The Application of the Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person: A Case Study.

13 Jan 2021 12:45 PM | Mary Hanys (Administrator)

The Application of the Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person: A Case Study.
Presented by William J. Nordling PhD, Paul C. Vitz PhD, Craig Steven Titus PhD of Divine Mercy University 

Saturday, April 24th, 9:00am CST.

The presentation uses lecture and case study material to introduce the audience to the Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person and its application to clinical practice (Vitz, Nordling, & Titus, 2020). The Meta-Model provides an enriched vision of the person that is structured by the use of its eleven psychological, philosophical, and theological premises. These premises are the basis for the Meta-Model’s psychologically-based definition of the person:

“From a psychological perspective, the human person is an embodied individual who is intelligent, uses language, and exercises limited free-will. The person is fundamentally interpersonal, experiences and expresses emotions, and has sensory-perceptual-cognitive capacities to be in contact with reality. All of these characteristics are possible because of the unity of the body and unique self-consciousness, and are expressed in behavior and mental life. Furthermore the person is called by human nature to flourishing through virtuous behavior and transcendent growth; through interpersonal commitments to family, friends, and others; and through work, service, and meaningful leisure. From their origins (natural and transcendent), all persons have intrinsic goodness, dignity, and worth. In the course of life, though suffering from many natural, personal, and social disorders and conditions, persons hope for healing, meaning, and flourishing.” (Vitz, Nordling, & Titus, 2020, p. 21)

In its clinical application, the Meta-Model serves as a framework that enlarges the context of traditional case conceptualization (e.g., Sperry & Sperry, 2020) through the use of different levels of understanding the person, including: personal/individual, family and relational, vocational callings, and virtue-based flourishing. The framework also highlights many aspects of dignity and diversity in the case study, such as sex-gender, developmental stage, race and culture, religion/spirituality. 

After introducing the Meta-Model, the presentation demonstrates its application by examining a case study. In doing so, it shows the benefits that the Meta-Model brings to diagnosis, case formulation, and treatment planning.

4 Objectives to be Learned During this Presentation. 

1. Identify the eleven premises of the Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person. 

2. Describe three major benefits that the Meta-Model bring to the psychological sciences and mental health practice.

3. Discuss five important levels of understanding the person that are utilized by the CCMMP framework to ensure the development of an enriched vision of the person, diagnosis, and treatment plan.

4. Identify how respect for dignity and diversity is expressed in the Meta-Model’s approach to case conceptualization, especially through understanding the importance of culture, religion, sex/gender, and developmental stage.

Click Here to Watch a Preview Video of this Presentation 


William Nordling, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, is a professor at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences at Divine Mercy University where for 20 years he has taught coursework in child, marriage and family therapy, and more specifically in the areas of individual and family-based play therapy. Dr. Nordling is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor through the Association for Play Therapy (USA).  He was a founding Board member of the Maryland Association for Play Therapy and also served on the Board of Directors of the national-level Association of Play Therapy (USA) for six years, and was its President in 2010. Dr. Nordling has conducted over 150 multi-day training workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally in the areas of play and Filial therapy.  He has authored a number of publications in these areas including co-authoring the book Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with ChildrenDr. Nordling was a founding board member of the CPA and served as its 3rd President.

Dr. Craig Steven Titus is professor at Divine Mercy University (Sterling, Virginia) and director of the Department of Integrative Studies. His research interests focus on: virtue theory and the psychology of virtue; emotional and moral development; resilience and virtue; and the integration of psychological sciences, philosophy, spirituality, and theology. He published over 60 journal articles, book chapters, and books, for example, in Journal of Positive Psychology; Journal of Psychology and Christianity; Journal of Moral Theology. Most recently, he published the book chapter entitled “Virtue and resilience: Aquinas’s Christian approach to virtue applied to resilience,” in Biblical and theological visions of resilience: Pastoral and clinical insights (Routledge, 2020).

Paul C. Vitz, Ph.D. Senior Scholar and Professor, Institute for the Psychological Sciences, Divine Mercy University; Professor of Psychology Emeritus, New York University.(Ph.D. Stanford University). Dr. Vitz’s work is focused on the integration ofChristian theology, especially Catholic anthropology, with psychology and breaks from secularism and post-modern relativism. This is expressed in his work on the just published Catholic Christian Meta Model of the Person. He also addresses: hatred and forgiveness; the  importance of fathers; psychology of atheism; and the complementarity of men and women. He has published seven books and many articles, videos, Op-Eds, etc.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software