Skip to main content
Department ofPsychology

Thomas Plante

Thomas Plante

The Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Professor of Psychology and by courtesy, Religious Studies as well as Emeritus Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Editor, Spirituality in Clinical Practice

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 directs the Applied Spirituality Institute. He is a scholar in residence of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the largest applied ethics center in the world. Additionally, he is an emeritus adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. He currently serves as editor of the APA journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice. He is an APA fellow (in Divisions 12, 36, 38, 46, and 47) and served on APA’s Council of Representatives (2016-21). He has published 29 books including Living Ethically in an Unethical World (2024), Spiritually Informed Therapy (2024), Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012 (2011), and Contemporary Clinical Psychology, Fourth Edition (2022). He has published over 250 journal articles and book chapters, writes and maintains a private clinical practice as a licensed psychologist in Menlo Park, CA. He has been frequently featured in most major national and international media outlets. Time Magazine featured him in 2005 and referred to him in a 2002 cover story about clerical abuse as one of “three leading American Catholics.” He 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 other child protection Church review boards. He received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Brown University, an MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and completed his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and health psychology at Yale University.

Blog 1: Psychology Today Blog: "Do the Right Thing: Spirit, Science & Health"

Blog 2: SCU Illuminate Thought Leader Blog

Scholar Common

TEDx Talk on Myths Regarding Clerical Abuse

Living Ethically in an Unethical World

Educational Background

ScB Psychology 1982, Brown University
MA Clinical Psychology 1983, University of Kansas
PhD Clinical Psychology, 1987, University of Kansas
Postdoctoral Fellowship and Clinical Internship, 1986-88, Yale University


PSYC 2: General Psychology II (DOC)
PSYC 114: Ethics in Psychology (DOC)
PSYC 115EL: Psychopathology (PDF)
PSYC 116: Advanced Topics in Psychopathology (PDF)
PSYC 117: Health Psychology (DOC)
PSYC 117EL: Health Psychology (PDF)
PSYC 118: Advanced Topics in Health Psychology (DOC)
PSYC 193: Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (DOC)

  • Psychology, religion, and health outcomes
  • Sex offending clergy
  • Psychological screening of Catholic and Episcopal clergy applicants
  • Professional and personal ethics
  • Psychological benefits of physical exercise
Books Published
Health Behavior Change cover

Human Interaction with the Divine, the Sacred, and the Deceased: Psychological, Scientific, and Theological Perspectives book cover
Plante, T. G. & Schwartz, G. E. (Eds.). (2021). Human Interaction with the Divine, the Sacred, and the Deceased: Psychological, Scientific, and Theological PerspectivesNew York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Contemporary Clinical Psychology

Plante, T. G. (2021). Contemporary Clinical Psychology, Fourth Edition. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-0-470-58739-3.

Healing with Spiritual Practices
Plante, T. G. (Ed.). (2018). Healing with Spiritual Practices: Proven Techniques for Disorders from Addictions and Anxiety to Cancer and Chronic Pain Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO. ISBN: 978-1-4408-6069-0.

Living Well by Thomas Plante book cover

Plante, T. G., & Plante, L. G. (2017). Graduating with Honor: Best Practices to Promote Ethics Formation in College Students. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.

Plante, T. G., & McChesney, K. (Eds.). (2011). Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.

Plante, T. G. (Ed.). (2012). Religion, Spirituality, and Positive Psychology: Understanding the Psychological Fruits of Faith. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.

Plante, T. G. (Ed). (2010). Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.

Plante, T. G. (2009). Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Plante, T. G. & Thoresen, C. E. (2007). Spirit, Science, and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels Physical Wellness. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.

Plante, T.G. (Ed). (2006). Mental Disorders of the New Millennium. Vol. I: Behavioral Issues, Vol. II: Public and Social Problems, Vol. III: Biology and Function. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.

Plante, T.G. (2004). Do the Right Thing: Living Ethical in an Unethical World. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Plante, T. G. (Ed). (2004). Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.

Faith and Health book cover
Plante, T. G., & Sherman, A. S. (Eds.)(2001). Faith and Health: Psychological Perspectives. New York: Guilford.

Getting Together, Staying Together book cover
Plante, T. G. & Sullivan, K. (2000). Getting Together, Staying Together: The Stanford University Course on Intimacy. Bloomington, IN: FirstBooks.

