Online program offers resources to find peace and connect with God.
Bottaro spent four years discerning a vocation with the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, and then went on to study at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (now Divine Mercy University), a graduate school that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with empirically validated psychology. He earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and in 2012 founded the CatholicPsych Institute, which seeks to connect Catholics around the world with therapists trained to integrate the faith with psychological practice.
In his years of private practice, Bottaro has noticed some psychological issues common among Catholics.
“I’ve found that there’s an underlying difficulty that most people face,” he said. “There’s a disintegration between the spiritual life and psychological health and wellbeing.” Bottaro says too many people think they can work their way into peace and connection with God.
“There are all these people who seem to be doing all the right things, trying to pray more, read more,” he said, “but they still feel this underlying anxiety about life.”
It’s time, he said, to “connect the dots between faith life and emotional life.”
Six months ago, Bottaro began thinking and praying about a way to help more people find the peace and fulfillment their lives were missing. An idea began to take shape.
“What if we could start from a totally blank slate, given where we are today and the resources we have available?,” he asked. “How could we use technology in a helpful way and tap into social psychology?”
The result was a beautifully designed online program called Integrate Life, which uses the strength of community, coaching, and content all together to help people actually grow in their humanity.
Sign-ups for the program are open until October 8. The program offers users tools such as coaching by trained therapists from the CatholicPsych institute, a private podcast available only to members, and access to support groups within the Integrate Life community.
The program is designed specifically for Catholics, of all ages; or as Bottaro said, “anyone who is authentically seeking a relationship with God through the Catholic faith.” And the goals and mission of program users will be unique to each one of them.
“Anything people want to work on in their life, they can work on here,” he said, “whether spiritual, psychological, financial, relationship-related, or simply how to find more peace and joy in your life this month.”
The hope is that this program will have an impact that’s not just practical but eternal: “Seeking to understand God in human terms is the point of the Incarnation,” he said, “and the only path to holiness in this world.” The Integrate Life program offers a revolutionary approach for Catholics to harness the power of 21st-century social technology in pursuit of personal holiness.
To find out more, visit the Integrate Life website.
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