Patients’ experience of spirituality and change in individual psychotherapy at a Christian counseling clinic: A grounded theory analysis.

This grounded theory study entailed interviewing nine participants who stated that their spiritual experiences were integral to positive treatment outcomes while receiving individual psychotherapy at a Christian outpatient clinic. All participants experienced various psychological symptoms while undergoing difficult life experiences and stressors. An emergent model made up of 14 major themes were categorized into three groups whereby each group served as a sequential precursor to the next. The first group of themes, Behavioral Triggers, highlighted behavioral patterns that contributed toward participants’ spiritual experiences. Participants stated that themes within this group were integral to experiencing the second group, or Spiritual Catalysts. Within this group, participants stated that gaining a “New God Image and Relationship” and developing “New Existential/Religious Beliefs” were essential to the final group of themes, or Psychosocial Outcomes. This group entailed themes that were associated with symptom alleviations and enhancements toward a new and positive self-image. Results from this study highlighted the importance for psychotherapy patients to develop a safe and secure relationship with their God image to experience spiritual transformation and positive psychological outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)