Related Links

Applied Spirituality Institute

Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire (Word)

Most Recent Publications
For a more complete list see my Tom Plante CV

Plante, T. G. (2024). What professional psychotherapy practice can learn from the Jesuits: Introducing Ignatian spirituality informed therapy (I-SIT). Spirituality in Clinical Practice.

Plante, T. G. (2024). Spirituality, religion, health, and professional psychology. In L. Miller (Ed.), Oxford handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality, second edition, pp. 559-594. New York: Oxford University Press.

Buenrostro, C. M., & Plante, T. G. (2024). A clinical trial of the Examen and mindfulness within a secular substance use disorder treatment program. The Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 1–20. 

Plante, T. G. (2023). Ethical considerations in working with Roman Catholic seminarians and men and women in religious formation. Integratus: The Journal of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association, 1(4), 293-303.

Plante, T., & Peng, E. (2023). Use of the MMPI-3 with Catholic and Episcopal seminary and religious life applicants. Pastoral Psychology

Rader, C., & Plante, T. G. (2023). Potential benefits of the Examen for psychological health and well-being: A pilot study. Pastoral Psychology

Eros, A., & Plante. T. G. (2023). The effects of centering prayer on well-being in a sample of undergraduate students: A pilot study. Pastoral Psychology.

Plante, T. G. (2023). Confronting religious and spiritual discrimination in clinical and professional practice, Spirituality in Clinical Practice.

Plante, T. G. (2023). What is Catholic psychotherapy and how should it move forward? Integratus: The Journal of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association, 1(1), 7-17 (invited lead paper).

Plante, T. G., Schwartz, G. E., Exline, J. Park, C., Paloutzian, R. F., Seitz, R. J., & Angel, H. F. (2023). Human interaction with the divine, the sacred, and the deceased: Topics that warrant increased attention by psychologistsCurrent Psychology.

Plante, T. G. (2022). Principles for managing burnout among Catholic Church professionals, Pastoral Psychology.

Plante, T. G. (2022). Minding the gap: Spirituality in clinical practice during increased secularization and mental health needs, Spirituality in Clinical Practice.

Plante, T. G. (2022). Five spiritually based tools for clinical practice during challenging, stressful, and apocalyptic Times. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 9(4), 272-277.

Plante, T. G. (2022). Religion has a public relations problem: Integrating evidence-based thinking into clinical practiceSpirituality in Clinical Practice.

Plante, T. G. (2022). Four lessons learned from 1,000 psychological evaluations of clerics and clerical applicants in the Roman Catholic and Episcopalian ChurchesSpirituality in Clinical Practice, 9(2), 140-143.

Plante, T. G. (2021). Using the Examen, a Jesuit prayer, in spiritually integrated and secular psychotherapy, Pastoral Psychology 71, 119–125.

Plante, T. G. (2021). Four positive lessons learned during the 2020-2021 COVID-19 global pandemic: Implications for spirituality in clinical practiceSpirituality in Clinical Practice, 8(4), 262-267.

Plante, T. G. (2021). The integration of Roman Catholic traditions and evidence-based psychological services. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 8(1), 65-75.

Plante, T. G. (2020). Clergy sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church: Dispelling eleven myths and separating facts from fiction. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 7(4), 220–229.

Plante, T. G. (2020). A review of spiritual development and transformation among college students from Jesuit higher education. Religions, 11(7), 333.

Plante, T. G. (2020). Clericalism contributes to religious, spiritual, and behavioral struggles among Catholic priests, Religions,11(5), 217.

Plante, T. G. (2020). St. Ignatius as psychotherapist? How Jesuit spirituality and wisdom can enhance psychotherapy. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 7(1), 65-71.

Recent Op-Ed Articles
In the News

February 28, 2024

Thomas Plante discusses the challenges faced by today’s Catholic seminarians with the release of Trinity’s Triumph, a film written by New Jersey priest, which aims to humanizes Catholic clergy. Religion News Service. Also in National Catholic ReporterAmerica Magazine, and Church Leaders.

February 16, 2024

Thomas Plante was interviewed by Fox 2 News on the mental toll of mass shootings after the shooting during the Kansas City Chiefs Superbowl celebration.

February 16, 2024

Thomas Plante was quoted in the  USA Today article, "Me first! How passengers are cheating their way onto the plane faster."