A Tribute to Dallas Willard: My Favorite Psychologist. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Gary W. Moon, Richmont Graduate University.
No abstact available.
Reward, Addiction, and Emotion Regulation Systems Associated With Rejection in Love. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Helen E. Fisher, Rutgers University, Lucy L. Brown, Einstein College of Medicine, Arthur Aron, Greg Strong, and Debra Mashek, State University of New York.
Romantic rejection causes a profound sense of loss and negative affect. It can induce clinical depression and in extreme cases lead to suicide and/or homicide. To begin to identify the neural systems associated with this natural loss state, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study 10 women and 5 men who had recently been rejected by a partner but reported they were still intensely “in love.” Participants alternately viewed a photograph of their rejecting beloved and a photograph of a familiar, individual, interspersed with a distraction-attention task. Their responses while looking at their rejecter included love, despair, good, and bad memories, and wondering why this happened. Activation specific to the image of the beloved occurred in areas associated with gains and losses, craving and emotion regulation and included the ventral tegmental area (VTA) bilaterally, ventral striatum, medial and lateral orbitofrontal/prefrontal cortex, and cingulate gyrus. Compared with data from happily-in-love individuals, the regional VTA activation suggests that mesolimbic reward/survival systems are involved in romantic passion regardless of whether one is happily or unhappily in love. Forebrain activations associated with motivational relevance, gain/loss, cocaine craving, addiction, and emotion regulation suggest that higher-order systems subject to experience and learning also may mediate the rejection reaction. The results show activation of reward systems, previously identified by monetary stimuli, in a natural, endogenous, negative emotion state. Activation of areas involved in cocaine addiction may help explain the obsessive behaviors associated with rejection in love.
Exploring Christians’ Explicit Attachment to God Representations: The Development of a Template for Assessing Attachment to God Expierences. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Marie-Therese Proctor, Central Queensland University, Maureen Miner, University of Western Sydney, Loyola McClean, University of Sydney, Stuart Devenish, Booth College, and Bagher Ghobary Bonab, University of Tehran.
Assessment of attachment to God (ATG) has generally focused on tapping the construct via self-report measures. Little, if any attention has been paid to assessing ATG via independent ratings of Christians’ relationship with God narratives, obtained at interview. The current study addressed this deficit. It documents the development of a template for assessing Christians’ relationship with God narratives for specific ATG experiences. Three theoretically-derived ATG profiles, labeled as
secure-autonomous, insecure-anxious/preoccupied and insecure-dismissing ATG were operationally defined as a series of relational markers. Thirty-one Christians participated in a God Attachment Interview Schedule (GAIS), a semi-structured interview which taps Christians’ past and present relationship with God experiences. Participants’ narratives were analyzed using the template, this revealing relational evidence supportive of the hypothesized relational markers. Validation of
the template is an important milestone in the development of a scoring protocol to assign an overall ATG profile based on the narrated experiences of Christians.
The Dedication to the Sacred (DS) Scale: Adapting a Marriage Measure to Study Relational Spirituality. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Don E. Davis, Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Joshua N. Hook, and Daryl R. Van Tongeren, Virginia Commonwealth University.
We describe the development of the Dedication to the Sacred Scale (DS). The measure was created to test a model of relational spirituality and forgiveness. Items from a measure of commitment in couples (Stanley & Markman, 1992) were adapted to assess a victim’s dedication to a relationship with the Sacred. In Study 1 (N = 171), confirmatory factor analysis revealed good fit to a single-factor model. We removed poor items and replicated the factor structure on an independent sample in Study 2 (N = 201). In Study 3 (N = 134), the five-item DS showed evidence of construct validity. It was positively related to religious commitment and uncorrelated with social desirability. The DS predicted forgiveness after the variance from religious commitment, desecration, and offender’s spiritual and human similarity were removed. Those who viewed the Sacred as a personal being had higher scores than those who viewed the Sacred as impersonal.
The Unconverted Subconscious in Psychotherapy: Biblical Foundations, Psychological Explorations and Clinical Applications. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are David K. Carson, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Herdley Paolini, Florida Hospital, Orlando, Florida, Dale Ziglear, Pathway Counseling Ministries, Oviedo, Florida, and John Fox, Brevard Correctional Institution, Cocoa, Florida.
More than forty years ago the famous Christian missionary to India, E. Stanley Jones, introduced the concept of the unconverted subconscious (UnS). Jones asserted that the UnS was a major reason why Christians sometimes do not grow in
their faith, fail miserably in their walk with Christ, and are divisive and even abusive within the Body of Christ. Moreover, he believed that parts of the UnS can contribute to a divided self, psychological disorders, addictive behavior, deep
emotional pain, and relational brokenness. However, Jones did not elaborate on how this process works in the human psyche nor specifically the ramifications of the UnS in the life of the believer. In this article we discuss the UnS and its implications for working with Christian and non-Christian clients. We explore the UnS in light of both Scripture and psychology and then provide an overview of our clinical approach.
Profanity: The Gnostic Affront of the Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Richard Beck, Abilene Christian University.
Profanity remains a mystery to psychological science as we have little understanding as to why obscene speech tends to cluster around body-related subject matter. However, recent work in the areas of Terror Management Theory and disgust psychology suggest that the offense of profanity may be due to the fact that profanity highlights the animal nature of the human body, which, in turn, implicates profanity as a death/mortality reminder. If so, profanity might be experienced differently in Christian populations depending upon the degree to which the body is viewed suspiciously, a lingering influence of Gnostic thought within the Christian tradition. This paper presents empirical research that attempted to assess these associations. Overall, the data was found to be consistent with the notion that profanity may function, particularly in some Christian communities, as a Gnostic affront, as an insult to a creature aspiring to be more than an animal.
Appreciative Musings on Normative Thoughts, Normative Feelings, Normative Actions. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Michael Pakaluk, Craig Steven TitusI, Paul C. Vitz and Frank J. Moncher, The Institute for the Psychological Sciences Group.
This article consists of appreciative reflections upon Hoffman and Strawn’s article, Normative Thoughts, Normative Feelings, Normative Actions: A Protestant, Relational Psychoanalytic Reply to E. Christian Brugger and the Faculty of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS). In the article, Hoffman and Strawn, although expressing broad agreement with Brugger, discuss six areas of apparent disagreement. The authors of the present response maintain that, with only a few exceptions, the disagreements are generally not substantive but based on avoidable misunderstandings. Nonetheless, a careful consideration of these disagreements serves to clarify the importance of philosophical anthropology for psychology.
The New Exodus: A Narrative Paradigm for Understanding Soul Care. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Charles R. DeGroat, Newbigin Theological Seminary Project, San Francisco.
A consensus exists among biblical scholars that the original Exodus event became paradigmatic for Israel’s later self-identity. Isaiah, among other Old Testament writers, made extensive use of Exodus language re-framed for his context. In the New
Testament, Jesus is the New Joshua who breaks the chains of slavery once and for all. St. Paul makes it quite clear that this is nothing less than a New Exodus. However, this narrative may be faithfully appropriated in a contemporary context, and with particular relevance to soul care. With rising interest in narrative theology, as well as narrative approaches to psychotherapy, it is worth considering whether a kind of master narrative—The New Exodus—might provide conceptual space in which theologians and psychologists can explore the enduring question of how people change.
Kierkegaard as Physician of the Soul: On Self-Forgiveness and Despair. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Simon D. Podmore, University of Edinburgh,.
Despair (sickness of the spirit) and divine forgiveness are decisive psychological and theological themes essential to both Søren Kierkegaard’s relational vision of ‘the self before God’ and his own personal struggles with guilt and the consciousness of sin. Reading Kierkegaard as both a physician and a patient of this struggle, therefore, this article examines The Sickness unto Death (1849) as an attempt to resolve the sinful ‘self’ by integrating a psychological
perspective on despair with a theology of the forgiveness of sins. It is suggested that by presenting this integrative notion of self-knowledge through the ‘higher’ Christian pseudonym of Anti-Climacus, Kierkegaard is indicting his own resistances to
accepting divine forgiveness and thereby operating—via a ‘higher’ pastoral identity—as a physician to his own soul. By diagnosing the unconscious psychological and theological relationships between sin/forgiveness, offense, and human impossibility/divine possibility, Kierkegaard finally reveals faith—as a self-surrendering recognition of acceptance before the Holy Other—to be the key to unlocking the enigma of the self in despair.
The ABC-X Model of Family Stress in the Book of Philippians. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Joe D. Wilmoth and Samantha Smyser, Mississippi State University.
