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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

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 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 25 books including Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health, Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: A Decade of Crisis, 2002-2012, and Contemporary Clinical Psychology. He has published over 230 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 (DOC)
PSYC 117: Health Psychology (DOC)
PSYC 117EL: 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

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. (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 a more complete list see my Tom Plante CV

Plante, T. G. What is Catholic psychotherapy and how should it move forward? Invited paper, under review.

Plante, T. G., Schwartz, G. E., Exline, J. Park, C., Paloutzian, R. F., Seitz, R. J., & Angel, H. F. Human interaction with the divine, the sacred, and the deceased: Psychological research offers much, but could offer more, under review. 

Plante, T. G. Minding the gap: Spirituality in clinical practice during increased secularization and mental health needs, Spirituality in Clinical Practice, in press. DOI: 10.1037/scp0000298

Plante, T. G.  (2022). Religion has a public relations problem: Integrating evidence-based thinking into clinical practice. Spirituality in Clinical Practice. DOI: 10.1037/scp0000292

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

Plante, T. G.  (2021). Using the Examen, a Jesuit prayer, in spiritually integrated and secular psychotherapy,  Pastoral Psychology71, 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 servicesSpirituality 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 fictionSpirituality in Clinical Practice, 7(4), 220–229.

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., & 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.

Recent Op-Ed Articles

Curriculum vitae
Curriculum vitae

In the News

August 3, 2022

Tom Plante comments in the The Washington Post article "Have people forgotten how to be good travelers during the pandemic?" on Shelley Hunter's meltdown before a recent flight from Reno, NV, to San Diego. The reason? She had forgotten one of the basic travel requirements: a picture ID. Also in 24hrssports.

August 3, 2022

Tom Plante talks about public schools that are adding mental health staff and “therapeutic support classrooms” to absorb an expected flood of anxious and depressed students returning next month from two years of virtual learning.

July 19, 2022

Tom Plante discusses how scammers often construct rationalizations that allow them to mercilessly carry out their scams, even when it comes at the great personal expense of a victim in Katie Couric Media's article "Why Do They Do It?! We Dive Into the Minds of Scammers."