathering. Each one was better than the other, and naturally this was the best. There was the highest number of participants, 67. Too much input, not enough time for interaction. We were always a little behind schedule.
We need to attend to the manner of the group working together.
Novel in the way the mementos were given.
Not enough time for group interaction, group discussions. Thus MC‟s talk: there was very little time for interaction and no time to assimilate the contents in groups. Need for better introduction of the members among themselves.
The bag, name plaques, and so on were very weldone.
Introductory programme was too long.
The time taken for presentation could be shorter, say 30 minutes only. And at least an outline to be given.
Elizabeth‟s influence was felt all through.
Too much inputs and not enough time for group discussions.
Time scheduling was lax.
Only one outing is enough.
Congrats for arranging the publications in advance.
At least an abstract cold have been given.
Kuriakose explained the difficulty in getting things done, with those who took up
responsibilities not turning up.
The theme evolved: Started with human boding, then psychology of women, then
psychology of intolerance to Peter‟s suggestion on prejudice which finally became
Psychological dimensions of Pluarlism.
There was also the problem of non-resident participants.
Frequent change of moderators was also a problem. There could have been more time
for informal sessions as well as for business sessions. Discussions could also have
been according to interest groups.
From Multicity conferences we could move to organise and conduct programmes to
enhance psychological awareness and well being.
Programes for clergy and religious.
Programmes for Helping professionals: teachers, nurses, doctors, etc.
I. Programme: preparation of curriculum and pamphlets on psychological
matters. Thre was a recent article in the outlook on the sexual ignorance
of boys and girls today.
II. Spa to create a 2 day programme for students and teachers. Regional teams
to offer workships: along with the jubilee committee.
III. Task force for: Formation to affective maturity: PO Jose, Joe Mannath,
Thomas Varkey, Godfrey (Leader?): Task of preparation of curriculum.
IV. We need to explore some way of networking and sharing during the year.
We need to keep related among ourselves. Network for the time being
through internet and pass on e-mail attachments.
Next Meeting venue:
Chennai : 33
Cochin : 15 + 11 (Kerala)
Mumbai : 14
Bangalore : 13
Delhi : 13
Pune : 10
Goa : 10
Hyderabad : 09
Kolkata : 03
Kanyakumari : 01
Belgaum : 01
Dharwar : 01
Nagpur : 01
Varanasi : 01
Fr. Clive thnked Kuriacose.
The entertainment every day
Best part was the visit to Hank Nunn‟s Centre: to go to similar centres, inform others
of such centres and if possible to visit.
Closed with hum to Mary, seeking her guidance as a mother, along the way.
Need to make the conference into an association. Proposals for this can be made at the next conference. We need more discussion in this regard.
Preconference of 2 days
Theme: 1 day
Exchange of ideas / Business sessions: 2 days
R = Resistance
A = Attack
M = Mitigation
A = Acceptance.
REPORT OF THE DISCUSSION ON FORMATION TO AFFECTIVE MATURITY
ON CURRICULUM PLANNING
8 SPA members, LB Anthony, TC Joseph, Thomas Anchukandom and Thomas Pallithanam were present.
P.O. jose and godfrey introduced their separate drafts.
Introduction: Fr. Jose Kuttianimattathil, on behalf of SPCSA had requested Fr. P.O. Jose that SPA with LB Anthony as Convener of the South Asian Formation Commission and Director of DBYP prepare a PROGRAMME OF FORMATION
AND CURRICULUM OF FORMATION with regard to formation to Affective
Maturity. He suggested that we bring out a book on “Formation to Affective Maturity” with a chapter specifically on „Salesian Formation”.
Godfrey spoke of the programme that he had for Rectors taken from “After the Fall”. We could have as an ntroduction for the wole programme, “A Model of Healthy
Sexuality” taken from the same source. Training in sexuality is to be composite: personal, relational, behavioural, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. If we are unhealthy in one area, we will be unhealthy in other areas as well.
L.B Anthony intervened to propose a scheme where every stage of formation is to be covered. He also spoke of the efforts to made upto this point and expected that with this effort the process would take a definite shape as well as closure.
Thomas Pallithanam brought in the sociological dimension and the gender question. The issues of patriarch and feminism should find expression in our treatment.
Others spoke of introducing a chapter on married life and the sacrament of matrimony.
There was need to specify or list out the various things to be done at each stage of
formation. There should also be formats and structures for each stage of formation.
(Mannath and TC Joseph).
Joe also suggested a format for each chapter.
Other issues that came up were:
? Bilogical and psychosexual blocks in a person‟s growth to maturity.
? Mismatching of personal development and formation programme. Thus
achievement stage of young adulthood is still a by and large restricted formation
stage. There is a danger of reverting to adolescent behaviour in such situations. ? Formation process should not be mechanical. Formees come from different
backgrounds and different levels of development. These have to be taken into
? Formators sometimes do nt ift into the task or are not doing it. ? The experience of one‟s own sexuality ove the life span is to be explored, beyond
the physical, emotional or spiritual, such as understanding and experiencing
? Another aspect that need to be addressed is „anxiety‟, even „fear‟.
? Discourse on sexuality is an area that needs lot of attention. This would include
learning / generating the methodology to initiate discussion on sexual matters for
counselling, guidance and spiritual direction.
At this point PO Jose made some clarifcations:
? We need to make the text definite. So what is the content of the chapters.
Wheteher we cn share chapters and so on.
? These would be useful for major seminaries too.
? At this point there was a proposal to focus on psycho-sexual and not go into
psychological andn imotional maturity. We need to include also the ssue of abuse ? TC Joseph spoke of the situation of sexual abue in the USA. The basic issue is in
the use of „power‟ by the adults concerned mor than their acting on the basis of
their sexual urges. We need to build up capacities in people for proper conduct:
How one is to related to young people, to children, girls, adults -en and women.
Everything boils down to the use of poer.
? It was also suggested that we have a developmental model in the formation to
psycho-sexual maturity, in a progressive manner, convering the various stages of
Thomas Varkey and later TD John pointed out that without proper grounding in the
psychological processes, we cannot seriously address the issues of sexual
development and maturity successfully. This would mean a wholistic formation to
affective and sexual maturity. We could take the case of trust, use and abuse of power,
developmatal stages and so on. Sexuality is to be seen as part of the larger issue of
emotions or affectivity. TC Joseph pointed out that looking at sexual relationships in
terms of power may be new. It I to be remembered that this gives focus to the deeper
issues involved. He also pointed out that we need to distinguish beteen consensual and
fiduciary relationships Apparently the group did not find favour with this approach
through it was agreed that formation to „emotional/affective maturity will be
mentioned in the introductory part or a chapter could deal with it.