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On Demand

2020 Webinar Series: Attachment Theory and the Multiplicity of Spiritual Relationships: Theory, Assessment, and Therapeutic Applications

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Dr. Andrew Sodergren Psy.D. |  Dr. Peter Martin
3 Hours
Audio and Video
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Starting with Kirkpatrick & Shaver (1990), attachment theory has been explicitly applied to studying the psychology of religion including understanding God image, conversion, and prayer. However, attachment-based God image theory, research, and practice have almost exclusively focused on the individual’s experience of God as one, with little emphasis on his Personal plurality. In a word, the Trinitarian emphasis was generally lacking. This likely made for confounding effects in the data and restricted clinical application, especially when studying or with working Christians. For instance, one person might complete an attachment to God self-report questionnaire and focus on their experience of God the Father but not God the Son; another might have in mind God the Son but not God the Father, etc. Furthermore, little or no emphasis in attachment-based God image or general God image research concentrated on non-divine spiritual figures such as the Blessed Virgin Mary, angels, or saints.

Through psychoeducational lecture and dialogue with the audience, this workshop will explore the theoretical grounds for the notion that people may possess distinct relationship styles with different spiritual entities based on underlying attachment working models that get activated in those specific relationships. Various methods of assessing such relational styles – including self-report and projective techniques – will be presented and the audience will be invited to engage in some of these tasks during the workshop to begin assessing their own spiritual relationships. Lastly, clinical strategies to work with these distinct relational styles in psychotherapy will be explored and demonstrated, allowing attendees to gain conceptual and experiential knowledge of how to work with their spiritually involved patients in sensitive and innovative ways.

This program does not qualify for NBCC credits


Dr. Andrew Sodergren Psy.D.'s Profile

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Director of Psychological Services

Ruah Woods Psychological Services

Dr. Andrew Sodergren is a Catholic psychologist and Director of Psychological Services for Ruah Woods Institute, a Theology of the Body ministry in Cincinnati, OH.  He earned his Masters and Doctorate in clinical psychology from Divine Mercy University’s Institute for the Psychological Sciences.  He also holds a Masters degree in theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at CUA, where he taught as an Adjunct Professor for 13 years.  In 2022, Dr. Sodergren contributed a chapter on the “Psychology of the Sexual Difference” to the book Sexual Identity: The Harmony of Philosophy, Science, and Revelation published by the St. Paul Center. He previously wrote a chapter on forgiveness in marriage in the book Torn Asunder: Children, the Myth of the Good Divorce, and the Recovery of Origins.  He is an active member of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association (CPA) and is a frequent speaker for professional and lay audiences on topics involving the integration of psychology and the Catholic faith. In 2023, he was honored by the CPA with the Our Lady of Good Counsel Clinical Excellence Award.  He and his wife Ellie have been married 24 years and have 5 children.


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Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska