The Effects of a Manualized Group-Psychotherapy Intervention on Client God Images and Attachment to God: A Pilot Study

Volume
Volume 39
Issue
Spring 2011
Title
The Effects of a Manualized Group-Psychotherapy Intervention on Client God Images and Attachment to God: A Pilot Study
Abstract

The goal of this pilot study was to examine the effects of an 8-week, manualized, outpatient grouppsychotherapy intervention on client god images and attachment to God. Participants were 26 adults who reported a Christian religious affiliation and who sought religiously based, group-psychotherapy treatment for difficulties in their emotional experience of God (i.e., negative god images). The treatment protocol reflected a psychotherapy-integrationist
approach to treating god-image difficulties. Treatment chiefly included psychoeducational, dynamicinterpersonal, and cognitive interventions, although it also included allegorical-bibliotherapy and art/music interventions. The pre- and post-test questionnaire included the Attachment to God Inventory (R. Beck & McDonald, 2004) and a brief God adjective-checklist, along with several open-ended questions. Participants reported experiencing adaptive shifts in their god images and attachment to God. Specifically, when pre- and post-questionnaire ratings were compared, they reported experiencing God emotionally as more accepting, intimate, and supportive and as less disapproving, distant, and harsh. In addition, they reported experiencing significantly both less attachment anxiety with God and less attachment avoidance with God. Furthermore, they reported experiencing more congruence between their emotional experience of God (god images) their theological beliefs about God (god concepts). The interventions that were deemed the most therapeutically effective were the allegorical-bibliotherapy and the cognitive-restructuring interventions. Clinical
implications and limitations are discussed.

Authors
Dr. M.J. Thomas, Dr. G.L. Moriarty, Dr. E.B. Davis and E.L. Anderson
Pages
44 - 58
Price
Add to Cart $5.00