The relational self in therapeutic relationship, and the imago Dei: Towards an integrated psychotherapeutic and theological understanding of transformational healing and change in the process of psychotherapy

Helen Miller

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

91 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The therapeutic relationship has long been regarded as being a major component in the process of change, healing and transformation which can occur in psychotherapy. Multiple studies define essential elements of that relationship and process. Yet the dynamics of transformational healing through the therapeutic relationship remain elusive and resistant to full conceptualisation. This research project utilises the resources of psychotherapeutic literature, a qualitative study of experienced Christian therapists and insights from the Christian tradition of theological anthropology in order to establish a richer and more integrated understanding of the potentials for transformational healing through therapeutic relationship. The results suggest that the transformative power of therapeutic relationship arises from the dynamic unfolding and emerging identity of the self (for both the therapist and the client) associated with an enhanced exocentric orientation. From a theological point of view this dynamic can be understood as the activation of imago Dei; the concept of being made in the image of God. This leads to an understanding of the therapeutic relationship as a site for the nurture of the relational self marked by hope.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Pickard, Stephen, Principal Supervisor
  • Miner Bridges, Maureen, Co-Supervisor, External person
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The relational self in therapeutic relationship, and the <i>imago Dei</i>: Towards an integrated psychotherapeutic and theological understanding of transformational healing and change in the process of psychotherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this