Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Geloofsinterventie en het minderwaardigheidsschema

By H.A. van Ittersum


The goal of this thesis is to create a model, to understand how to intervene effectively in the client’s relationship with God in the scope of schema therapy. The thesis circles around the question: What could be an effective way for clients with inferiority, to intervene in the relationship with God, according to a schema-based approach, using the religious culture of the client and the psychological mechanism on which schema therapy is based? For this reason, we designed a heuristic model. Our first step was to look for the underlying psychological mechanisms of schema therapy. According to schema therapy, the maladaptive schema of inferiority is created by an experience of rejection in the childhood origin and parenting style(s), followed by a repeated interpretation of defectiveness of oneself. Caused by the mechanism of transfer, the client expects the same rejection in his or her current relationships. The clients became used to a way to escape the schema that is not really helpful, namely by creating conditional schemas. In the case of inferiority, conditional schemas are leading to unrelenting standards, by which clients become very perfectionistic about themselves. Paying no attention to intervention in the client’s relationship with God, schema therapy values the interpretation of the defectiveness of the client as a mistake and tries to communicate this to the client. The goal of treatment is to increase the client’s sense of self-esteem. Besides techniques that focus on the central thoughts of inferiority of the client, schema therapy uses also techniques that focus on the need of confirmation. To this end, the affirmative influence of the therapist is used as an important factor. The therapist uses other ways of confirmation as well, by supporting existing accepting relationships and toning down rejecting relationships. In doing so, the schema therapy is leaning on the mechanism that one secure relationship makes the other relationships secure as well. According to a theory of correspondence, the relationship with God in treatment can be seen as a changing relationship parallel to other relationships. According to this theory, we expect after regular schema intervention that the relationship with God is a secure relationship. But we realized that the religious culture can have an adverse effect that makes it difficult to adapt the thought of rejection. At the same time it becomes obvious, that this thought need to change, because it has a dysfunctional working in the relationship with God. Nevertheless, in a theology in which the sinfulness of man is a central theme, the client can experience resistance to ‘just’ agree to a proposal of the therapist to relativize the defects of oneself. That is why we are searching for a model that fits for these clients too. We searched for a method to intervene in the relationship with God in a way that makes the relationship with God functional in a way the religious culture is not inhibiting the treatment, but the force behind an adapted functional schema. Because the early relationship between the clients with inferiority and their parents can be characterized as an insecure attachment relationship, it can be helpful to arrange a relationship where they can experience a secure attachment. That’s why building a secure relationship with God, can be effective for the client. As an expected consequence, all relationships are more sensitive to change from insecure to secure. Building a secure relationship with God and at the same time using the religious culture is possible. The therapist can use the neglected aspects within the relational structure of the client’s theology. Some specific elements of the religious culture can be helpful in this kind of treatment. The client with a schema of inferiority needs a more functional schema, consisting more accepting, forgiving and loving aspects of God. Which aspect is most effective dependents on the relational structure. In order to achieve this kind of adapted schema, the client needs to be ready to accept a reinterpretation of the relationship with God. To get there, the client needs to realize that the old character of God is a mistake and to accept the adapted character of God as ‘true’. This adaptation can be facilitated by showing the client the parallels between other relationships and the relationship with God and by unmasking the mechanisms of projection and transfer in this relation. A next step to empower the new schema is by repeating the remembrance that God accept him or her. By accepting that God accept the client, the client can come to self-acceptance. To maximize the effectiveness of the intervention, this process should be accompanied by functional behaviour. In that way, the client gives oneself the possibility to sustain the new conviction by experiences of acceptance. This is also possible in the relationship with God, by starting a more intimate relationship. This intimacy can come into being by new forms of communication that are practiced in the relationship with God. When the client repeats this often, the adapted schema will be strengthened and the old schema will be weakened. The heuristic model as a whole could not be found in reality, because inferiority is rarely the only problem of a client. Because you can’t distil inferiority, you always see other problems related to this problem. The diagnosis, goal and methods in real treatment, seemed to be dependent on the personal accents that the therapist would like to give to the problems as a whole. One of the things we saw both in theory and reality was the religious culture as a source of convincing arguments. By thoroughly searching within this culture, you can find more loving aspects that are ready to be used for building a more functional relationship. These aspects can be used as suited arguments, in for example the cognitive technique of discussion about the plausibility of the schema of inferiority

Topics: Godgeleerdheid, geloofsinterventie, schematherapie, minderwaardigheid, religieuze cultuur
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.