School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)
creative arts personal growth group, shame, attachment to God, group counseling, creative and expressive arts interventions
Bonta, Jeremy Duane, "CCAPG, Shame Resilience, and God Attachment: A Case Study Analysis" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4462.
The experience of shame is a universal human phenomenon associated with a myriad of mental health conditions and positively correlated to the destructive aspects of religiosity, such as perceived alienation from God or excessive focus on human sinfulness. For the religious believer, shameful experiences may hinder the development of a secure God attachment and influence one’s internal working model of God as harsh or malevolent, reinforcing a sense of internal shame. To date, the availability of therapeutic interventions targeting shame reduction and addressing insecure God attachment are minimal. Grounded in implicit internal working model correspondence theory and shame resilience theory, this case study analysis explored the use of the Christian Creative Arts Personal Growth Group (CCAPG) in fostering shame regulation and cultivating secure attachment with God. CCAPG is a six-week protocol that utilizes creative arts activities, anchoring skills, cognitive-behavioral interventions, and Christian-integrated practices for Christian clients with a history of shame and disconnection from God. This qualitative case study explored the lived experiences of 31 group members dispersed over three separate groups and highlighted the components and processes that participants indicated as helpful in reducing shame and increasing relational connection with God. Among the findings, the personhood of the leader, the creative arts interventions, and the Christian-integrated psychoeducation were effective in achieving these goals. The results of this study were discussed in relevance to current literature. Implications for the five core competencies of counselor educators and recommendations for future research were identified.