Therese Ragen, PHD, Co-Founder
Therese Ragen, Ph.D., is faculty at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She has published several articles on themes that involve engagement of the psychoanalysts’ or psychotherapists’ emotional and spiritual inner world, while doing psychoanalysis. Her book, The Consulting Room and Beyond: Psychoanalytic Work and Its Reverberations in the Analyst’s Life was published by Routledge in 2009
"My spiritual life lies at the core of who I am. The spiritual teachers who have most influenced me are the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic mystics, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Teilhard de Chardin, and the Sufi imam, Pir Vilyat Khan. I like to think of myself as ‘a free lance monotheist’ a term coined by the theologian Karen Armstrong.
For many years I hungered to discover, explore, and express the spiritual within psychoanalysis. I found a few psychoanalysts with varying paths and traditions, who were already immersed in their own spiritual development. I approached Sara Weber, and James Ogilvie and we began to meet monthly. As I had hoped, while coming from different spiritual paths, we spoke the same underlying ‘language’. We were eager to learn each others’ ‘dialects’. A few years later, Sara was asked by NYU to develop and lead the Contemplative Studies Project. Sue Shapiro joined us and the four of us became co-founders of The Contemplative and Psychoanalytic Studies.
I have been teaching a course in Contemplative/Clinical Writing for the past few years in the Contemplative Studies Project. Its goal is to help analysts and therapists write about their work with patients from a contemplative place—from the place of Self, Inner Voice, Spirit Voice, Mystery, the still small voice within, or from a consciousness in the heart where God dwells. There are many different ways people name this reality and experience it, but the writing that flows out of participants is astonishing. I am thrilled with the creation of the Contemplative Studies Project and with the work it has been doing since its inception. It is a group of people who nurture psyche and spirit coming together. It is alive!"