Throughout history, families have dealt with stress and crises. Hill’s 1949 ABC-X model of family stress remains a useful tool for identifying the different components that affect how successfully families cope with stress. Paul’s letter to the Philippians expands and illustrates this model. Therapists working with Christian families and individuals can use this model and Paul’s epistle as a structure to help identify the type of stressor being experienced, explore family resources, and evaluate the individual’s or family’s meaning of the stressor, helping them to respond successfully to stress.
The Impact of Child-Parent Attachment, Attachment to God and Religious Orientation on Psychological Adjustment. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Maureen Miner, University of Western Sydney.
The impact of religion and spirituality on psychological adjustment is a continuing area of concern. This preliminary study attempted to examine the effects of religious orientation, retrospective accounts of child-parent attachment and current accounts of attachment to God on trait anxiety and existential well being, based on questionnaire responses of a sample of 116 adults from Sydney, Australia. Small, significant effects of attachment to God on the prediction of adjustment were found above the effects of child-parent attachments. Intrinsic religious orientation mediated the relationship between attachment to God and adjustment. In addition, groups were formed according to correspondence and compensation routes to secure religious attachment. Results gave preliminary support to a differentiation, rather than a surrogacy, model of compensation. Further work to examine the process whereby attachment to God does or does not compensate for insecure childparent attachment is needed.
The Making and Unmaking of Prejudice. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Wioleta Polinska, North Central College.
Whether compassion for all beings in Buddhism, or “love of enemy” in Christianity, unconditional love is one of the principal concerns of all world religions. The profound wisdom of various religious traditions has inspired many to embrace the ideal of universal compassion. One example of such an uncompromising love is Martin Luther King, Jr., who in spite of the overwhelming hostility of his white opponents, continued to adhere to the principle of unconditional love. How do contemporary, average Christians compare? Would average believers show compassion to strangers in need by emulating the example of a Good Samaritan, or would they bypass the needy? Questions like these have been posed and processed by many psychologists for over fifty years. In what follows, I will present the results of a number of studies that suggest the complex nature of religious influences. Research shows that people who are more religious are not necessarily more loving or tolerant than those who are less religious. At the same time, research on the psychology of religion provides insight into which characteristics of religious people are associated with more tolerant behavior. Furthermore, there is growing scientific evidence that mindfulness meditation, which originated in the Buddhist religious tradition, might encourage an openminded awareness and compassion for others. I will argue that contemplative traditions, such as mindfulness meditation in Buddhism, can become a valuable spiritual resource in fostering the ideal of unconditional love.
The Chronic Dependence of Popular Religiosity upon Dysfunctional Psychosociological Conditions. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Gregory Paul.
Better understanding the nature, origin and popularity of varying levels of popular religion versus secularism, and their impact upon socioeconomic conditions and vice versa, requires a cross national comparison of the competing factors in populations where opinions are freely chosen. Utilizing 25 indicators, the uniquely extensive Successful Societies Scale reveals that population diversity and immigration correlate weakly with 1st world socioeconomic conditions, and high levels of income disparity, popular religiosity as measured by differing levels of belief and activity, and rejection of evolutionary science correlate strongly negatively with improving conditions. The historically unprecedented socioeconomic security that results from low levels of progressive government policies appear to suppress popular religiosity and creationist opinion, conservative religious ideology apparently contributes to societal dysfunction, and religious prosociality and charity are less effective at improving societal conditions than are secular government programs. The antagonistic relationship between better socioeconomic conditions and intense popular faith may prevent the existence of nations that combine the two factors. The nonuniversality of strong religious devotion, and the ease with large populations abandon serious theism when conditions are sufficiently benign, refute hypotheses that religious belief and practice are the normal, deeply set human mental state, whether they are superficial or natural in nature. Instead popular religion is usually a superficial and flexible psychological mechanism for coping with the high levels of stress and anxiety produced by sufficiently dysfunctional social and especially economic environments. Popular nontheism is a similarly casual response to superior conditions.
New Age Spirituality, Quantum Mysticism, and Self-Psychology. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Amarnath Amarasingam, Doctoral Candidate, Laurier-Waterloo PhD in Religious Studies, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
I propose that Heinz Kohut’s notions of the selfobject and transmuting internalization can be applied specifically to spiritual elements emerging out of a distinct interpretation of quantum physics. I focus particularly on the film What the Bleep Do We Know!? and argue that the philosophy espoused by the film and several of the scientists portrayed—which I interchangeably call ‘‘quantum mysticism,’’ ‘‘quantum psychology’’ and ‘‘quantum philosophy’’—presents a worldview, which may aid in bringing about important goals outlined by Kohutian self-psychology, namely the need to update earlier internalizations by consciously bringing them in contact with an individual’s changing experience of reality.
Psychology and Global Climate Change. (pdf)
The authors of the above report are Janet Swim, Pennsylvania State University, Susan Clayton, College of Wooster, Thomas Doherty, Sustainable Self, LLC, Robert Gifford, University of Victoria, George Howard, University of Notre Dame, Joseph Reser, Griffith University, Paul Stern, National Academies of Science, and Elke Weber, Columbia University.
Addressing climate change is arguably one of the most pressing issues facing our planet and its inhabitants. In bio and geophysical terms, climate change is defined as changes over time in the averages and variability of surface temperature, precipitation, and wind as well as associated changes in Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and natural water supplies, snow and ice, land surface, ecosystems, and living organisms (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC], 2007b). What is unique about current global climate change, relative to historical changes, is the causal role of human activity (also called anthropogenic forcing) and the current and projected dramatic changes in climate across the globe.
Our primary aim in our report is to engage members of the psychology community (teachers, researchers, those in practice, and students) in the issue of climate change. To this end, this American Psychological Association (APA) task force report describes the contributions of psychological research to an understanding of psychological dimensions of global climate change, provides research recommendations, and proposes policies for APA to assist psychologists’ engagement with this issue.
Value-Sensitive Therapy. (pdf)
The author of the above article is William J. Doherty, University of Minnesota.
Issues of moral personal responsibility and obligation are everywhere in therapy. To divorce or stay married, to move out of state and leave one’s children after a divorce, to put one’s mother in a nursing home or take her into one’s own home, to deceive a potential employer about how long you plan to stay in the job, to allow a flirtation to become an affair, to yield to a new spouse’s wishes for your children despite their resistance and your own doubts—these are examples of the moral dilemmas of everyday life. As therapists, we cannot escape them in our work. Our choice is to deal with the moral realm well in therapy, with a conscious model and set of skills, or to deal with it poorly, without a framework of theory and practice. But few of us have received any training in how to engage in moral conversation with clients.
Pilgrims' Progress: Faculty and University Factors in Graduate Student Integration of Faith and Profession. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Jennifer S. Ripley, Regent University, Fernando L. Garzon, Liberty University, M. Elizabeth Lewis Hall, Biola University, Michael W. Mangis, Wheaton College, and Christopher J. Murphy, Regent University.
Graduate students’ perspectives on integration of faith and profession were investigated using item response to identify underlying constructs. Students (N = 595) from various professions and four universities were sampled. Three factors were supported as separate and important constructs for students. The first two factors were drawn from Sorenson’s research on attachment theory, faculty as bulwark of the faith versus fellow sojourner and faculty as emotionally transparent versus emotionally distant. A new domain of integration, environmental factors such as class Scripture reading, was supported as a unique factor. An examination of diversity variables gave preliminary evidence that females and students of color may see emotional transparency and environmental factors as more important in Christian integration than other students.
The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, University of Pennsylvania.
By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women’s declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging—one with higher subjective well-being for men.
Feeling Queasy About the Incarnation. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Richare Beck, Abilene Christian University.
Throughout Christian history, at different times and places, believers have expressed ambivalence regarding the Incarnation. There has always been something scandalous and shocking about God taking a fully human form. What is the source of this discomfort? Recent work in Terror Management Theory has shown that people feel ambivalent toward their bodies and bodily functions because the body functions as a mortality/death reminder. If this analysis is correct it might explain why many Christians, from the earliest days of the church, have resisted the notion of the Incarnation. Thus, it was the thesis of this study that existential concerns are intimately involved in Incarnational ambivalence. The study sought to test this formulation by assessing Incarnational ambivalence, death anxiety, and other facets of an existential faith orientation to determine if existential fears were implicated in Incarnational ambivalence. Overall, the results of the study supported the predictions. Respondents reporting greater death anxiety and displaying a more “closed” faith orientation, existentially speaking, were the most likely to reject strong body-scenarios involving Jesus, finding these scenarios uncomfortable, demeaning to Jesus, unrealistic, and unbiblical.
