Psychotherapeutic Change and Spiritual Transformation: The Interaction Effect
Keywords:psychotherapy and religion, psychoanalysis, affect-regulation theory, psychology and spirituality
AbstractOlav was an extremely difficult, regressed, and religiously preoccupied patient, with a long history of unsuccessful outpatient and inpatient treatment. His case study by Stalsett, Engedal, and Austad (2010) is used here to illustrate the VITA treatment program at the Modum Bad Hospital in Norway. This program uniquely combines contemporary psychoanalytic therapy and a focus on religious and spiritual concerns to produce a remarkably intense 12-week inpatient treatment process. My commentary concentrates on some of the theoretical and practical implications of Olav's case for the psychological study of religion and the clinical treatment of religious patients, and it argues in favor of the VITA approach to dealing with religious and spiritual concerns as opposed to other forms of "religious" or "spiritual" therapy. The case presentation implies that the VITA Program succeeded with Olav where others did not because it explicitly focused on religious and existential issues. I offer some suggestions based on self-psychology why that might be true but also suggest that other factors were at work as well.
How to Cite
Jones, J. W. (2010). Psychotherapeutic Change and Spiritual Transformation: The Interaction Effect. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 6(2), 109–117. https://doi.org/10.14713/pcsp.v6i2.1026
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