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Jared Kass

Professor of Counseling and Psychology

Jared Kass

Jared D. Kass, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Division of Counseling and Psychology, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences.  He also serves as a Visiting Scholar with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, MA.  Dr. Kass has taught at Lesley University since 1976.  He is a senior faculty member of the Holistic Studies specialization, where he trains mental health clinicians to practice trauma-informed, culturally-responsive, mind-body behavioral health.

Dr. Kass conducts a prevention-oriented research program that investigates the development of pro-social, health-promoting attitudes and behaviors in emerging adults.  Most recently, he has developed and tested an engaged learning curriculum for higher education.  This curriculum, Know Your Self, mentors undergraduate and entry-level graduate students as they build culturally-inclusive community and psychological resilience through person-centered psychospiritual maturation.  His book, A Person-Centered Approach to Psychospiritual Maturation, will be published by Palgrave MacMillan in Fall 2017.   

Dr. Kass has published many peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters related to his research program and teaching.  He is co-author of a book chapter, with Dr. Sidney Trantham, Perspectives from Clinical Neuroscience: Mindfulness and Therapeutic Use of the Arts

In addition, he is author of the following assessment instruments: 

--The Inventory of Positive Psychological Attitudes (IPPA) measures the resilient worldview, Confidence in Life and Self.  The IPPA is currently used in a college health textbook and many research projects in positive psychology and health psychology.   

--The Index of Core Spiritual Experience (INSPIRIT) measures personally-transformative experiences commonly reported by novice and advanced meditators.  These individuals include secular humanists and participants from diverse spiritual traditions.  The INSPIRIT has been reviewed favorably in many textbooks on the psychology of religion and spirituality.  It has been used internationally in research measuring the effects of contemplative practice on well-being, and has been translated into Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Chinese. 

--The Spirituality and Resilience Assessment Packet (SRA) combines the IPPA and INSPIRIT.  This self-scoring assessment instrument helps individuals determine whether their contemplative experiences are contributing to a more resilient worldview (    

Early in his professional career, Dr. Kass worked closely with Dr. Carl Rogers, as a staff member of the Person-Centered Approach Project.  This project was formative in Dr. Kass’ clinical practice and teaching, which focuses on building a therapeutic alliance through empathic attunement and reflective listening. 

Later, Dr. Kass worked with Dr. Herbert Benson at Beth Israel and New England Deaconess Hospitals, Harvard Medical School, conducting research on spirituality as a resource for resilience.

By integrating Rogers’ methods with multicultural and feminist theory, mind-body cognitive-behavioral approaches, psychodynamic attachment theory, experiential sensorimotor methods, and therapeutic use of the arts, Dr. Kass has helped develop an integrative approach to humanistic psychology that now constitutes a best-practices approach in clinical mental health counseling.      

Dr. Kass has served in many visiting positions.  He has been a Center Associate with the Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug, and Violence Prevention (USDOE).  He was coordinator of the Boston Clergy and Religious Leaders Group for Interfaith Dialogue.  He was a senior scholar in psychology on a panel sponsored by the University of New Mexico that wrote a book published by the American Psychological Association, Judeo-Christian Perspectives on Psychology: Human Nature, Motivation and Change.  In addition, he has been a fellow of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and a visiting scholar with The Episcopal Divinity School (Cambridge, MA) and The Danielsen Institute at Boston University.   

Dr. Kass is an avid hiker, musician, and meditator.  He is also a co-founder of the team sport, Ultimate (1968).  Throughout his life, he and his family have been deeply committed to the integration of body, mind, and spirit as a resource for cultivating communities of health, social justice, and peace.  


Selected Publications

Kass, J. (2017) A person-centered approach to psychospiritual maturation: Mentoring psychological resilience and inclusive community in higher education.  New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Kass, J. and Trantham, S. (2013). Perspectives from Clinical Neuroscience: Mindfulness and Therapeutic Use of the Arts. In, L. Rappaport (Ed.) Mindfulness and the Creative Arts Therapies. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley.