Religious Doubt and Identity Formation: Salient Predictors of Adolescent Religious Doubt (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Keith A. Puffer, Indiana Wesleyan University.
Different ideological perspectives about religious doubt spawn controversy and confusion among some Christians. Typically misunderstood as unbelief, doubt is often characterized as dangerous if not outright prohibited by Scripture. As this study
demonstrates, comprehending religious doubt through the lens of Marcia’s ego identity statuses offers a more nuanced understanding of the cognitive phenomenon. Multiple regression analyses of survey data from 604 religious adolescents revealed
identity moratorium, identity achievement, and doctrinal uncertainties are positive predictors of doubt while identity foreclosure, identity diffusion, and religious satisfaction are negative predictors. Implications from the findings relevant to Erikson and Batson’s theories are discussed along with practical applications for those in the church community working with youth.
Culture and Psychopathology. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Frank C. Richardson.
No abstact available.
The Church as Forgiving Community: An Initial Model. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Chad M. Magnuson and Robert D. Enright, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Recent empirical studies have shown that forgiveness interventions decrease anxiety, depression, and anger, and increase self esteem, hope, and positive affect. We propose a three-tiered holistic psycho-educational approach called “The Forgiving Communities,” that targets three interdependent categories: the family, the school, and the Church. The goal of The Forgiving Communities is to deepen individuals’ (and society’s) understanding and personal practice of, and growth in forgiveness. We posit here an initial model of the Church as Forgiving Community, consisting of multiple levels of forgiveness education intended to cultivate a culture of forgiveness and the expectation that forgiveness is part of the congregation’s
existence. The model targets the leadership of the congregation and every level of programming, from infancy through late adulthood.
Beliefs About Life-After-Death, Psychiatric Symptomology and Cognitive Theories of Psychopathology. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Kevin J. Flannelly, Christopher G. Ellison, Kathleen Galek, and Harold G. Koenig.
The present study examined the association between mental health and pleasant and unpleasant beliefs about life-after-death, using data from a national webbased survey of U.S. adults. Regression analyses were conducted on five pleasant and two unpleasant afterlife beliefs using six classes of psychiatric symptoms as dependent variables: anxiety, depression, obsessioncompulsion, paranoid ideation, social anxiety and somatization. As hypothesized, pleasant afterlife beliefs were associated with better, and unpleasant beliefs were associated with poorer mental health, controlling for age, gender, education, race, income and marital status, social support, prayer and church attendance. The results are discussed in the context of cognitive theories of psychopathology and psychotherapy that propose that many psychiatric symptoms are caused and moderated by beliefs about the dangerousness of, or threat of harm posed by, various situations. Suggestions are made for future research.
Understanding the Role of Relational Factors in Christian Spirituality. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are David B. Simpson, Valparaiso University, Jody L. Newman, University of Oklahoma, and Dale R. Fuqua, Oklahoma State University.
Researchers developing multidimensional models of relational quality have largely neglected to consider the potential role of relational spirituality in their models. Recent relational spirituality models have emerged predominantly from a psychodynamic
framework. The current study of 385 Christian adults was designed to expand the understanding of the associations between spiritual and relational dimensions. A principal components analysis of 10 measures of spirituality produced two components accounting for just over 50% of the variance. The components were labeled Positive Relationship with God and Instrumental Relationship with God. A second principal components analysis of 7 relationship scales resulted in a single component accounting for 55% of the variance and seemed to measure negative relational quality. This component was labeled Negative Relationships with Others. Using component scores, a multiple regression analysis was then conducted in which the two spirituality components were used to predict relational quality. The two spirituality components accounted for approximately 35% of the variance in the relational component. Theoretical and practical considerations are discussed
and areas for further research are recommended.
Sexual Orientation, Mental Health, Gender, and Spirituality: Prejudicial Attitudes and Social Influence in Faith Communities. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Kelly C. McLeland and Geoffrey W. Sutton, Evangel University.
This study examined how the attitudes of conservative American Protestants attending Midwestern churches might vary as a function of religious beliefs, gender, and exposure to scenarios of people from stigmatized groups who were asking for spiritual care. Results of the 2 (scenario gender) x 2 (scenario sexual orientation) x 2 (scenario mental health issue) x 2 (participant gender) MANOVA revealed significance for sexual orientation bias (L = .79, F (2, 88) = 11.94, p < .001, h2 = .21) and participant gender bias (L = .91, F (2, 88) = 4.13, p = .02, h2 = .09. Follow-up ANOVA’s revealed different effects depending on whether participants reported personal or perceived group attitudes. We discuss the results in terms of social comparison theory and projection.
Slouching Toward Integration: Psychoanalysis and Religion in Dialogue. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Brad D. Strawn, Southern Nazarene University.
This article traces the changing relationship between psychoanalysis and religion by paralleling it with the author’s own journey of faith and psychology. Contemporary psychoanalytic models (e.g. relational) have evolved, making psychoanalysis more accessible to psychotherapists as well as allowing more meaningful integration with religion. As Relational models have gained prominence, however, some of the gems from earlier models of analysis are in danger of being lost. A case is presented to demonstrate the challenge of not throwing out the “baby with the bathwater” as well as some of the particular difficulties religious therapists may have working with patients.
From the Shadow of the Object to the Shadow of the Almighty: A Story of the Almighty: A Story of Transformation. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Theresa Clement Tisdale, Azusa Pacific University.
As background for a case presentation, two primary sources are used, The shadow of the object: Psychoanalysis of the unthought known by Christopher Bollas (1987) and Psalm 91 from the New International Bible. This story is about transformation, for the patient as well as for the therapist. The movement by the patient from a place of confusion, depression, anxiety and despair to a place of newfound, although not complete, freedom and clarity is detailed with reflections by the therapist who was both witness to and part of this transformation. The movement for the patient is described as transformation from living in the shadow of the object to the shadow of the almighty. For contextual purposes, a summary of some of Bollas’ central theoretical ideas are presented as well as a brief exegesis of the biblical reference, Psalm 91. A background of the patient is presented and the history of the clinical journey is chronicled through excerpts from a memory book written by the patient and given to the therapist at the final session of treatment.
From Libido to Love: Relational Psychoanalysis and the Redemption of Sexuality. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Marie Hoffman.
The author presents a case which posits the profound growth potential of relational psychoanalysis when it is grounded in a thoroughly Christian world view. Prefacing the case of Graciella, is a brief overview of pertinent relational and Christian concepts. The movements of this psychoanalysis are then interpreted as composed of three transference cadences: Abandonment and the longing for nurture; Rejection and the plea for acceptance, and Destruction and the survival of the object. Graciella's maturation toward intersubjective relationships, educational and career achievements, and spiritual and artistic formation are chronicled. Verbatim patient interactions as well as patient dreams, poetry and journal entries lend poignancy to the narration.
The Brain: A Mindless Obsession? (pdf)
The author of the above article is Charles Barber, Yale University.
No abstact available.
Christian Clients' Preferences Regarding Prayer as a Counseling Intervention. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Karen Eriksen, Florida Atlantic University.
Spirituality has increasingly become a consideration for mental health practitioners. As a result, spiritual interventions, including prayer, are now more frequently used in counseling. However, no research has explored Christian clients’ expectations regarding prayer in counseling. This study surveyed firstvisit Christian clients and their therapists to ascertain client expectations and therapist beliefs and practices. Analysis with two sample t-tests with unequal variances, one-way analysis of variance, simple linear regression, Pearson correlations, and Fisher’s exact tests indicated that (a) 82% of clients desired audible prayer in counseling; (b) they preferred that therapists introduce the subject of prayer; (c) they had strong expectations that prayer would be included in counseling; (d) they wanted counselors to pray for them outside of session; (e) religious conservatives had higher expectations for prayer than did liberals; (f) clients with prior Christian counseling had higher expectations of prayer than did clients without. Research implications are discussed.
Emotion and Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm - Part 1. (pdf)
The author of the above article is G. Michael Leffel, Point Loma Nazarene University.
