A Gang of Seven

 Pointing the Way


 Two Movements

 Three Sacraments

 Facets of Vital Engagement

 Vital Engagement:
            Life Blood of Trust

 Steps Towards Trust

 Missed Steps

 Unseen Options  

 Justice in Relationships


Douglas W. Schoeninger, PhD

Biography                   Touchstones             Defining Moments              Publications

I spent my childhood in suburban Milwaukee, a middle class neighborhood adjacent to wealth. Thus while by comparison I felt on the lower end of things, actually we were materially quite comfortable. Ninety percent of high school graduates attended college. To not attempt higher education would have meant failure.

At DePauw University I developed a keen interest in psychology and theology and began to forge a view that all must be integrated, psychology, spirituality, science, into practical everyday life. I specifically chose clinical psychology over ordained ministry as the context of career pursuit, graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a PhD and starting my psychology career teaching at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. University teaching proved too ‘removed’ from my interests and longings as I had been in school continuously since age 4. A critical step in career discernment came when a colleague asked me to meet with the Black and White principals of schools in a small North Carolina town to facilitate them in integrating their schools. I asked for mutual respect and direct address and they accomplished their task.

At age 30 I ventured to Philadelphia to join a pastor friend, Dick Broholm, engaged in facilitating Christian men and women committed to walking their faith in their institutions of employment (Metropolitan Associates of Philadelphia, MAP). This approach met my vision of a whole life, faith lived each moment, in all facets of life. When funding for this project waned I reached to Barbara Krasner, then at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute (EPPI) in Family Psychiatry, seeking to reconnect with my passion for family therapy and the healing of relationships. She welcomed me, introduced me to Ivan Nagy (Family Psychiatry Chair), who then hired me. There Barbara and I, along with Margaret Cotroneo, shared our passion for integrating spirituality and psychotherapy and for the healing of relationships. I was privileged to be tutored in Contextual Family Therapy by Ivan, Barbara and Margaret.

Today I practice psychotherapy as a clinical psychologist and President of the Institute for Christian Healing in West Chester, PA. I grew up in the American Baptist Church and joined a Presbyterian congregation in 1972, where I was introduced to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and healing prayer. My private psychotherapy practice integrates spirituality and prayer as healing resources and is focused on the healing of persons and relationships within an intergenerational perspective. I have been blessed with years of collaboration with Kenneth McAll in the field of family tree healing (generational healing) and Russ Parker in applying the insights of generational healing in families to healing wounded history in organizations, communities, institutions and nations. I have been a member of the Association of Christian Therapists (ACT) since 1977, over the years serving as editor of The Journal of Christian Healing, Chair of the Spiritual Life Committee, Chair of the Governance Council, interim Coordinator of Region 3, and President. I currently coordinate the work of the ACT Healing Manual Team, edit The Journal of Christian Healing, and serve as Past-President of ACT. And I continue to be nourished by dialogue with Dick Broholm and with Barbara Krasner and the ‘Gang of Seven’, a Community in Dialogue: Barbara Krasner, Ernie Szoke, Austin Joyce, Polly Ann Brown, Russ Parker and myself.