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Department ofPsychology

Thomas Plante

Tom Plante
Thomas Plante

The Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor

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

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

Blog 2: SCU Illuminate Thought Leader Blog

Biographical Information

Media Interviews

Scholar Common

TEDx Talk on Myths Regarding Clerical Abuse

APA PyscIQ 2017: Thomas Plante Investigates the Ethical Life

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 (PDF)
PSYC 115: Abnormal Psychology (DOC)
PSYC 116: Advanced Topics in Abnormal Psychology (DOC)
PSYC 117: Health Psychology (DOC)
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

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. (Ed.). (2018). Living Well: Doing the Right Thing for Body, Mind, Spirit, and Communities. New York: Nova Scientific.

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)


Recent Journal Articles

For more complete list see my Thomas Plante CV

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

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

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

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

Plante, T. G. (2019). Spirituality in Clinical Practice: Gratitude, Introductions, and future directions.  Spirituality in Clinical Practice6 (1-4).

Plante, T. G., & McCreadie, A. (2019). The Santa Clara Ethics Questionnaire.  Pastoral Psychology68, 1-9. 

Plante, T. G. (2018).  Spiritual formation and soul care on a college campus: The example of the Ignatian Center at Santa Clara UniversityJournal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, 11, 241-252.

Plante, T. G., Oppezzo, M., Tran, B., & Diaz, L. A.  (2018). Perceived fitness and exercise intensity can predict exercise enjoyment. Journal of Contemporary Athletics12(1), 61-67.

Plante, T. G. (2017). Making APA civil again: The efforts and outcomes of the civility working groupProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice48(6) 401-404.

Plante, T. G. (2017). The 4 Ds: Using Ignatian spirituality in secular psychotherapy and beyond. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 4(1), 74-79.

Plante, T. G., & Pistoresi, S. (2017). A survey of ethics training in undergraduate psychology programs at Jesuit universities, Pastoral Psychology, 66(1), 1-6.

Callister, E. S., & Plante, T. G. (2017). Compassion development in undergraduates: A Catholic college example. Pastoral Psychology, 66 (1), 1-6.

Recent Op-Ed Articles

Curriculum vitae
Curriculum vitae

In the News

February 17, 2020

Tom Plante was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle about the benefits of SCU’s undergraduate core Experiential Learning for Social Justice course. He commented about breaking a habit to The Southside Messenger, and he was quoted about the benefits of group exercise in The Nation.

January 27, 2020

Tom Plante was interviewed by KTVU and FOX 42 News for his advice on how to talk to kids about Kobe Bryant’s death.

December 9, 2019

Tom Plante was quoted in The Associated Press about the struggles Catholic priests have come to face in light of ongoing abuse scandals. The article was picked up by 282 other outlets, including U.S. News & World ReportDaily Mail, and ABC News. He was also quoted in Thrive Global about using a support system to keep on track with personal goals; in Psychology Today about coping with stress through bonding with others; and on The Drew Mariani Show, addressing the psychological influences that may lead to abuse by priests. He was also quoted in about loss of trust in Catholic priests after such scandals. His research was mentioned in The Good Men Project for his findings on the benefits of working out with a partner.