Childhood Trauma and Resilience: Towards a Spiritually Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approach Open Access

Glenn, Ca Trice B. (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/sf2685471?locale=en
Published

Abstract

For many emerging adult childhood trauma survivors (ages 18-25), spirituality can influence the sustainability of resilience in significant ways. A gap exists in the literature regarding the effective integration of spirituality and resilience in therapeutic interventions with this population, particularly among pastoral counseling approaches. This work examines whether or not a Cognitive Behavior Therapy approach highlighting the interaction between spirituality identity development and resilience development enhances survivor resilience. In a pilot study, twenty college students were sequentially assigned to either a treatment group (N=10) or control group (N=10). Treatment group participants received four sessions of an experimental spiritually focused cognitive behavior therapy intervention. Both groups completed pre-test and post-test assessments with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. Research results derived from quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Based upon a univariate analysis of variance, it appears resiliency scores did not differ significantly following the treatment intervention, p = .55. Based on the Royal Free Interview for Spiritual and Religious Beliefs instrument, participant perceptions of a spiritual power or force influencing day-to-day life appear significantly different following the treatment intervention p = .04 and perceptions of a spiritual power or force enabling them to cope with events in their life appear slightly significant p = .06. Qualitative analysis revealed three prominent themes of spirituality that influenced resilience (Beliefs, Practices and Communication) and seven sub-themes (Character of God, Religious Beliefs, Spiritual Beliefs, Relationship to God; Community, Spiritual Disciplines; and Forms of Communicating). In conclusion, religious language, and one's perceived relationship to God during childhood trauma can affect both adaptive and maladaptive coping for survivors. Additionally, the task of identity exploration can amplify evolving theological conflicts in emerging adulthood and influence survivor coping. Emerging adult childhood trauma survivors in this study experienced theological conflicts between the spiritual elements that aided in childhood coping and their present-day spiritual realities.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Introduction: Childhood Maltreatment and Childhood Trauma Overview ----- 1
Emerging Adulthood ----- 5
Nature of the Problem and Basic Assumptions ----- 9
Study Background and Purpose ----- 13
Research Design and Methodology ----- 14

Chapter 1: Childhood Trauma, Resilience, and Spirituality Literature Review ----- 19
Trauma Overview ----- 20

Childhood Trauma
Social Sciences Literature ----- 22
Interpersonal Childhood Trauma ----- 27
Interpersonal Childhood Trauma and Emerging Adulthood ----- 36

Theology Literature ----- 38
Sin in Context ----- 41
Fragmented Personhood ----- 46

Resilience
Social Sciences Literature ----- 49
Resilience and Emerging Adulthood ----- 53

Theology Literature ----- 58
The Survivor: Resistance to Violence ----- 58

Spirituality with Emerging Adults
Social Sciences Literature ----- 61
Spirituality and Resilience ----- 63

Theology Literature ----- 66
Restoration: Finding Meaning and Purpose ----- 66
Emerging Adult Spirituality and Resilience ----- 68


PART I: TREATMENT AND HEALING APPROACHES
Theological and Psychological Perspectives of 'Adaptive' Living


Chapter 2: Theory and Treatment Approaches ----- 78
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Overview ----- 80

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Childhood Trauma Survivors ----- 83
Assessments and Treatment Considerations ----- 85

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Resilience ----- 90
Assessments and Treatment Considerations ----- 93

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Spiritual/Religious Clients ----- 96
Assessments and Treatment Considerations ----- 106


Chapter 3: Theology and Healing Approaches ----- 112
Theology and Pastoral Counseling Overview ----- 112
Pastoral Theology Research Method ----- 113
Faith Development and Spiritual Identity Development ----- 115
Culture and Emerging Adult Spiritual Development ----- 122

Trauma and Suffering ----- 123

Pastoral Counseling and Reconciliation ----- 126

Pastoral Counseling with Childhood Trauma Survivors during Emerging Adulthood ----- 132
Developing a Pastoral Counseling Approach ----- 134
Eschatological Hope ----- 134
Eschatological Plot ----- 136


PART II: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research, Findings and Discussion


Chapter 4: Methodology ----- 139
Research Design ----- 140
Population Sample ----- 141
Instruments ----- 142
Data Collection ----- 147
Statistical Method ----- 147
Research Design and Procedures ----- 149

Chapter 5: Results ----- 154
Demographic Sample ----- 154
Descriptive Statistics ----- 156
Pre-screen Instruments ----- 156
Presenting Issues
Gender and Presenting Issues ----- 158
Ethnicity and Presenting Issues ----- 159
Religious/Spiritual Background and Presenting Issues ----- 159
Childhood Trauma Questionnaire
Gender and Childhood Trauma ----- 164
Ethnicity and Childhood Trauma ----- 165
Religious/Spiritual Background and Childhood Trauma ----- 169
Quantitative Findings
Results for Research: Question One ----- 171
Results for Research: Question Two ----- 174
Qualitative Findings
Results for Research: Question Two ----- 175
Results for Research: Question Three ----- 180


Chapter 6: Discussion, Implications, Future Research, and Conclusion ----- 184
Discussion and Implications ----- 189

Goal 1- Spiritual Identity Development and Resilience ----- 191
Christian Theology and Childhood Trauma ----- 193
Christian Theology and Emerging Adult Survivors ----- 195
Case Studies - Spiritual Identity Development ----- 197

Goal 2- Spiritual Elements that Influence Resilience ----- 205
Christian Theology and Survivor Resilience ----- 210
Fragmented-Compartmentalization ----- 214

Goal 3- Towards the Development of an ----- 220
Effective Spiritual Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy Approach
Christian Theology and Clinical Practice ----- 222

Future Research ----- 224
Conclusion ----- 226


Index of Tables ----- 230

Appendixes ----- 231

Appendix A - Institutional Review Board Protocol ----- 232

Appendix B - Informed Consent Form ----- 236

Appendix C - Demographic Information Sheet ----- 239

Appendix D - Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) ----- 240

Appendix E - Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) ----- 241

Appendix F - Modified Royal Free Interview for Spiritual and Religious Beliefs (RFI) ----- 242
Appendix G - Narrative Questionnaire ----- 246

Appendix H - Referral Information ----- 248

Appendix I - Treatment Group Homework - Week 1 ----- 249

Appendix J - Treatment Group Homework - Week 2 ----- 250


Bibliography ----- 252

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