Kass, J. (2007) God images as indwelling spirit and core foundation of self. In, P. Hegy (Ed.) What do we imagine God to be? The function of “God images” in our lives. Lampeter, Wales, UK: Edwin Mellen Press.

Kass, J. & Lennox, S. (2005) Emerging models of spiritual development: A foundation for mature, moral, and health-promoting behavior. In, W. R. Miller & H.D. Delaney (Eds.) Judeo-Christian perspectives on psychology: Human nature, motivation and change. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Kass, J. & Kass, L., (2000). Manual for the Spirituality and Resilience Assessment Packet. Cambridge, MA: Behavioral Health Education Initiative Monograph, Greenhouse Psychotherapy Associates.

Kass, J. (1998). The Inventory of Positive Psychological Attitudes: Measuring attitudes that buffer stress and facilitate primary prevention using constructs responsive to diverse cultural worldviews. In, C. Zalaquett & R. Wood (Ed.) Evaluating stress: A book of resources, Volume 2. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press/University Press of America.

Kass, J. (1995). Contributions of religious experience to psychological and physical well-being: Research evidence and an explanatory model. In, L. VandeCreek (Ed.), Spiritual needs and pastoral services: Readings in research. Decatur, GA: Journal of Pastoral Care Publications.

Kass, J., (1981). Mantalk. Cambridge, MA: Building Urban Community: A Person-Centered Approach Project Monograph, Greenhouse, Inc.

Professional Journals

Kass, J., Baxter, J., Lennox, S. (2015) Mentoring person-centered spiritual maturation: A quasi-experimental, mixed methods study of a contemplative self-inquiry curriculum.  Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 55(4): 474-503.

Kass, J (2015) Person-centered spiritual maturation: A multidimensional model. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 55(1): 53-76.

Aldinger, C., Zhang, X.W., Liu, L.Q., Pan, X.D., Yu, S.H., Jones, J., Kass, J. (2008) Changes in attitudes, knowledge and behavior associated with implementing a comprehensive school health program in a province of China. Health Education Research, doi: 10.1093/her/cyn022

Kass, J. (2007) Spiritual maturation: A developmental resource for resilience, well-being, and peace. Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice, 12 (Summer), 53-64. 

Hoshmand, L., Kass, J. (2003) Conceptual and action frameworks for peace. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 5(4), 205-213.

Kass, J. (1996). Coping with life-threatening illnesses using a logotherapeutic approach, Stage II: Clinical mental health counseling. International Forum for Logotherapy, 19(2), 113-118.

Kass, J. (1996). Coping with life-threatening illnesses using a logotherapeutic approach, Stage I: Health care team interventions. International Forum for Logotherapy, 19(1), 15-19.

Kass, J. (1991). Contributions of religious experience to psychological and physical well-being: The Caregiver (Journal of the College of Chaplains), 8(4), 4-11.

Kass, J., Friedman, R., Leserman, J., Caudill, M., Zuttermeister, P., Benson, H. (l991). An inventory of positive psychological attitudes with potential relevance to health outcomes: Validation and preliminary testing. Behavioral Medicine, Fall, 17(3), 121-129.

Kass, J., Friedman, R., Leserman, J., Zuttermeister, P., Benson, H. (l991). Health outcomes and a new measure of spiritual experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30(2), 203-211.

Kass, J., (1985). The use of person-centered expressive therapies in the health professions. Brennpunkt, Schweizerische Gesellschaft fur Gesprachspsychotherapie und person-zentrierte Beratung, (Switzerland) 24, 20-33.

Rogers, C.R., Bowen, M., Justyn, J., Kass, J., Miller, M., Rogers, N., Wood, J. (1978). Evolving aspects of person-centered workshops. Self and Society (Great Britain), 6(2), 43-49.

