Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.
— Proverbs 15:18


Integrating the Arts and Sciences of

Human Development and Spiritual Health

Spirituality is about seeing. It’s not about earning or achieving. It’s about relationship rather than results or requirements. . . You don’t need to push the river, because you are in it. The life is lived within us, and we learn how to say yes to that life.
— Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr

As a practice which seeks to engage the full person’s growth, intellectual competence, faithfulness, love, and commitment to life, GPS offers a workshop/retreat program called "Bridges," whose aim is to integrate the principles of human development with spiritual health.  Our target audience is mental health professionals and faith-based leaders who will collaboratively learn and create bridges of understanding and truths between the psychological and spiritual dimensions of personal growth and faith-filled professional and pastoral practices. Our belief is that while psychology and spirituality have different strengths and resources to bring to the project of healing and transformation, the separation between the psychological and the spiritual is a false bifurcation that inhibits rather than facilitates life.  We welcome you to this initiative and hope these workshop/retreat offerings will nourish you personally as well as professionally.

If your church, practice or organization wishes to sponsor one of the workshops listed below, please contact Dr. Dillon at (630) 896-2337 for further information. Below are the initial offerings. Check back as we hope to expand our repertoire of presenters and topics.  Workshops can be tailored to fit the needs at hand. Typically, they will be one or two days, six hours per day.


Relationships Matter

Presenter:  Charlotte Dillon Ph.D., MPS, SEP

From the moment we are born, we continue to be shaped by our involvement in networks of relationships. As we grow older, and progressively come to understand about choice, our personal identity continues to grow from our conscious commitments – especially commitments to people. To be a person means being in relationship.
— Befriending our Desires by Philip Sheldrake

We are created from and for relationship. Our very physiology, social well-being, and the quality of our emotional life is dependent upon attachment relationships.  Our earliest primary attachments shape our sense of self and other, AND all relationships throughout life influence our ability to say "yes" to life.

This workshop is grounded within a Christian theological lens of the Trinity, which represents "God in Community."  Thus, our lives are birthed from the Loving Relationship within the Godhead and for Loving Relationships here on earth.  Our focus will be on teaching and conversation which integrates the sciences of love (Yes, there is a science of love, limited as it may be within the greater mystery of Love.), attachment theory and the neurosciences. 

This workshop is both didactic and experiential.  Participants will learn and explore: 

  • the origins and characteristics of secure and insecure attachment styles

  • the dynamics of one's personal attachments responses

  • how one's attachment style may have informed one's calling and life choices

  • how one may facilitate secure attachment responses with self and others

  • ways in which one's attachment responses get projected into our images of God

  • ways to deconstruct distortions which impede our ability to receive and to give love

  • what kind of attachment style your organization may have and what might be done to transform dysfunctional attachment patterns

We will learn why how we treat one another matters!





St. Francis Xavier Church and Friends

Annual Spring Women’s Retreat

Siena Center

Racine, WI

April 6 - 7, 2019



Loving God, Loving Others, and Ourselves for the Sake of the Kingdom

Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center, Villa Maria, PA

Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth Annual Renewal Event

July 1-5, 2018



2017 Workshops

How We Treat One Another Matters:  

Cultivating mercy and Compassion for the Sake of Others

Loyola University Alumni Lenten Retreat

Lake Shore Campus, McCormick Lounge

March 11, 2017


How We Treat One Another Matters:  

Cultivating mercy and Compassion for the Sake of Others

St. Margaret/Mary Catholic Church

Naperville, IL

April 29, 2017



2016 Workshops

How We Treat One Another Matters:  

Attachment Theory Calls Forth

Healing With Self, Others, and God

Presence Health Chaplain Retreat

Franciscan Sisters' Motherhouse, Frankfort, IL

September 14-15, 2016



Attachment Theory Calls Forth

Healing With Self, Others, and God

Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters

Pre-Novitiate Orientation, Northfield, IL

September 24, 2016



Attachment Theory Calls Forth

Healing With Self, Others, and God 

Chicago Area Spiritual Directors' Fall Conference

Concordia College

November 3, 2016


2015 Presentations


Attachment Theory Informs an Old Message and Today's Calling (retreat format)

The Well Spirituality Center, LaGrange, IL

June 7-9, 2015



Attachment Theory Calls Forth Healing with Self, Others, and God (one day workshop)

The Well Spirituality Center, LaGrange, IL

October 15, 2015



Pathways to Healing Life's Hurts

Presenter:  Charlotte Dillon, Ph.D., MPS, SEP

Because we live in a broken world, suffering is necessarily a part of the human experience of everyone. WE CAN FIND MEANING IN SUFFERING, however, in that as we wake up to the nuances of our pain and come to accept and incorporate the lessons we learn, our times of suffering become sacramental in that we ourselves experience redemptive moments of transformation. In turn, as we encounter others on the journey, we may find ourselves becoming tender bearers of light into places we would have never previously ventured, except that we have suffered and now understand

Truths about Suffering 

NO ONE ESCAPES - If we participate in life, we participate in darkness.  Life is about timeless themes of births, sufferings, change, and transformations.

WE DO NOT SUFFER BECAUSE WE HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG - Sometimes suffering occurs because of choices we make and sometimes difficult things happen just because we live in an imperfect world.

WE HAVE CHOICES IN OUR SUFFERING - We can choose to respond from a place of vulnerability by being radically open and honest, forgiving, allowing connections, doing what is hard, letting go, embracing faith, etc. Alternatively, we can choose to respond maladaptively by being defensive, dishonest, isolating, seeking pleasure only, turning to addictions, placing blame, etc.

Forgiveness is an act of choosing life. True forgiveness literally shifts the architecture of one's soul and requires a radical honesty that engages the whole person: body, mind, and soul. 

In this workshop, participants will learn the following:

  • forgiveness is often a process

  • steps to forgiveness

  • sometimes we need to forgive "reality"

  • the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation

  • what forgiveness does and does not do

  • the cost of unforgiveness

  • steps involved in forgiving oneself

This workshop will entail both teaching as well as an experiential component, in which participants will be given an opportunity to identify areas in their lives which need forgiveness, along with an opportunity to apply, if the participant wishes and is ready, the steps of forgiveness.









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