School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


David E Jenkins


Attachment, Christian, God, Marriage, Relationship, Satisfaction, Romantic


Counseling | Counseling Psychology | Counselor Education


With professional counseling ethics and organizations moving to more spiritual and cultural sensitivity on behalf of their clients, there is limited research on Christian couples in the area of marital intervention. This phenomenological study examined the shared experiences of five Christian couples who participated in a Christian emotionally-focused therapy marital intensive and who reported maintaining relationship satisfaction one year later. The study assessed the effectiveness of this Christian marital counseling intervention; and identified emergent processes and themes that occurred specific to Christian couples in a marital intervention setting; and added to the God attachment and romantic attachment literature through a Christian EFT marital intervention model. I operated as the interviewer for each couple. Results yielded three major themes for the three research questions, several minor themes and a few points of interest. The SHRM was found to be an effective intervention for Christian couples to move to a secure presentation in God and romantic attachment presentation that resulted in relationship satisfaction. The recommendations for future research included conducting a longitudinal quantitative study by operationalizing the outcome themes from this study, conducting a qualitative study with couples who did not achieve relationship satisfaction through SHRM, and conducting a qualitative study with other counselors who have used this model. The outcome model can be used as a diagnostic tool at intake to better individualize each couple’s treatment focus and inform the clinician as to the couple’s attachment presentation in the area of God attachment, romantic attachment, relationship satisfaction and attachment outside the relationship.