Advances in several areas of psychological science in the last 20 years suggest that the time may be right to take up anew the challenge of constructing an integrative psychology-theology framework for studying the affective basis of spiritual transformation (Emmons, 2005). The objective of this three-article series is to outline a theology-driven metapsychology for one approach; a moral motive analysis of the role of emotion in spiritual transformation. Toward that end, these articles outline 1) a framework for conceptualizing a “Good Life” story (Murphy’s MacIntyrean framework), 2) a paradigm for integrating conceptions of moral development and spiritual transformation (relational spirituality paradigm), 3) a theological tradition for clarifying the importance of multiple processes of change (apophatic tradition), and finally 4) an approach to modeling the affective basis of transformation (moral motive analysis). Collectively these articles attempt to delineate an interdisciplinary paradigm that is consistent with the sensibilities of Aristotelean virtue ethics (MacIntyre, 1984), contemporary moral motive theory (Emmons & McCullough, 2004), and the apophatic tradition of personality change (Jones, 2002). The purpose of
the present article is, first, to summarize Murphy’s MacIntyrean framework (Dueck & Lee, 2005) as a heuristic for theory-construction to be used in subsequent articles. Second, it discusses five trends in current psychological theory that highlight the need for of a new approach to emotion and transformation. Prospects and prescriptions for future theory and research are suggested throughout the article.
Emotion and Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm - Part 2. (pdf)
The author of the above article is G. Michael Leffel, Point Loma Nazarene University.
The relevance of metapsychology for theory and research on personality change and spiritual transformation cannot be overstated. The objective of this three-article series is to work toward a new approach to the study of the affective basis of spiritual transformation (Emmons, 2005), specifically a moral motive analysis. Envisioned here, the essential task of such an analysis is to model how persons expand their implicit capacity for mature relationality (e.g., compassion), and move beyond “minimal prosociality” (Saroglou, 2006). The objective of the present article is two-fold. It summarizes seven principles of the recently outlined (Hall, 2004) and now expanding (Shults & Sandage, 2006) relational spirituality paradigm. Second, seeking to extend this paradigm, this article reviews the apophatic tradition in terms of Murphy’s three descriptive dimensions: telos, problem, and process (discussed in Part 1). Following Jones (2002), the central thesis developed is that the apophatic “way” is not simply an optional approach to spirituality as typically conceived rather it represents a distinct and essential principle (subtractive) and type of personality change (transformist). This article discusses the meaning of subtractive transformational change in light of recent thinking on the multiple therapeutic actions of psychodynamicaly informed therapy (Gabbard & Westen, 2003). The article commends the systematic inclusion of this principle and type of change into models of psychotherapy and spiritual formation concerned with moral character (virtue) development. Third, this article briefly overviews a specific moral motive approach that follows in Part 3.
Emotion and Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm - Part 3. (pdf)
The author of the above article is G. Michael Leffel, Point Loma Nazarene University.
Meaning-system analyses presently dominate the literature on religious conversion and spiritual transformation (Paloutzian & Park, 2005). To complement (not contradict) meaning-system analyses this three-article series proposes the construction of a new approach to the study of the affective basis of spiritual transformation, moral motive analysis. The objective of this final article is to outline a specific moral motive analysis of transformation, a “social intuitionist” (Haidt, 2001) approach that both complements and elaborates the theological tradition of orthokardia (Runyon, 1998). This article first summarizes the central hermeneutic and defining features of orthodardia, and then relates them to concepts in contemporary moral motivation theory. Second, following the Murphy-MacIntyrean framework (telos, problem, purpose), it proposes three core postulates concerning the role of moral emotions in spiritual transformation: moral telos as emerging love and the capable character; moral problem as the duplicitous heart and diminished capacity to love; and moral process as implicit relational transformation. Collectively, these postulates delineate an approach to relational affect transformation (virtueacquisition and vice-diminishment) that is consistent with the sensibilities of Aristotelean virtue ethics (Mac-Intyre, 1984), contemporary moral motive theory (Emmons & McCullough, 2004), and the apophatic approach to change (Jones, 2002), thus providing a metapsychology of implicit relational spirituality for theory, research, and practice.
Spirituality, Life Stress, and Affective Well-Being. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are David V. Powers, Loyola College Maryland, Robert J. Cramer, The University of Alabama, and Joshua M. Grubka, Loyola College Maryland.
Recent research has explored many aspects of affective well-being, including depressive symptoms, positive and negative affect. The present study sought to contribute to this line of inquiry by investigating the role of life stress, spiritual life integration (SLI), and social justice commitment (SJC) in predicting affective well-being. Participants were 136 undergraduate
students with a mean age of 18.82 (SD = 1.07), and age range of 17-22. Participants completed a questionnaire packet including the Undergraduate Stress Questionnaire (USQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS), and Spiritual Involvement Scale which includes SLI and SJC subscales. In line with previous findings, life stress significantly predicted negative affect and depressive symptoms in hierarchical regression analyses. Contrary to previous research, SLI did not predict any aspect of affective well-being. Finally, SJC significantly predicted positive affect, negative affect, and depressive symptoms. Interpretations, implications, limitations, and future research are discussed.
Spirituality, Religiosity, Shame and Guilt as Predictors of Sexual Attitudes and Experiences. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Kelly M. Murray, Joseph W. Ciarrocchi, and Nichole A. Murray-Swank, Loyola College Maryland.
This study examines the relationship among levels of spirituality, religiosity, shame, and guilt on sexual attitudes and experiences. A convenience sample that included graduate and undergraduate students (N =176; mean age = 37) completed a five-factor measure of personality as well as measures of spirituality, religiosity, shame, guilt, and sexual attitudes and experiences. Spirituality was negatively correlated with sexual permissiveness, and engaging in high risk sex. The moral emotion of shame increased when people had multiple sex partners within the past three months while those more spiritual or connected to God were less likely to have had sex after use of alcohol and/or drugs. Also, the more often someone attended religious services the less likely they were to have had multiple partners within the past three months. A sense of alienation from God predicted shame and guilt, but shame and guilt themselves did not predict sexual practices. These findings suggest that sexual attitudes and experiences are related to both spirituality and religious practices independently of personality, whereas they have no relationship to shame and guilt.
Possibilities for a Christian Positive Psychology. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Charles Hackney, Redeemer University College.
Two streams of thought are examined: Nancey Murphy’s recently-proposed approach to integrating psychology and theology, and the burgeoning positive psychology movement. Points of congruence and divergence are considered, and the potential for a mutually-advantageous interaction is discussed, with curiosity research serving as an example. Murphy’s application of virtue ethics to the question of human flourishing provides positive psychology with a missing teleological component. Positive psychology provides conceptual, methodological, institutional, and applicatory resources that would be valuable to a Christian psychologist who wishes to make use of Murphy’s neo-Aristotelian model of human flourishing.
Biblical Metaphors for Corrective Emotional Relationships in Group Work. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Stephen P. Greggo, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Groups offer multiple opportunities for corrective emotional relationships that promote growth, healing and spiritual formation. The benefits of mutual exchange and emotional nurturance found in interpersonal support reflect human beings as imago dei with intentional fulfillment being found in the community of Jesus Christ. The construct of a corrective emotional relationship will be introduced in terms of the value and dynamics for healing as well as for spiritual refreshment and formation. Drawing on biblical metaphors from the Gospel of John, therelational benefits of interpersonal support are placed within a Christian framework. Group approaches offer specific advantages as a helping modality in
Ideological Concerns in the Operationalization of Homophobia, Part II. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Christopher H. Rosik, Fresno Pacific University.
Building on the first article in this series (Rosik, 2007), the present study provided empirical analyses to determine the degree to which the relationship between conservative religion and homophobia as defined by Herek’s (1998) Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale (ATLG-R) was dependent upon items experienced as antireligious by Christian students. Three multiple regression analyses revealed that the associations between homonegative attitudes and respondents’ intrinsic religiousness, religious practice, and beliefs about the authority of the Bible were predicted only by the “Condemnation-Tolerance” component after accounting for gender, age and the remaining components of the ATLG-R. These findings suggest the possibility of an ideologically based circularity in the relationship between conservative religion and the construct of homophobia as measured by the ATLG-R. Thus, for these respondents the ATLG-R may function as an empirically packaged method of disparaging their religiously-based values concerning homosexuality. It is requisite that mental health professionals cultivate
greater sensitivity to such concerns.
Ideological Concerns in the Operationalization of Homophobia, Part I. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Christopher H. Rosik, Fresno Pacific University.
Utilizing Watson’s Ideological Surround Model (Watson, et al., 2003) as a backdrop, the present study examined the structural properties of Herek’s (1998) Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale (ATLG-R) for a sample of 155 conservative Christian students. Ideological perceptions of the ATLG-R items were derived from a smaller (N = 36) sample of students similar in demographic make up and religious devotion. Factor analytic and ideological surround analyses indicated that the ATLG-R was disproportionately comprised of items perceived to be antireligious, with the primary “Condemnation-Tolerance” component consisting exclusively of such items, the majority of which related directly to respondents’ beliefs about the morality and naturalness of homosexuality. Furthermore, respondents’ degree of selfidentification as Christian, when factor analyzed as an additional item in the ATLG-R, loaded singularly and
to a greater degree than over half of the items on the “Condemnation-Tolerance” component. Potential implications of these findings are discussed.
