DIRECTOR OF SPIRITUAL CARE
Rev. Dan Thompson, MA
As a secular non-profit organization, we support and advocate for spiritual support and exploration during substance-use disorder treatment. Under our professional therapeutic care, we introduce our clients into a treatment process that will address the emotional, physical, mental, social and spiritual experiences of our humanness.
At Harbor Hall Residential: Since 2011, Rev. Dan has served as Director of Spiritual Care for residential clients. He is an active member of our clinical team, providing insights for the staff on the clients spiritual progress. All clients complete an intake questionnaire and meet with Rev. Dan individually throughout their treatment to complete portions of their Master Treatment Plan. Clients will also attend weekly lectures on the concept of Recovery Spirituality. Rev. Dan also developed a 12 Step Workbook that is currently provided to clients as an additional tool to further support their recovery. You may download an AA version 12 Step worksheet below:
Philosophy: Our understanding of spirituality is not defined by a religious ideology, although clients are welcomed to embrace their religious heritage. Through our weekly spiritual lectures or individual spiritual guidance, clients will learn about the relationship and difference between religion (the way we relate outwardly) and spirituality (the way we relate inwardly). Spiritually, we examine how behaviors (the way we act and react) reflects a spiritual condition within our human nature. This ultimately affects how we connect to self, others, nature and God or a Higher Power. We identify with the quote: “we are spiritual people experiencing humanness”. Therefore, we investigate how human beliefs, values, expectations and attitudes reflects the nature of our inward spiritual nature. Therefore, as clients explore spiritual ideas of faith, belief or even religion, the potential for behavioral change (or as we also call “Shift” or “Awakening”) increases. Our clients refer to our Spiritual-Behavioral Philosophy and Spiritual Progress Chart as they work the 12 Steps, complete their master treatment plan, and deepen their understanding of a Higher Power, God, Spirituality and Religion. Click these links to see these diagrams:
Why Spirituality? “We are all spiritual people experiencing humanness”. At our Residential treatment facility, we have observed that clients report resentments, assumptions, suspicions and contempt towards God, the concept of Higher Power, religion, and spirituality. While we are not a faith-based organization, the support and guidance surrounding the concept and contempt of spirituality has remained a highlight of the overall client experience in our treatment program.
- “Spirituality is not a theory, we have to live it.” (pg 83)
- “My physical being has certainly undergone a transformation, but the major transformation has been spiritual.” (475).
Spirituality VS Psychological Health: The relationship between spirituality and mental/behavioral health has been the focus of growing interest and research over the last decade. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association funded the most prominent clinicians and researchers to explore the philosophical issues at stake in the diagnosis of spiritual or psychological/psychiatric conditions. Those clinicians involved in this research made numerous proposals to updating the DSM-IV, in addition to the V Code for a Spiritual or Religious Problem in the DSM-IV. Click here for this research.
Excerpt: “Psychiatric diagnosing requires thorough scrutiny of the major domains that have shaped or might have shaped someone’s life, such as upbringing, social conditions, educational experiences, relational development, and, last but not least, religiosity, or in more general terms, an individuals spiritual outlook on life. Concerning the latter domain, the question should be posed whether it has developed at all, and if so, what its salience is and to what extent it may have contributed to someone’s personhood. Psychiatrists cannot with impunity ignore potentially important sphere’s of life, whatever their private convictions might be.” – Gerrit Glas, M.D, Ph.D Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry, Leiden University Medical Centre
Excerpt: “Spiritual development is a psychological process, not an intellectual set of religious dogmas to be imposed or judged by authority figures. Recognition of the psychological nature of spirituality as a cognitive process is important to respect the freedom of all people to understand and follow their own minds and souls.” – C.R. Cloninger, M.D. Wallace Renard Professor of Psychiatry, Genetics, and Psychology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Missouri
Our Hope: “To watch the eyes of men and women open with wonder as they move from darkness into light, to see their lives quickly fill with new purpose and meaning, to see whole families reassembled, to see the alcoholic outcast received back into his community in full citizenship, and above all to watch these people awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives.” (12 Steps & 12 Traditions, pg 110)
Bio: Dan was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He is married to Christy and is father to their three children, Kaia, Levi and Bryce. He has lived in northern Michigan since 2002.
- Education: Taylor University (BA), Trinity Theological Seminary (MA), Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE Unit 1) at Pine Rest Treatment Center (Grand Rapids, MI).
- Career: Youth Pastor (2002-2004), Behavioral Health & Hospital Chaplain (2006-2012). Harbor Hall Residential Spiritual Director (2011–).
- Affiliations: National Association of Spiritual Care Addiction Treatment Professionals
- Ordained Pastor at Petoskey Church of Christ
National Recognition: Rev. Dan is currently involved on the steering committee of the National Association of Spiritual Care Addiction Treatment Professionals, and has traveled nationally to speak as a Topic Session Speaker and Keynote Speaker at the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. A recent article in Addiction Professional was written following his involvement in a presentation to CEO’s at the 2016 NAATP Annual Conference. He will be speaking at the Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference in Los Angeles California February 5th 2017.