|By Dorte Toudal Viftrup
Institute of Public Health, Research Unit of Health, Man and Society, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark
Post Conference Ressources
Poster – download here
CV – download here
People who face a personal crisis often begin to seek for a new meaning in life in order to understand their changed life situation. In their search for meaning, some people turn to religious faith while trying to interpret their situation in new ways. International Research shows Religiosity has a particular potential as a meaning-system. The majority of research in the significance of religiosity as a meaning-system for people in crisis has mainly been done outside of Scandinavia. It is difficult to adapt these, primarily American, studies to Scandinavian conditions, since secularization is more widespread in Scandinavia. Scandinavia’s cultural approach to religion differentiates significantly from that of other nations, but knowledge about how Danish religiosity functions as a meaning-system is highly useful in the clinical work with religious people.
The purpose of this PhD-project is to examine how Danish Christian faith is used as a meaning-system by a group of Danish Christians and to examine the characteristics of a psychological intervention that integrates Danish Christian faith as a meaning making resource (Faith integrated group-therapy). The design of the study seeks to answer the following two research questions:
- How are Danish clients who face a personal crisis using their Christianity to frame or reframe their life-narrative?
- Which impact does the Faith integrated group-therapy for crisis-stricken people have on the framing or reframing of the client´s life-narratives?
The method of the project is based upon the qualitative research tradition. It uses semi-structured interviews with 18 individual people who have chosen to participate in Faith integrated group-therapy, and participant observation and sound recordings of the group-therapy sessions.
A structural/linguistic narrative approach is used for analyzing the data material. This approach focuses on 1. How the informants connect different narratives when they speak, 2. Which narratives they find important, 3. The way clients use their religiosity for framing and reframing their life-narrative, and 4. The importance of the Christian group therapy to this process.
The Ph.D. project will constitute a significant theory and concept-forming step towards further research of the role of religiosity in health-promoting interventions in Scandinavian Countries.