LukeNotes Archive


The most recent issue of LukeNotes is here. Please contact us if you are looking for a prior edition that is not posted here (note: LukeNotes was on hiatus in 2014).


We also invite you to read Connections, which offers practical tips for healthy life and ministry.


Vol. 3: Gratitude as a Daily Practice

Gratitude, integral to our Christian faith, is also a critical factor in ongoing health and well-being. Practicing gratitude is strongly correlated with an increased sense of personal happiness, decreased anxiety and depression, and beneficial changes in brain chemistry.

Vol. 2: Support When It's Needed Most

Successful recovery involves simple, daily decisions that will continue to lead a person toward or away from health. Learn what it means to be a member of a support team for a priest or religious who completes residential treatment and is returning home.

Vol. 1: Changing Times
Founded in 1977, Saint Luke Institute began as a small outpatient alcohol treatment center for clergy and religious. Since then the approach has shifted from a focus on addiction recovery to a clinical psychiatric model encompassing a wide range of mental health problems. This year marks our 40th anniversary as an international leader in providing expert, compassionate mental health care for priests and religious.


Vol. 3: Is it ADHD?

It has become common to hear people self-diagnose that they have ADHD, but do they? A number of moods and behaviors can mimic ADHD and the wrong diagnosis can mean the wrong treatment. Learn ten criteria we use to help determine if someone has ADHD.

Vol. 2: Cultural Identity and International Ministers

Successful ministry in our diverse Church environment calls for acculturation – adaptation to a new culture through the adoption of values and customs while retaining elements of one’s own culture. Individuals who struggle with this ... may be at risk for developing depression and anxiety, and their new communities may be impacted. Learn more about cultural identity and strategies that work.

Vol. 1: Diagnosing Adult Autism

The effects of autism on adults can be broad and at times limiting as they typically face challenges in three core areas: communication, social interaction and repetitiveness. These adults may also have depression, ADHD or medical conditions such as epilepsy and may have been misdiagnosed in the past.


Vol. 3: Depression or Dementia?

It can be difficult to determine if certain behavior changes that occur as someone ages are due to depression or dementia since the two conditions share a number of symptoms. Neuropsychological assessment helps identify the cause of behavior change so a person can get the right treatment.

Vol. 2: Why Six Months: Choosing the Right Treatment

Why do two people with the same issue, such as depression or alcohol abuse, end up with different treatment recommendations? Learn how therapists make their recommendations, then meet "Sr. Patty" as she gains new insights into her challenges and how to address them successfully.

Vol. 1: Relapse Recovery

Relapses are not uncommon in addiction recovery. Successful treatment focuses on identifying what happened, why the process of recovery failed and then adjusting a person’s skills and knowledge to the situation, not unlike the treatment of any chronic disease.


Vol. 2: Risk Assessments & Safety Plans

A risk assessment that includes actuarially-based indicators as well as clinical judgment provides important information on the risk of re-offending.

Vol. 1: Intervention 101

Every intervention is different because every person and situation is different. Learn how to manage an intervention successfully, including planning, messaging and following-through.


Vol. 4: Better Service through Good Self-Care

Finding a healthy balance between service to others and self-care can be daunting, yet not doing so can affect one's life, work and relationships. Learn how to care for yourself and thereby better give to others.

Vol. 3: Recognizing Chronic Mild Depression

We see a lot of advertisements for medication to address depression, but this is major depression. A person with persistent depressive disorder, or chronic mild depression, often struggles inside while seeming to function well in work or ministry.

Vol. 2: Good Boundaries

"Good fences make good neighbors," as Robert Frost once said. Similarly, good boundaries make good relationships. Learn about the challenges to establishing good boundaries and strategies to help you develop more effective boundaries for ministry.

Vol. 1: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Being organized, controlling one’s impulses and striving to do one’s best are positive personality characteristics that can contribute to success. Taken to the extreme, though, they can have adverse consequences. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is characterized by high degrees of orderliness, perfectionism and control.


