The Efficacy of Adult Christian Support Groups in Coping with the Death of a Significant Loved One
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- Goodman, H. & Stone, M.H. J Relig Health (2009) 48: 305. doi:10.1007/s10943-008-9201-2
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Psychologists sometimes minimize important resources such as religion and spiritual beliefs for coping with bereavement. Alienation of therapeutic psychology from religious values contrasts to professional and public interest in religious experience and commitment. A supportive viewpoint has come about partially as a result of recognizing important values which clinicians have found absent in many of their clients. Until spiritual belief systems become integrated into the work of clinicians, clients may not be fully integrative in coping with loss. The key finding of this study was that individuals who participated in Christian and secular support groups showed no statistically significant difference in their mean endorsement of negative criteria on the BHS, and no statistically significant difference for their mean score endorsement of positive criteria on the RCOPE. However, a Christian-oriented approach was no less effective than a psychological-oriented one. In both groups, a spiritual connection to a specific or generalized higher power was frequently identified which clients ascribed to facilitating the management of their coping.