God Image Narrative Therapy: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of a Controlled Group-Based Spiritual Intervention

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Abstract

We report findings from a controlled, manualized 10-week group-based spiritual intervention designed to improve God images, attachment to God, and narrative identity, using primarily narrative and experiential interventions. Participants were 61 Christian adults (n = 32 intervention, n = 29 matched controls) from the student population of 2 faith-based universities. Quantitative results (including data from self-report measures and quantified data from God-representation figure drawings) yielded nonsignificant findings. However, in posttest journal entries and during debriefing interviews, intervention participants reported experiencing positive changes in God images, God attachment, and narrative identity. These discrepant results are discussed in terms of the existing literature, with a focus on measurement issues. We also discuss the potential of using qualitative and mixed-methods research to study God images and God attachment, particularly (a) in the context of outcome research and (b) if non-self-report methods (e.g., projective measures, narrative methods) are utilized more heavily than self-report methods.

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