I will be with you, always”: An overview of the relationship to God as an attachment relationship in the context of psychotherapy
Current understandings of the power and importance of attachment relationships for the development and maintenance of mind and health is deepening. Attachment theory is a foundation for contemporary theories of mind and mind-body connection, with state of mind with respect to attachment predicting concepts of self and other, and predicting the quality of care expected in personal and therapeutic relationships. For many of our patients and members of our community, the presence and nature of a relationship to God or a Higher Power is a significant aspect of a coping system in both illness and health. This paper presents an overview of attachment theory and its applications showing that the relationship with God can at times be experienced as an attachment relationship, with the quality of that attachment defining the kind of care and self-concept that can be accessed in that relationship. This proposition will be illustrated by case material from psychotherapy, exploring the usefulness of tracking the nature and changes in this relationship on the journey of recovery from illness.