Vol. 4: Childhood Trauma and Women Religious

Defenses developed in response to childhood trauma can become default behaviors and can get played out in community life. Learn the signs and effective treatment for childhood trauma affecting women religious. 

Vol. 3: Strength-Based Ministry

Focusing on our strengths in life and ministry, rather than our weaknesses, has been shown to promote greater well-being and life satisfaction

Vol. 2: Incomplete Grief

A major loss that has not been sufficiently processed can become the catalyst for addictive behaviors

Vol. 1: Trauma: Recognizing and Treating It

What happens when experiences overwhelm our coping ability and what can be done?


Vol. 3: Cybersex Compulsion

Realities, risks and treatment for compulsive Internet pornography use

Vol. 2: Mind-Body Connection

Awareness of one's physical body and sensations is an integral part of psychological well-being. Rather than seeing the body as irrelevant or the enemy, clients are encouraged to see the body as a tremendous resource for self-understanding and emotional regulation.

Vol. 1: Mapping Out Changes

When we attempt to change a behavior, we step into uncharted territory. Understanding the dynamics of change can help us journey from self-sabotaging patterns to healthier behaviors.


Vol. 4: Anything but Group Therapy!

Group therapy may be recommended to address interpersonal or personality issues, shame, deeply buried feelings, or abuse and/or neglect in childhood. It fosters authentic communication, better relationships and self-discovery.

Vol. 3: Neuroplasticity: The Brain’s Ability to Change Itself

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to reorganize itself, forming new connections and pathways in response to neurological damage, learning new skills, or creating new memories.

Vol. 2: Benefits and Challenges of 12-Step Work

Twelve-step group work provides rewards and benefits for priests and religious. How an individual learns to ask for and accept help can be a good predictor for success.

Vol. 1: Understanding Effective Change

When we are unable to make the sustained effort required to change our behavior, we become discouraged and give up, often telling ourselves that we have failed and are unable to change. Learning how to achieve small goals creates a sense of accomplishment and confidence that motivates one to continue.


Vol. 4: Collaboration: Co-Laboring in Challenging Times

Fostering certain attitudes help build collaborative relating. Individuals must know how to balance presenting one’s views (advocacy) and how to search out the perspectives and knowledge of others (inquiry).

Vol. 3: Change: It Is About Doing and Not Doing

The advent of positive psychology has established the benefit of human goods: relatedness, knowledge, healthy living, creativity, excellence in work and play, inner peace, excellence in self-agency, spirituality and happiness. Learn how to develop positive, healthy approaches for achieving these goals in doable steps.

Vol. 2: Antisocial Personality Disorder or Traits

An overview of the difference between traits that may be attributed to anti-social behavior and full-fledged anti-social personality disorder, including the underlying possible causes that may contribute to onset.

Vol. 1: Perfectionists: Ship-Shape but Miserable

This issue provides overview of perfectionism, including predominant types and its correlation with other mental disorders; how this may be manifested in the lives of clergy and religious; and cognitive therapy techniques to help lessen perfectionist tendencies.


Vol. 5: Embrace Change for Fitness

A little change in one’s exercise routine can recharge and accelerate progress. The great thing about change is that it doesn’t have to be very big to have a big impact. In fact, often making too big a change can be counterproductive to physical fitness goals.

Vol. 4: Weathering Transitions in Religious Life

An overview of the changes experienced by religious communities, particularly aging members, as vocations decline and communities merge. Understand the stresses this may cause as well as the opportunities for growth and the need for managing personal and community health.

Vol. 3: Hope on the Path to Healing

There are significant benefits of hope for the healing journey. Hope as a tool for psychological and spiritual wholeness is discussed, and practical tools for building it into one’s life and healing process.

Vol. 2: Psychodrama: the Benefits of Undoing Old Roles

An overview of psychodrama, including its purpose and positive benefits to patients as they internalize the roles that they often take on in interpersonal relationships, particularly supervisory relationships. New ways of thinking and understanding roles are discussed as a means to avoid the drama in relationships.

