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Thomas G. Plante Ph.D., ABPP


Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP is the Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor, professor of psychology, and by courtesy, religious studies, at Santa Clara University and adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has served as psychology department chair, acting dean of the school of education, counseling psychology, and pastoral ministries, and director of the applied spirituality institute at Santa Clara University. He is editor of the American Psychological Association's professional journal , Spirituality in Clinical Practice. He recently served as vice-chair of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is past-president of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Division 36) of the American Psychological Association (APA). He serves on the Council of Representatives of the APA (representing Division 36), serves on the APA Council Leadership Team (CLT), and has been chair of the APA working group on civility. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and received his ScB degree in psychology from Brown University, his M.A. and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and health psychology from Yale University. Prior to coming to Santa Clara in 1994, he was a staff psychologist and on the clinical faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of mental health services at the Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto, California.

He has published 23 books including Living Well: Doing the Right Thing for Body, Mind, Spirit, and Communities (2018, Nova Scientific), Healing with Spiritual Practices: Proven Techniques for Disorders from Addictions and Anxiety to Cancer and Chronic Pain (2018, Praeger/ABC-CLIO), Graduating with Honor: Best Practices to Promote Ethics Development in College Students (2017, Praeger/ABC-CLIO), The Psychology of Compassion and Cruelty: Understanding the Emotional, Spiritual, and Religious Influences (2015, Praeger/ABC-CLIO), Abnormal Psychology across the Ages (Vols. I, II, and III, 2013, Praeger/ABC-CLIO), Religion, Spirituality, and Positive Psychology: Understanding the Psychological Fruits of Faith (2012, Praeger/ABC-CLIO, Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012 (2011, Praeger/ABC-CLIO), Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health (2009, American Psychological Association), Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church (2004, Praeger), Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned: Perspectives on Sexual Abuse Committed by Roman Catholic Priests (1999, Praeger), Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives (2001, Guilford), Do the Right Thing:Living Ethically in an Unethical World (2004, New Harbinger), Contemporary Clinical Psychology (1999, 2005, 2011, Wiley), Mental Disorders of the New Millennium (Vols. I, II, and III, 2006, Praeger), Spirit, Science and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness (2007, Praeger), and Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health (2010, Praeger) as well as published over 200 scholarly professional journal articles and book chapters.

His area of clinical and research interest focuses on stress and coping, the influence of aerobic exercise and perceived fitness on psychological functioning, faith and health outcomes, psychological issues among Catholic clergy and laypersons, and ethical decision making. He has been featured in numerous media outlets including Time Magazine, CNN, NBC Nightly News, the PBS News Hour, New York Times, USA Today, British Broadcasting Company, National Public Radio, among many others. He has evaluated or treated about 1,000 priests and applicants to the priesthood and diaconate and has served as a consultant for a number of Church dioceses and religious orders. Time Magazine referred to him (April 1, 2002) as one of “three leading (American) Catholics.” He maintains a private practice in Menlo Park, CA where he lives with his wife, Lori (also a psychologist). His son, Zach, recently graduated from Dartmouth College and was a varsity track athlete there who currently works at the US Geological Survey and at Stanford University. His hobbies include running and managing a small home vineyard where he and his family grow syrah grapes for wine making under the TLZ Plante Family Vineyard label.

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