Back to the Basics in Attachment to God: Revisiting Theory in Light of Theology. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Maurenn H. Miner, University of Western Sydney.
This article argues that contemporary theories of attachment to God lack a clear and coherent theological basis. The absence of theological argument weakens attachment theory as applied to relationships with God on three main grounds. First, cognitive social models easily slip into reductionism. Second, these models fail to consider fully the attributes of God to whom the individual attaches. Third, these models overlook that relationships with God and humans could include inter-subjectivity. Trinitarian theology as proposed by Colin Gunton is discussed and its usefulness for attachment theory examined. It is argued that models of attachment to God based in trinitarian theology can provide a coherent account of the origins of human relationship with God and of human inter-subjectivity. They can also suggest reasons for the existence of compensatory motivation, offer developmental models of spiritual maturity and draw attention to the importance of relationships with the Christian community for spiritual development.
Is There Anything Good About Men? (pdf)
The author of the above address is Roy F. Baumeister, Florida State University.
This invited address was given at a meeting the American Psychological Association in San Francisco on August 24, 2007. The thinking it represents is part of a long-range project to understand human action and the relation of culture to behavior.
Ready or Not, Here I Come: Surrender, Recognition, and Mutuality in Psychotherapy. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Robert A. Watson, Wheaton College Graduate School.
Randall Lehman Sorenson practiced what he preached as a scholar, teacher, and clinical psychoanalyst. In my experiences with him in personal and professional contexts, he encouraged relationships characterized by mutuality, respect, curiosity, and genuine personal involvement. These key values and processes distinguish relational psychoanalytic psychology. This article will explore the clinical outworking of two interrelated concepts; namely, mutual recognition and self-assertion in the psychotherapy relationship. These together are foundational
to the creation of what Benjamin (1995) calls intersubjectivity. I will develop a particular focus on how to move out of moments of relational impasse and into a new experience of freedom and possibility for growth. An in-depth case presentation with a particular focus on therapeutic interaction will illustrate the struggle toward mutuality and recognition, and the powerful positive effects for both persons in the relationship.
Psychoanalysis, Attachment, and Sprituality Part I: The Emergence of Two Relational Traditions. (pdf)
Psychoanalysis, Attachment, and Sprituality Part II: The Spiritual Stories We Live By. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Todd W. Hall, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University.
Two broad relational traditions emerged in post-Freudian psychoanalysis: a broad group of relational theories, represented by Fairbairn’s (1952) object relations theory, that remained within the field of psychoanalysis, and John Bowlby’s attachment theory, that split off from psychoanalysis. Both of these traditions emerged simultaneously, predominantly in the 1940s, and developed in parallel in virtual isolation from each other. In this article, the first of a two-part series in this special issue, I outline the emergence of these two traditions, how each has been applied to the psychology of religion and spirituality, and their implications for “minding” our clients’ spirituality (Sorenson, 2004). In the second article of the two-part series, I discuss the common relational metapsychology underlying these converging traditions—a theory of implicit relational meaning—and its implications for “minding” the spiritual stories by which our clients live.
Are Psychology's Main Methods Biased Against the Worldview of Many Religious People? (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Brent D. Slife, Brigham Young University and Matthew Whoolery, American University of Cairo.
This article examines some of the more problematic aspects of recent efforts to integrate psychology and religion. Specifically, many religious people—psychology's main consumer and client—make different assumptions than many psychologists about human nature and the world. This article attempts to explicate many of these conflicting assumptions, particularly as they affect psychological methods. Therapeutic and experimental methods are frequently viewed as theologically, if not philosophically, neutral to the subject matter they are investigating. This article aims to dispel this common myth. To discover or highlight these "hidden" assumptions of traditional methods, they are first contrasted to the assumptions of interpretive practices. However, interpretive practices are themselves often viewed as theologically neutral. Consequently, psychological methods are also compared to a theistic mode of inquiry that assumes that an active God is necessary to proper investigation.
Psychology and Religion: Hermeneutic Reflections. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Frank C. Richardson, University of Texas.
No abstact available.
Secular Psychology: What's the Problem? (pdf)
The author of the above article is Jeffey S. Reber, University of West Georgia.
No abstact available.
Missed Opportunities in Dialogue Between Psychology and Religion. (pdf)
The author of the above article is James M. Nelson, Valparaiso University.
In the Middle Ages, studies of the natural world, human behavior and theology were part of an interwoven body of knowledge. However, in modern
times an increasing divide has separated science and religion. A careful review suggests that currents and accidents in intellectual and social history have served to unnecessarily foreclose lines of thought that might lead to rapprochement of religion with science, including psychology. Developments in Western views of epistemology and the philosophy of science have been a major factor in this estrangement. In the early modern period, flexible views of science (e.g. Bacon) were replaced by doctrinaire formulations emphasizing quantitative methodologies. Especially important
was the development of positivism, which opened the door to a reductionistic naturalism that intended not only to reduce dialogue with religion but also to replace it with science. Within psychology, Freud and other early psychologists were eager to establish psychology as a “real” science and enthusiastically embraced the positivist perspective and rejected possible alternatives. Although this positivist approach is philosophically untenable, it continues to dominate psychology and obstruct dialogue between science and religion as well as progress in psychology as a whole. A return to a broader and more modest conception of science is warranted.
Seeking Forgiveness: Considering the Role of Moral Emotions. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Rodney L. Bassett, Kelly M. Bassett, Matthew W. Lloyd and Jason L. Johnson, Roberts Wesleyan College.
Sandage, Worthington, Jr., Hight, and Berry (2000) pointed out that most of the research on forgiveness has focused on the process of granting forgiveness rather than seeking forgiveness. Therefore, in this project, college students were asked to recall a recent event from their past where they harmed someone with whom they had a relationship. They were then asked to rate their feelings following the transgression such that it was possible to determine the extent to which they experienced sorrow or guilt (Narramore, 1984). Participants also indicated how they responded to the situation. In addition, a few weeks later, these same students were invited to respond to a dispositional measure designed to tap their general
tendencies toward experiencing sorrow or guilt. One of the particularly interesting findings from this study was that the efforts to measure sorrow seemed to split into two factors. One of these sorrow factors seemed to predict healthy patterns of seeking forgiveness while the other factor did not.
Psychology's Love-Hate Relationship with Love: Critiques, Affirmations, and Christian Responses. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Alan C. Tjeltveit, Muhlenberg College.
Christian psychologists’ contributions to understanding love of God and neighbor have fallen far short of their potential. A major reason, I argue, is psychologists’ love–hate relationship with love. Psychologists raise challenging questions about love (or some understandings of love), based on their (usually implicit) ethical intuitions (e.g., that telling battered women to love their abusers harms them). In addition, some understandings of love (e.g., pertaining to obligations, choices, and/or divine action) fit poorly with psychology’s natural scientific methods. On the other hand, psychologists conduct research relevant to love and most psychologists seem deeply committed to love. Psychologists thus both critique love
(hate it) and affirm it. Multidisciplinary approaches for developing a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of love are discussed.
Interpersonal Forgiveness as an Example of Loving One's Enemies. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Everett L. Worthington, JR., Constance B. Sharp, and Andrea J. Lerner, Virginia Commonwealth University, and
Jeffrey R. Sharp, American Baptist Churches, USA.
We suggest that altruistically-motivated forgiveness is an ideal we rarely achieve. In fact, we often think such forgiveness is impossible. Our contribution is to identify ways that God promotes forgiveness - specifically the ideal forgiveness that demonstrates altruistic love for our enemies. We see God at work in the human psychological processes of forgiving with altruistic motives. We thus address four questions: (1) How do motives shape forgiveness? (2) How do virtues shape forgiveness? (3) How are motives transformed? (4) How do Scripture and God contribute to transforming motivations from justiceoriented motives to forgiveness-oriented motives? Compared with previous writings on forgiveness, we
focus more on how transformations of motives and emotions occur.
Communion and Complaint: Attachment, Object-Relations, and Triangular Love Perspectives on Relationship with God. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Richard Beck, Abilene Christian University.