Papers (Original Research) at Professional Conferences

Kass, J. (2012) Mentoring Social-Emotional Learning in Higher Education: A Contemplative Self-Inquiry Curriculum. International Symposia for Contemplative Studies. Denver, CO. (April 26-29, 2012)

Kass, J. (2009) Evaluation of a contemplative psychosocial learning curriculum for higher education: Mentoring spiritual maturation and multifaith community. Hawaii International Conference on the Social Sciences, Honolulu, HI. (June 4-7, 2009)

Kass, J. (2007) Spiritual maturation: A developmental resource for resilience, well-being, and peace. Body, Mind, and Spirit: Innovations in Research, Practice, and Pedagogy. Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. (March, 30, 2007).

Kass, J. (2001) Reconceptualization of God image as indwelling spirit: Experiences of the spiritual core. Symposium Title: God Images and the Religious Imagination. Annual Meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Columbus, OH.

Kass, J. (2001) The role of contemplative practices in psychological maturation and health: Raising awareness among university faculty and students. Session Title: Religious Experience in Theory and Practice. Annual Meetings of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Columbus, OH.

Kass, J. (2001) Mentoring students in the development of leadership skills, health promoting behavior, and pro-social behavior: A rationale for teaching contemplative practices in university education. Lesley University Colloquium on Contemplative Practice in Higher Education, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.

Kass, J., Burton, L., Knickles, R. M., Ferranti, L., Singleton, E., Gawelek, M. A., Davis, F., Allen, E. (1999) Preventing cigarette smoking in women: Contributions from personally meaningful spirituality. Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

Morris, L., Barfield, M., Kass, J., Roffman, E., Depradine, S., Fernandes, J., Woods, M. (1999). Holism in action: Nourishing spirituality in the lives of young people. Proceedings of the Boston Symposium on Youth Development. Mayor’s Office of Community Partnerships: Boston, MA.

Kass, J. (1998). A curriculum for transformative learning in higher education: A multifaith approach to spirituality as a resource for self-knowledge and well-being. National Conference on Education as Transformation: Religious Pluralism, Spirituality, and Higher Education. Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA.

Kass, J. (1998). Extending Rogers' process conception of personal development: The experience of the spiritual core as a phenomenological outgrowth of increases in internalized locus of evaluation. Colloquium presentation, Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach, 13th Annual Meeting. Wheaton College, Wheaton, MA.

Kass, J. (1996). Helping patients cope with life threatening illnesses: Addressing the psychospiritual crisis. Annual Meeting of the American Counseling Association. Pittsburgh, PA.

Gawelek, M., Kass, J., Reinkraut, R., Roffman, E. (1996). Transforming the curriculum: Training for Diversity. Training Workshop, Annual Meeting of the American Counseling Association, Pittsburgh, PA.

Kass, J. (1994). Training for diversity: The marginalization of spirituality. Symposium Title: Transforming the Curriculum: Training for Diversity. Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association. Los Angeles, CA.

Kass, J. (1993). Psychological resources for coping with illness: Utilization of a patient's spiritual concerns and needs. Colloquium, Annual Conference on Holistic Approaches to Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA.

Kass, J. (1991). Integrating spirituality into personality theory and counseling practice. Annual Meeting of the American Association of Counseling and Development, Reno, NE.

Kass, J. (1991). Contributions of religious experience to psychological and physical well-being. Annual Meeting of The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Pittsburgh, PA.

Kass, J., (1980). The use of group process as a source of health-promoting attitudes in men. Colloquium, Building Urban Community: A Person-Centered Approach Project. Greenhouse, Cambridge, MA.

Kass, J., (1979). Scenes from men's lives: The other side of love. Annual Meeting of the Association of Humanistic Psychology, Princeton, NJ.

Kass, J., Shapiro, L. (1979). From person to community: using a person-centered approach to develop healthy social forms. Colloquium, Annual Meeting of the Association of Humanistic Psychology, Princeton, NJ.

Kass, J., (1978). The economic problem is a human one: Developing a person-centered approach to community. Colloquium, Building Urban Community: A Person-Centered Approach Project. Greenhouse, Cambridge, MA.


Ph.D., Psychology and Education, the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities, Danforth Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Foundation Graduate Fellow
B.A., Amherst College, Independent Scholar

Phi Beta Kappa Society