The Loyola University Maryland community mourns the loss of Joseph Ciarrocchi, Ph.D., professor and former chair of pastoral counseling, who lost his battle with cancer on Friday, Oct. 22.
Ciarrocchi, a graduate of St. Fidelis College in Pennsylvania who earned his master’s degree in theology from Capuchin College in Washington, D.C., and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Catholic University of America, joined Loyola in 1991. In addition to serving as pastoral counseling department chair from 2003-07, Ciarrocchi served as director of doctoral clinical education and admissions from 1992-2003 and associate director of research from 1991-94.
While at Loyola, Ciarrocchi taught courses in psychopathology, group theory and practice, research design, the psychology of religion, substance abuse, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more. His treatment and research interests focused on the areas of gambling addiction, positive psychology, compulsive behaviors, anxiety disorders, and the integration of psychology and spirituality.
As Ciarrocchi’s illness progressed earlier this year and he needed to step back from his duties at the University, his faculty colleagues and current and former students compiled a “memory book” in his honor.
"The death of Joe Ciarrocchi, professor of pastoral counseling, is an indescribable loss not only to our students, faculty, and administrative/staff colleagues at Loyola, but to the scholarly community as well. His pastoral sense of each person—student, staff member, fellow faculty members, was an exemplar of the Jesuit concept of cura personalis,” said Amanda Thomas, Ph.D., associate vice president for graduate studies. “His humor as well as pastoral presence are memories that sustain those of us left behind. His research in the areas of compulsive behavior, gambling addiction, and anxiety disorders integrated cognitive-behavior theory, positive psychology, and theology.”
“The years have passed quickly and joyfully,” wrote Raph Piedmont, Ph.D., professor of pastoral counseling. “You have always been an intellectual powerhouse, and I have learned much from our many talks and conversations.”
Tom Rodgerson, Ph.D., assistant professor of pastoral counseling, first met Ciarrocchi when he was a graduate student at Loyola. “To say that I am grateful for the investment you have made in my life is an understatement,” he wrote. “You are the consummate teacher…I am grateful for your being a model clinician and for your ability to never lose sight of those who might be helped by any research.”
Earlier in his career, Ciarrocchi held positions as director of addictions services at Taylor Manor Hospital in Ellicott City, Md.; director of the outpatient department and earlier, inpatient services, at the St. Luke Institute in Suitland, Md.; and as a behavioral psychologist at the D.C. Children’s Center. He was the author of several books, including Counseling Problem Gamblers: A Self-Regulation Manual for Individual and Family Therapy; Psychotherapy for Priests, Protestant Clergy, and Catholic Religious: A Practical Guide; and The Doubting Disease: Help for Scrupulosity and Religious Compulsions.
He is survived by his wife Anne Marie; five children: Michael, Laura, Kathryn, Jennifer, and Daniel; and six granddaughters.
A viewing will take place on Friday, Oct. 29 from 6 – 9 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia, Md., 21044. Ciarrocchi’s funeral will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, at 11 a.m. at St. John. For directions to the church, visit www.sjerc.org/p_where.html.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to:
GUIDE Program Inc.
8643 Cherry Lane
Laurel, Md. 20707
Or at www.guideprogram.org (click “You Can Help”).
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