The present study attempted to find empirical connections between the attachment, object-relations, and triangular love perspectives as they apply to relationship with God. Attachment to God and object-relations perspectives on God have already been extensively investigated in the literature. In this study, it was observed that the triangular love model (Sternberg, 1986) could also be applied to relationship with God. Using established instruments from each literature—attachment, object-relations, triangular love—it was observed that two factors best explained the correlations among these instruments. The first factor, “Communion,” describes the degree of intimacy, closeness, dependency, and trust in the God-relationship. The second factor, “Complaint,” describes the degree of disappointment and/or frustration involved in the God-relationship. Because these two factors—Communion and Complaint—are orthogonal, it is argued that the commingling of Communion and Complaint in the God-relationship is one feature that can imbue this relationship with an emotional dynamic similar to that observed in human love relationships.
To Be Loved and To Love. (pdf)
The author of the above article is William R. Clough, Argosy University, Sarasota, Florida.
Love is a powerful force in human life. It seems to be one thing, but takes on many forms. A major task in therapy is to tap into intrinsic motivations for healthy change; to help people to fall in love with what they can, at their best, become. The Christian Scriptures offer a definition of love that can encourage healthy growth without the narcissistic overtones of self-esteem, which psychology can fall into, or a mechanical set of doctrines into which Christianity can fall. In this article, the nature of love is considered from psychological and theological literature. The various nuances of love are explored in relationship to attachment theory, altruism, some therapeutic schools, and Biblical perspectives. Finally I John 4, as the prototypical theological discussion of love, is applied to the counseling and growth process.
Is God An Accident?
The author of the above article is Paul Bloom.
Despite the vast number of religions, nearly everyone in the world believes in the same things: the existence of a soul, an afterlife, miracles, and the divine creation of the universe. Recently psychologists doing research on the minds of infants have discovered two related facts that may account for this phenomenon. One: human beings come into the world with a predisposition to believe in supernatural phenomenon. And two: this predisposition is an incidental by-product of cognitive functioning gone awry.
The Case for Nietzschean Moral Psychology. (pdf) (Click on one of the links at the bottom of the page.)
The authors of the above essay are Joshua Knobe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Brian Leiter, University of Texas at Austin - School of Law & Department of Philosophy.
Contemporary moral psychology has been dominated by two broad traditions, one usually associated with Aristotle, the other with Kant. The broadly Aristotelian approach emphasizes the role of childhood upbringing in the development of good moral character, and the role of such character in ethical behavior. The broadly Kantian approach emphasizes the role of freely chosen conscious moral principles in ethical behavior. We review a growing body of experimental evidence that suggests that both of these approaches are predicated on an implausible view of human psychology. This evidence suggests that both childhood upbringing and conscious moral principles have extraordinarily little impact on people's moral behavior.
This paper argues that moral psychology needs to take seriously a third approach, derived from Nietzsche. This approach emphasizes the role of heritable psychological and physiological traits in explaining behavior. In particular, it claims that differences in the degree to which different individuals behave morally can often be traced back to heritable differences between those individuals. We show that this third approach enjoys considerable empirical support - indeed that it is far better supported by the empirical data than are either the Aristotelian or Kantian traditions in moral psychology.
Women Called: A Qualitative Study of Christian Women Dually Called to Motherhood and Career. (pdf)
The authors of the above essay are Tina Schermer Sellers and Kris Thomas, Seattle Pacific University, and Jennifer Batts and Cami Ostman, Seattle, Washington.
The intersection between spirituality, motherhood and vocation is largely unexplored in contemporary writing and research. The cultural and religious messages received by women regarding motherhood and vocation often produce complicated dilemmas for women who seek to participate in both domains simultaneously. Even though working mothers represent a significant number of women in America, the stories, themes and voices of deeply spiritual career mothers have been largely silenced in literature. This phenomenological study looks into the lives of eleven Christian women who are mothers working across career disciplines in a liberal arts university setting. Four dominant themes emerged from the analysis, including the meaning of “calling,” formative messages, the lived experience, and wisdom for the next generation. Though complex and demanding, overall these women were deeply satisfied and grateful for the opportunity to craft lives fulfilling longings to both motherhood and career. Implications for the community and future research are also addressed.
Counseling practices as they relate to ratings of helpfulness by consumers of sexual reorientation therapy. (pdf)
The author of the above essay is Warren Throckmorton, Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City (PA) College.
Twenty-eight individuals who sought sexual reorientation counseling reported on their experiences with 80 therapists, providing information concerning the therapist’s use of various practices and the perceived helpfulness of each therapist. Thirteen of the practices were taken from prior studies of gay and lesbian clients and seven were derived from counseling literature regarding sexual reorientation therapy. Participants preferred
counselors who were knowledgeable about gay and lesbian issues, did not overfocus on sexual orientation, helped affirm an ex-gay identity, helped clients examine their development for possible reasons relating to the emergence of same sex attractions, reframed the meaning of the emergence of same sex attractions for identity, and suggested techniques to minimize same sex attractions and enhance opposite sex attractions. They did not judge as helpful counselors who attempted to affirm a gay identity. This is the first study designed to examine the helpfulness of particular therapist
practices with clients seeking sexual reorientation.
A Psychological and Theological Approach to Anger Management for Christian Counselors. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Bobby Sidell, Wheaton College.
Anger is frequently a bigger part of our lives than we admit. People often struggle on how to manage it so that it will not create unhealthy patterns in their relationships. Anger is an emotional and psychological reaction to a real or imagined threat to an individual's well-being (Cofield, 2000). The reaction always results in responses designed to protect the individual from the attack. Occasionally, the reaction results in responses intended to punish the attacker (Cofield, 2000). During these situations anger can easily get out of control and become unhealthy. The purpose of this paper is to explore the myths concerning anger and present a variety of ways to managing anger effectively.
An Introduction to Spiritual Psychology: Overview of the Literature, East and West. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Michael Miovic, MD.
This article outlines the philosophical background to spiritual psychology and selectively reviews Western and Eastern literature on the subject. The world views of theism, atheism, and agnosticism are defined and critiqued, and the boundaries of scientific knowledge discussed. The views of James, Jung, and Freud are reviewed, and the contributions of humanistic psychology noted. Contemporary spiritual psychology is then summarized with reference to recent literature on theistic psychotherapy, Buddhist psychology, mind-body medicine, and transpersonal psychology. Sri Aurobindo’s work is introduced as a modern Asian perspective on theistic psychology, and his model of the relationship between the “soul” and the unconscious described. Finally, a brief clinical vignette is given.
Vengefulness: Relationships With Forgiveness, Rumination, Well-Being, and the Big Five. (pdf)
The authors of the above paper are Michael E. McCullough, Southern Methodist University, C. Garth Bellah, Louisiana Tech University, Shelley Dean Kilpatrick, National Institute for Healthcare Research, and Judith L. Johnson, Christopher Newport University.
Because forgiveness theory has tended to neglect the role of dispositional factors, the authors present novel theorizing about the nature of vengefulness (the disposition to seek revenge following interpersonal offenses) and its relationship to forgiveness and other variables. In Study 1, vengefulness was correlated crosssectionally with (a) less forgiving, (b) greater rumination about the offense, (c) higher negative affectivity, and (d) lower life satisfaction. Vengefulness at baseline was negatively related to change in forgiving throughout an 8-week follow-up. In Study 2,
vengefulness was negatively associated with Agreeableness and positively associated with Neuroticism. Measures of the Big Five personality factors explained 30% of the variance in vengefulness.
The Grateful Disposition: A Conceptual and Empirical Topography. (pdf)
The authors of the above paper are Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis, Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami, and Jo-Ann Tsang,
In four studies, the authors examined the correlates of the disposition toward gratitude. Study 1 revealed that self-ratings and observer ratings of the grateful disposition are associated with positive affect and well-being, prosocial behaviors and traits, and religiousness/spirituality. Study 2 replicated these findings in a large nonstudent sample. Study 3 yielded similar results to Studies 1 and 2 and provided evidence that gratitude is negatively associated with envy and materialistic attitudes. Study 4 yielded evidence that these associations persist after controlling for Extraversion/positive affectivity, Neuroticism/negative affectivity, and Agreeableness. The development of the Gratitude Questionnaire, a unidimensional measure with good psychometric properties, is also described.
Gratitude in Intermediate Affective Terrain: Links of Grateful Moods to Individual Differences and Daily Emotional Experience. (pdf)
The authors of the above paper are Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis, Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami, and Jo-Ann Tsang,
Two studies were conducted to explore gratitude in daily mood and the relationships among various affective manifestations of gratitude. In Study 1, spiritual transcendence and a variety of positive affective traits were related to higher mean levels of gratitude across 21 days. Study 2 replicated these findings and revealed that on days when people had more grateful moods than was typical for them, they also reported more frequent daily episodes of grateful emotions, more intense gratitude per episode, and more people to whom they were grateful than was typical for them. In addition, gratitude as an affective trait appeared to render participants’ grateful moods somewhat resistant to the effects of discrete emotional episodes of gratitude.
Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life. (pdf)
The authors of the above paper are Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis, and Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami.
The effect of a grateful outlook on psychological and physical well-being was examined. In Studies 1 and 2, participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions (hassles, gratitude listing, and either neutral life events or social comparison); they then kept weekly (Study 1) or daily (Study 2) records of their moods, coping behaviors, health behaviors, physical symptoms, and overall life appraisals. In a 3rd study, persons with neuromuscular disease were randomly assigned to either the gratitude condition or to a control condition. The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.
Agency and Purpose in Narrative Therapy: Questioning the Postmodern Rejection of Metanarrative. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Cameron Lee, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary.
Postmodern ideas have led to increased interest in narrative in the domains of both theology and psychotherapy. Narrative theology allows the concept of an intrinsic human telos, a divinely created purpose which constitutes the perfection of a human life. Socially constructed understandings of the institution of therapy, however, and postmodern ideological commitments regarding the nature of metanarratives, make it difficult for narrative therapists to consider this theological possibility. This paper will examine the concept of agency in narrative psychology and therapy, and the moral questions that exist at the boundaries of these disciplines, exploring the possible clinical significance of including a teleological assumption in their theoretical core.
The Unconscious: A Christian Appraisal. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Daniel C. Aikins, MA, Wheaton College Graduate School.
Occasionally, a concept is expounded that captures the imagination and becomes the topic of many debates. The human unconscious is one such topic. It is often a point of controversy among Christian counselors. Therefore, it is necessary to unravel some of the mystery surrounding the unconscious, since in neglecting it we may be turning a blind eye to something vital to our work with broken people.
The purpose of this writing is to take a closer look at the unconscious and why it is important to the Christian counselor. First, I will examine why some Christians have a negative view of Freud and psychology, since this is often a basis for rejecting the concept of the unconscious. Next, I will survey some definitions of the unconscious to get a clearer picture of what it is thought to be. Third, I will look at why the unconscious is viewed
negatively by some leading Christians. I will also peruse the Scriptures to determine if there are any references to the unconscious. Finally, I will offer some integrative applications from the perspective of a Christian psychologist-in-training. Although this writing is a only a brief review of the unconscious, I trust it will serve to stimulate intelligent discussion among
Christian Psychologists: Serving Christ and His Kingdom. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Mike Ronsisvalle, Wheaton College.
Christian psychologists (Bouma-Prediger, 1990; Canning, Pozzi, McNeil, & McMinn, 1999) have cast the vision of a Christian psychology built upon what they call "faith-praxis" integration, in which they see the work of the professional psychologist as Christian calling or ministry. Conceptualizing Christian psychology within this context implies that professional work will be characterized by what Canning et al. (1999) call Kingdom work, which is described as "those endeavors that are biblically directed, teleological focused, Holy Spirit inspired and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ"
(p. 13). From this perspective, a Christian psychologist does not necessarily possess a unique therapeutic technique or theory through which she provides direct service, but she does possess a unique purpose and motivation which guides and informs her work. If a Christian psychologist embraces Faith-praxis integration and teleologically focused Kingdom work, it seems that it would force him to examine his professional identity and
activities in order to ensure that they are consistent with a Kingdom mentality.
A Study of the Word "Know" in Scripture as it Relates to Core Beliefs in Cognitive Therapy. (pdf)
The author of the above paper is Peter D. Schulz, M.A., Wheaton College.
Although there has been a level of mutual discomfort between the field of psychology and Christianity for the latter half of the 20th century, portions of cognitive therapy managed to become incorporated into Christian lay ministries. As churches began to organize lay counseling ministries, crisis hotlines, support groups, crisis pregnancy centers, and other forms of mental/emotional health social services into their communities, the evangelical movement embraced various psychological resources. Books such as Effective Biblical Counseling (Crabb, 1977), Telling Yourself the Truth (Backus & Chapian, 1980), and a host of other pseudo-cognitive therapy works were written for people in the lay ministry to equip them with a model of conceptualizing counseling as well as easy-to-learn techniques for conducting counseling. While there is a wide range of pros and cons to the lay ministry version of cognitive therapy, the focus of this paper will concentrate on one aspect of how the Scriptures can enhance cognitive therapy. This paper will start with a brief overview of the concepts behind cognitive therapy, followed by a study of the term "know" in Scripture as it relates to the concept of core beliefs in cognitive therapy, and end with a critique of the ideas presented in this paper.
Certainty and Self-Deception among American Fundamentalism.
The author of the above article is Donald M. Braxton, J Omar Good Professor of Religious Studies at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
The capacity of human beings to engage in acts of self-deception is legendary. To move beyond legend, psychology has a 100-year history of investigations driven to understand how the mind constructs perceptions which deceive both others and the self. In the last 30 years, however, evolutionary psychology has generated a new set of questions which promise to aid in understanding why humans are capable of deceiving themselves. From the vantage point of evolutionary psychology, the principal question to be answered is: why would a species have evolved the capacity to deceive itself? It is my intention to pose that question to the specific domain of religious ideas and behavior.
Evolutionary psychology assumes that the mind is a computational system of the biological organism the purpose of which is to facilitate fitness and reproductive success. While truth-seeking may be an important skill in the enhancement of an organism's fitness, it is not the only such skill, nor is it necessarily the most important. In fact, the literature in evolutionary psychology clearly suggests that there may be adaptive benefits to self-deception under certain conditions. It is my suggestion in this paper, that religious certainty is one such condition.
In this paper I summarize the literature on self-deception as an adaptive capacity of the human mind. I suggest how this evolutionary framework may be applied to claims of certainty among American fundamentalists. My suggestion is that fundamentalism is an adaptive act of self-deception in the face of rapid change under conditions of modernity. Finally, I suggest various testing strategies to assess the explanatory power of this model.
Integrating Spiritual Direction Functions in the Practice of Psychotherapy. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Len Sperry, Medical College of Wisconsin and Barry University.
Recent research and clinical experience suggest that clients are increasingly expecting that psychotherapists will deal with their spiritual concerns that are traditionally addressed in spiritual direction. This expectation has already begun to impact the practice of psychotherapy by increasing interest in the "spiritually-oriented-psychotherapies." This article proposes that psychotherapy can become more receptive and effective in dealing with spiritual concerns by appropriately incorporating some or many of the functions of spiritual direction. The practice of spiritual direction is first described and compared to pastoral counseling and spiritually-oriented psychotherapy. Then eight functions of spiritual direction are presented and compared to similar "functions" in psychotherapy. Finally, specific recommendations for incorporating these functions into the practice of
psychotherapy are discussed.
Three Voices, One Song: A Psychologist, Spiritual Director, and Pastoral Counselor Share Perspectives on Providing Care. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Theresa Clement Tisdale, Azusa Pacific University; Carrie E. Doehring, Boston University; and Veneta Lorraine-Poirier, Our Lady of Peace Spiritual Life Center.
A psychologist, spiritual director, and pastoral counselor provide perspectives on approaching the care of persons. Taking a narrative, dialogical
approach, each author in turn briefly introduces herself and her approach to care. Next a vignette is presented involving a clergy person who is in crisis, which is followed by a perspectival analysis by each author of how she would approach the case. Finally, each author offers reflections and comments on the perspective and approach of the other disciplines. Closing thoughts on integrative approaches to care are offered.
Psychological Aggression by American Parents: National Data on Prevalence, Chronicity, and Severity. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Murray A. Straus and Caroly J. Field, University of New Hampshire.
This article describes the prevalence of psychological aggression in a nationally representative sample of 991 parents. By child-age 2, 90% reported
using one or more forms of psychological aggression during the previous 12 months and 98% by age 5. From ages 6 to 17, the rates continued in the 90% range. The rate of severe psychological aggression was lower: 10%–20% for toddlers and about 50% for teenagers. Prevalence rates greater than 90% and the absence of differences according to child or family characteristics suggests that psychological aggression is a near universal disciplinary tactic of American parents. Finally, this article discusses the implications of the findings for the conceptualization of psychological
‘"abuse," and for understanding the origins of the high level of psychological aggression between intimate partners.
Maintaining Personal Resiliency: Lessons Learned from Evangelical Protestant Clergy. (pdf)
The authors of the above article are Katheryn Rhoads Meek, Mark R. McMinn, Craig M. Brower, Todd D. Burnett, Barrett W. McRay, Michael L. Ramey, David W. Swanson, and Dennise D. Villa, Wheaton College.
