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"Salesian Cognitive Behavior Education: A Psychospiritual Tool for Accompaniment of College Youth in Kerala Towards the Prevention of Anxiety, Depression and Substance Abuse"

Binu Scaria, S.D.B. (India)

Doctorate in Sacred Theology with field of specialization inSpirituality and Pastoral Counselling
Adviser: Fr. Arsenio Lumiqued, Jr., M.S.C., Ph.D.


Salesian Spiritual Accompaniment is a friendly journey with another, in an atmosphere of joy and optimism, enabling the person to listen to God’s communication in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Principles and techniques from contemporary sciences enhance the Salesian pedagogical method of psychospiritual accompaniment or pastoral mentoring. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), the most popular form of psychotherapy today, is an effective method in pastoral counseling for anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The core of CBT is to identify and modify thoughts and beliefs that influence one’s feelings and behavior.

This research is a contextual study on the psycho-spiritual accompaniment of college youth in Kerala in the face of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The qualitative study finds that these problems are clearly prevalent and that there are some existing practices like mentoring, counseling, and spiritual direction to address them. The research culminates in the formulation of an education program to create awareness among the youth and to guide those with problems to seek professional help.

Enshrined in a Salesian pattern with structured learning experiences and group experience, the Salesian Cognitive Education program (SCOBE) is a module for training young people to set goals in life by identifying and evaluating their thoughts and beliefs. This would provide a renewed model for psychospiritual accompaniment with an enhanced pedagogy of happiness and self-confidence for the youth of today.

Final Defense:

Date of Defense:18 May 2021 (Tuesday)

Board of Examiners: Fr. Teodulo Gonzales, S.J., Ph.D.(Principal Examiner), Myrna Joyce Sanchez, Ph.D. and Fr. Jordan Orbe, S.J., Psy.D.

Proposal Defense:

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Loyola School of Theology