Vol. 1: Make Some Resolutions to Your Resolutions

An overview of the benefits of fitness, obstacles to integrating it into one’s daily life and workable tools to integrate exercise into one’s life.


Vol. 4: Healthy Formation for Seminarians

Common issues that should be addressed during a seminarian’s formation, the challenge of deep-seated problems that may be intractable and difficult to address after ordination, and recommendations on working better with seminarians for a healthy formation process.

Vol. 3: Holy Narcissism

Learn about narcissism and self-love, and the differences, including the causes, unhealthy ramifications of narcissism and benefits of a healthy self-image.

Vol. 2: Chronic Pain and Depression

An overview of the symptoms and physiology, how chronic pain can be a lifelong debilitating illness, the similarities with depression symptoms and treatment options.

Vol. 1: Will I Get Better in Treatment?

A look at the misconceptions surrounding psychotherapy and in-patient treatment programs, as well as the benefits. Includes a candid overview of the typical success rates for various common illnesses (alcoholism, eating disorders, etc.), treatment options and managing expectations for defining success.


Vol. 5: Lessons Learned from a Marathon

Training for and running a marathon is similar to the 12-step recovery process. The 12 promises of the freedom of a happy life require one to face one’s fears and emotions, building a support system, facing one’s setbacks and challenges and moving forward.

Vol. 4: Timeshifting

An examination of the benefits of timeshifting – the capacity to consciously shift our rhythms and its benefits to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives.  By increasing awareness of the moments during our day, we will be able to enjoy the rich journey of life.

Vol. 3: Fitness: A Whole Body Approach

An overview of how a fitness program should have variety and a mix of different exercise options that focus on cardio, muscula, and skeletal health. There are benefits of classes such as yoga and pilates where you may not break a sweat, but still gain many physiological benefits.

Vol. 2: Art Therapy and Healing

The benefits of art psychotherapy and how to incorporate this therapy into treatment programs: overview of the group therapy setting, how it is utilized to explore feelings and experiences from one’s past and the benefits of accessing and expressing one’s feelings.

Vol. 1: Understanding and Treating Psychoses and Schizophrenia

Understanding delusions, hallucinations and psychotic episodes are part of the basis for understanding schizophrenia. This typically has its onset in early adulthood and is believed to have a genetic correlation. Learn diagnosis and treatment options including medication, group and individual therapy and other specialists to help equip one to adjust and ultimately benefit.


Vol. 5: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults

A clinical explanation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults including prevalence and symptoms, which often go undetected into adulthood. Causes, impact and treatment options of ADHD are outlined, which include medication, psychotherapy and cognitive therapy.

Vol. 4: Mindfulness: Living with the Lights on

Explore practicing mindfulness as a means to improve one’s quality of life and techniques for achieving mindfulness. These include formal and informal meditation. The resulting benefits include increased awareness of thoughts and feelings, acceptance of the ways things are, and greater compassion towards one’s self and others.

Vol. 3: Busyness and Its Unintended Consequences

Our culture esteems busyness, but it can have detrimental effects on one’s spiritual, emotional and even physical life. Explanations of the possible underlying reasons for busyness as well as basic, easy treatment options are discussed. Letting go of unrealistic expectations, restoring a spiritual life balance, and balancing work and play are all discussed.

Vol. 2: Understanding and Treating Bipolar Disorder

An overview of bipolar disorder or manic-depression, including an explanation of the manic and depressive characteristics of this illness and how it is often misdiagnosed, as well as treatment options and how they often are integrated together.

Vol. 1: Spontaneity and Health

An overview of how spontaneity, positively modeled, allows one to adjust to situations, events, people, or circumstances that may prove stressful. Characteristics of positive spontaneity including consistency, connection, compensation, creativity and contemporaniety are examined in this article.