Despite the prominence of clergy in providing human services, and the work-related stressors they experience, clergy health and coping responses have rarely been the focus of psychological research. We report two studies. In the first, we evaluated responses of 398 senior pastors to three open-ended questions regarding personal coping, structural support for their work, and remediation efforts in times of distress. In the second study, Christian mental health professionals and Christian education professionals identified Protestant Christian clergy who exemplify emotional and spiritual health. Twenty-six participated in individual 30-minute interviews. Respondents emphasized the importance of being intentional in maintaining balance in life and developing healthy relationships. They also value a vital spiritual life, emphasizing both their sense of calling into ministry the importance of spiritual disciplines, and an ongoing awareness of God’s grace. We suggest ways that Christian mental health professionals can
support pastors in preventive and remedial roles.
A Living Stream: Spiritual Direction Within the Pentecostal/Charismatic Tradition. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Oliver McMahan, Church of God Theological Seminary.
Charismatics and Pentecostals have a relatively brief history and tradition. In the short span of just over one hundred years for Pentecostals and fifty years or less for Charismatics, there are a number of characteristics that have emerged. Charismatics and Pentecostals have sought renewal but may, in their desire to return to their initial spiritual experiences of believing and Spirit Baptism, have missed more opportunities for reflection. Their spiritual directors have been diverse but close to the community of believers. The closeness of the community has seemed like a family
as much as a spiritual movement. The implications of the Pentecostal/Charismatic spiritual pursuit, the history of spiritual directors, and methods of spiritual direction are explored in this article with recommendations for further investigation and reflection.
Scripture and Psychological Science: Integrative Challenges & Callings. (pdf)
The author of the above article is William L. Hathaway, Regent University.
A brief classification of a range of approaches to engaging Scripture in psychology is provided including one non-normative and three normative strategies (Bible as encyclopedia of revealed truths, Bible as a source of theological truths and values, and Bible as divine speech received by providentially situated readers). The implications of each of these for an integrative Christian psychology are discussed. Five issues are examined that require further development by Christians in psychology. If Scripture has authoritative priority then how might this authority concretely function in psychological science? What is the proper scope of Scripture with regard to psychology? What positive contributions to psychology are germinal within Scripture? Can Christian psychological scholarship contribute to Biblical hermeneutics? What improvements in integrative curriculum would
facilitate greater attention to the Word of God in the discipline of psychology? These various issues present integrative challenges and callings for current and future generations of Christians in psychology.
Living on the Boundary: Scriptural Authority and Psychology. (pdf)
The author of the above article is Peter C. Hill, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University.
For Christian psychologists to move from their marginalized position with mainstream psychology, they must be able to substantively demonstrate the
unique insights that the integration of psychology with Christian theology offers to the discipline. To do this, Christian psychologists must be able to
show, not just claim, the authority of Scripture by demonstrating its explanatory power on psychology’s terms. Three factors in psychology’s new zeitgeist provide both opportunities and challenges to demonstrating Scriptural authority: a growing cultural interest in spirituality, postmodernism, and novel approaches to cognitive science. Cognitive-Experiential Self Theory (CEST) is provided as a concrete example where Christian thinking provides greater understanding of an emerging psychological theory, thus demonstrating explanatory power and providing Scripture a more authoritative position.
Expanding Horizons for Christians in Psychology. (pdf)
The author of the above article is William L. Hathaway, Regent University.
The integration of psychology and Christianity involves the juxtaposition of at least two horizons of understanding. Numerous attempts have been made to produce an expanded horizon that is faithfully and integrally both Christian and psychological. The current paper explores the role of the concept of "faithful comprehension" as a regulative ideal for integration. This idea is unpacked both in light of externalist epistemology and hermeneutical realism. Some implications for psychological and Christian knowing are considered. The paper concludes by calling Christian psychologists, and Christian psychology training programs, to develop expanded epistemologies that complement what is truth-productive in psychological science with other methods that allow a more complete range of the person to be investigated. Such calls are not unique in the integration literature. Externalism's emphasis on reliable truth production clarifies what must be accomplished by any such expanded psychological
science, Christian or otherwise.
God as Cause or Error? Academic Psychology as Christian Vocation. (pdf)
The author of the above article is M. Elizabeth Lewis Hall, Biola University.
Christian psychologists can find it challenging to work in the context of secular psychology, with its presuppositions of methodological naturalism and its secularizing values. Unthinking engagement with the secular field of psychology can result in significant problems that must be carefully navigated by the Christian scholar. The doctrine of providence is briefly presented as an important theological foundation for an academic vocation in psychology. This is followed by a discussion of potential pitfalls, including secularization, an implied "God-of-the-gaps" theology, distorted notions of God's ways of working in the world, an incomplete picture of humanity, and the adoption of secularizing values. Following this, issues in philosophy of science foundational to the current discussion will be reviewed, and, finally, some suggestions for a vocational practice of psychology will be outlined.
Spiritual Direction: Meaning, Purpose, and Implications for Mental Health Professionals. (pdf)
The above article is from the Journal of Psychology and Theology. The author is Gary W. Moon, Vice-President for Spiritual Development and Professor of Psychology and Spirituality at Psychological Studies Institute.
This article introduces the first of two special issues on spiritual direction and mental health. Attention is given to providing a broad understanding of the meaning, purpose, and scope of spiritual direction, and discussing factors concerning resistance to spiritual transformation. It then explores: the diversity of roles assumed by spiritual guides and directors; contemporary contrasts between spiritual direction and psychotherapy; and critical issues concerning the integration of spiritual concepts and practices into the process of counseling and psychotherapy. It is asserted that the present climate of increased dialogue between soul care practitioners provides unprecedented opportunity for the enhancement of understanding concerning the process of spiritual transformation and its implications for the mission of both church and clinic.
Forgiving Usually Takes Time: A Lesson Learned by Studying Interventions to Promote Forgiveness. (pdf)
The above article is from the Journal of Psychology and Theology. The authors are Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Virginia Commonwealth University; Taro A. Kurusu, Vanderbilt University; Wanda Collins, American University; Jack W. Berry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jennifer S. Ripley, Regent University; and Sasha N. Baier, Virginia Commonwealth University
Numerous accounts of research on promoting forgiveness in group settings have been published, indicating that forgiveness can be promoted successfully in varying degrees. Many have suggested that empathy-based interventions are often successful. It takes time to develop empathy for an offender. We report three studies of very brief attempts to promote forgiveness in psychoeducational group settings. The studies use ten-minute, one-hour, two-hour, and 130-minute interventions with college students. The studies test whether various components - namely, pre-intervention videotapes and a letter-writing exercise - of a more complex model (the Pyramid Model to REACH Forgiveness) can produce forgiveness. Each study is reported on its own merits, but the main lesson is that the amount of forgiveness is related to time that participants spend empathizing with the transgressor. A brief intervention of two hours or less will probably not reliably promote much forgiveness; however, one might argue that it starts people on the road to forgiving.
Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation, and the Restoration of the Soul. (pdf)
The above article is from the Journal of Psychology and Theology. The author is Dallas Willard, Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
After clarifying background assumptions, I proceed to a description of the soul as the source and coordinating principle of the individual life, referring to classical and biblical sources. The soul is presented as distinct from the person, but the entity that makes the person and life one person and life. The psychological reality of sin is seen in the incapacitation of the soul to coordinate the whole person, internally and externally. The gospel word and the Spirit of God bring new life to persons "dead in sin," and make it possible for them to become active in spiritual growth by utilizing disciplines
such as solitude, silence, fasting, and scripture memorization. The effect of these on progression toward wholeness is discussed, and the importance of psychological research and teaching on spiritual formation through spiritual disciplines is emphasized.
Christ, the Lord of Psychology. (pdf)
The above article is from the Journal of Psychology and Theology. The author is Eric L. Johnson, Northwestern College.
The lordship of Christ over all of a Christian’s life is an assumption basic to Christianity. The acknowledgement of his lordship in psychology is especially problematic today because of the pervasive naturalism and neo-positivism of modern psychology. Nevertheless, an understanding of the kingdom concept in Scripture suggests that Christians are inevitably called to work towards the expression of Christ's lordship in psychology. This occurs as the Christian pursues psychological knowledge and practice before God, aware that all true truth about human nature is an expression of God's mind, that sin and finitude limit one's ability to grasp the truth, that the Scriptures are needed to properly interpret human nature, and that kingdom activity involves a faithful response to Christ's lordship in one's work with others and one's knowing of human nature.