Spiritual Transformation: A Phenomenological Study Among Recovering Substance Abusers
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
As a complement to an earlier quantitative investigation, this qualitative study was concerned with describing the lived experience of spiritual transformation within the context of a 12-month resident substance abuse recovery program called the Lazarus Project, which is sponsored by a southern U.S. Pentecostal-based congregation. We conducted phenomenological interviews with 10 participants (eight European-Americans; two African-Americans) who had been in the program from six to nine months and asked that they describe their most important spiritual experiences that brought about change. A hermeneutical analysis found that a pattern of five overlapping themes emerged consistently across all 10 protocols to describe the meaning of the experience of spiritual transformation for these participants. The themes were: (1) “Sick and Tired”, (2) Unmerited Love, (3) “I’m Changing,” (4) Fast/Gradual, and (5) Destiny. The themes are discussed from an existential perspective and related to the literature on spiritual transformation as well as the earlier quantitative study at the Lazarus Project.
- Benner, D. G. (2002). Nurturing spiritual growth. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 30, 355–361.
- Blakeney, C. D., Blakeney, R. F., & Reich, K. H. (2005). Leaps of faith: The role of religious development in recovering integrity among Jewish alcoholics and drug addicts. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 8, 63–77. CrossRef
- Csordas, T. J. (1994). The sacred self: A cultural phenomenology of Charismatic healing. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Cutten, G. B. (1909). The psychological phenomena of Christianity. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
- Dufault-Hunter, E. (2012). The transformative power of faith: A Narrative approach to conversion. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
- Hefner, P., & Koss-Chioini, J. D. (2006). Exploring spiritual transformation and healing: Fundamental issues. In J. D. Koss-Chioini & P. Hefner (Eds.), Spiritual transformation and healing: Anthropological, theological, neuroscientific, and clinical perspectives (pp. 3–9). New York: AltaMira Press.
- Hood, R. W., Jr., & Williamson, W. P. (2008). Them that believe: The power and meaning of Christian serpent handling. Berkeley: University of California Press. CrossRef
- James, W. (1982). The varieties of religious experience. New York: Penguin Books (original work published 1902).
- Jones, J. (2010). Psychotherapeutic change and spiritual transformation: The interaction effect. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 6, 109–117.
- Kay, P. (2005). Toward a psychological theory of spiritual transformation (Doctoral dissertation). Chicago Theological Seminary. Retrieved from ProQuest (UMI 3301770).
- Kemp, R. (2009). The lived-body of drug addiction. Existential Analysis, 20, 120–132.
- Koss-Chioino, J. D. (2006). Spiritual transformation, ritual healing, and altruism. Zygon, 41, 877–892. CrossRef
- Leffel, G. M. (2007a). Emotion and transformation in the relational spirituality paradigm part 1: Prospects and prescriptions for reconstructive dialogue. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 35, 263–280.
- Leffel, G. M. (2007b). Emotion and transformation in the relational spirituality paradigm part 2: Implicit morality and “minimal prosociality”. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 35, 281–297.
- Leffel, G. M. (2007c). Emotion and transformation in the relational spirituality paradigm part 3: A moral motive anlaysis. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 35, 263–280.
- Leuba, J. H. (1896). A study in the psychology of religious phenomena. The American Journal of Psychology, 7, 309–385. CrossRef
- McCoy, L. K., Hermos, J. A., Bokhour, B. G., & Frayne, S. M. (2004). Conceptual bases of Christian, faith-based substance abuse rehabilitations programs: Qualitative analysis of staff interviews. Substance Abuse, 25(3), 1–11. CrossRef
- Moon, G. W. (2002). Spiritual direction: Meaning, purpose, and implications for mental health professionals. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 30, 264–275.
- Neff, J. A., & MacMaster, S. A. (2005). Applying behavior change models to understand spiritual mechanisms underlying change in substance abuse treatment. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 31, 669–684. CrossRef
- Pargament, K. I. (2006). The meaning of spiritual transformation. In J. D. Koss-Chioino & P. J. Hefner (Eds.), Spiritual transformation and healing: Anthropological, theological, neuroscientific, and clinical perspectives. New York: AltaMira Press.
- Pollio, H. R., Henley, T. B., & Thompson, C. J. (1997). The phenomenology of everyday life. New York: Cambridge University Press. CrossRef
- Rambo, L. R. (1993). Understanding religious conversion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
- Rambo, L. W. (2010). Conversion studies, pastoral counseling, and cultural studies: Engaging and embracing a new paradigm. Pastoral Psychology, 59, 433–445. CrossRef
- Sandage, S. J., Hill, P. C., & Vaubel, D. C. (2011). Generativity, relational spirituality, gratitude, and mental health: Relationships and pathways. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 21, 1–16. CrossRef
- Sandage, S. J., & Shults, F. L. (2007). Relational spirituality and transformation: A relational integration model. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 26, 261–269.
- Shorkey, C. T., & Windsor, L. C. (2010). Inventory of spirituality in alcohol/other drug research: Psychometric dimensions. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 28, 17–37. CrossRef
- Sorokin, P. A. (2002). The ways and power of love: Types, factors, and techniques of moral transformation. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press (original work published 1954).
- Starbuck, E. D. (1897). A study of conversion. The American Journal of Psychology, 8, 268–308. CrossRef
- Streib, H., Hood, R. W., Jr., Keller, B., Csöff, R.-M., & Silver, C. (2009). Deconversion: Qualitative and quantitative results from cross-cultural research in Germany and the United States. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
- Sundararajan, L. (2011). Spiritual transformation and emotion: A semiotic analysis. Journal of Spirituality in Mental health, 13, 78–90. CrossRef
- Turner, E. L. B. (2006). Discussion: Altruism, spiritually merging with a fellow human being’s suffering. Zygon, 41, 933–939. CrossRef
- Ulman, C. (1989). The transformed self: The psychology of religious conversion. New York: Plenum Press. CrossRef
- Williamson, W. P. (1999). The experience of religious serpent handling: A phenomenological study (Doctoral dissertation). University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Retrieved from ProQuest (UMI #9962331).
- Williamson, W. P., & Hood, R. W., Jr. (2011). Spirit baptism: A phenomenological study of religious experience. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 14, 543–559. CrossRef
- Williamson, W. P., & Hood, R. W., Jr. (2012). The Lazarus Project: A longitudinal study of spiritual transformation among substance abusers. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 15, 611–635. CrossRef
- Williamson, W. P., & Pollio, H. R. (1999). The phenomenology of religious serpent handling: A rationale and thematic study of extemporaneous sermons. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 38(2), 203–218. CrossRef
- Williamson, W. P., Pollio, H. R., & Hood, R. W., Jr. (2000). A phenomenological analysis of the anointing among religious serpent handlers. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10(4), 221–240. CrossRef
- Willis, P. (2001). The “things themselves” in phenomenology. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 1(1), 1–14.
- Spiritual Transformation: A Phenomenological Study Among Recovering Substance Abusers
Volume 62, Issue 6 , pp 889-906
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Spiritual transformation
- Substance abuse
- Drug treatment programs