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Copyright 1998 by Rosemead School of Psychology

Journal o f Psychology and Theology

Biola University, 0091-6471/410-730

1998, Vol. 26, N o. 2, 179-187

E x p a n d i n g D a v a n l o o s I n t e r p r e t iv e
T r ia n g l e s t o E x p l ic a t e t h e C l i e n t 's
I n t r o je c t e d Im age o f G o d
Ja n ic e M o rg a n S tr e n g th

Fuller Theological Seminary

right, there needs to be development and explication


of models for doing the practical work of therapy in a
Christian context. The purpose of this article is to
present a framework for making interpretations that
include the aspect of a clients relationship with God.
I suspect that many seasoned Christian therapists
may be employing many of the concepts which will
be presented here. Like me, probably many of them
arrived at their use of the concepts by trial and error.
It is my hope that this article will provide an explicit
model which will be useful in training situations.

One of the difficulties for a psychotherapist who


desires to integrate Christian faith with psychological
theory is making the transition from theoretical models to practical applications in the clinical setting. In
this article I focus on interpretation techniques that
will enable the client to more clearly understand his or
her introjected image of God. I briefly summarize the
literature on theoretical knowledge regarding the
introjected image of God and then review Davanloos
triangles for formulating interpretations of a clients
resistance and transference. Taking the literature on
the introjected image of God and Davanloos interpretive triangles into consideration, a model is proposed
that aids in incorporating interpretation of transference and resistance that a client has in relationship to
God into the therapeutic work.

T h e r e is a N e e d f o r F o r m u l a t in g
I n t e r p r e t a t io n s R e g a r d in g G o d

People Replace the Real God


With a Pale Picture of Him

ne of the difficulties for a psychotherapist


who desires to integrate Christian faith with
psychological theory is making the transition
from theoretical models to practical application in the
clinical setting. Greenson ( 1967), a psychoanalytic therapist, referring to Heinz H artm anns writings,
observed, whenever there is a lack of integration
between theory and technique, both aspects are likely
to suffer (p. 15). Christian therapists who are engaged
in developing models for Christian therapy need to do
a better job of integrating theory and technique.
In perusing the professional journals dealing with
integration of faith and practice, most articles are
either models which integrate psychology and Christian faith on a theoretical level or describe research
regarding integrative theory. A third category of articles is comprised of case studies. Though theory
about faith and practice, research regarding integrative theory, and case studies are valuable in their own

The Christian therapist must not only pay attention to the various emotional aspects of the clients
life, but must also attend to the clients relationship
with God. Anthony Bloom (1966) wrote that the
image of God is often distorted. This inhibits the
clients prayer and stunts spiritual growth.
God is always real, always Himself, and if we could stand face
to face with Him as H e is and perceive His objective reality,
things might be simpler; but we manage, in a subjective way,
to blur this truth, this reality in front of which we stand, and to
replace the real God by a pale picture of Him, even worse, by
a god who is unreal because of our one-sided and poor conception of Him . ... It is not to the real person we are then
speaking, but to the image we have formed and it usually takes
a great deal of effort on the part of the victim of this prejudice
to break through and establish a real relationship. We have all
formed ideas about God; however lofty, beautiful, even true in
its component parts the idea may be, it will, if we are not careful, stand between us and the real God and may become simply an idol before which we pray while the real God is hidden

Requests for reprints may be sent to Janice Morgan Strength,


PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary, Graduate School of Psychology, 180 North Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101 Electronic
mail may be addressed to strength@fuller.edu

by it. (p. 102)

For the Christian therapist, part of the work with clients


is promoting their relationship with the real God.
179

180

EXPANDING DAVANLOOS INTERPRETIVE TRIANGLES

Transference Helps Explain Distortions of God


Psychological theory regarding transference
helps to explain how the truth about God is blurred
and how people tend to replace the real God with a
pale picture of him. Greenson (1968) defined transference as the experiencing of feelings, drives, attitudes, fantasies, and defenses toward a person in the
present which are inappropriate to that person and
are a repetition, a displacement of reactions originating in regard to significant persons of early childhood (p. 33). Often people tend to substitute the
real God with a pale picture of him by transferring
the internalized image of their parents onto God.

Introjection Explains How


Parents are Internalized
Regardless of the specific psychodynamic theory,
the concept of introjection introduced by Karl Abraham and examined in depth by Melanie Klein (Hinshelwood, 1994) is useful for understanding the correlations between a persons image of God and his or
her perception of parents. Introjection has several
nuances of definition in the psychodynamic literature,
but the general concept is a useful one for the purposes of this model. In the process of introjection, the
child makes a mental/affective image of various interactions with his or her parents or other important
people in their lives. The internalized image of the parent is a composite internal image of the parent made
up of a blending of these various interactions with parenting figures which have been introjected into the
psyche of the child. Individuals may then take these
internalized images (introjects) and project them onto
others through the process of transference. A person
may also transfer internalized images of parents onto
God and thereby distort who God really is.
The Christian therapist would do well to understand some of the dynamics explicated in the literature regarding the form ation of an internalized
image of God. There is a whole body of research
regarding the formation of an internalized image of
God, of which the following is a brief summary.
L it e r a t u r e S u p p o r t s T r a n s f e r e n c e
o f In t r o je c t e d P a r e n t s O n t o G o d

H einrichs (1982) suggested that psychiatric


patients envision the image of God in 11 different
ways, including the following: a sovereign, loving,
heavenly Father and benevolent guide; cold, remote,
and unresponsive; harsh, angry, and punitive, from

whom they must hide their human frailties; nonexistent; accepting them as they are, supportive; encouraging, a comforter; a Janus-faced being whose expectations are constantly changing; demanding more and
more rituals and renunciations of desires; illusory, lacking substance in external reality; promising in the
future what is unobtainable in the present; and loving
and kind in the past, but withdrawn in the present.
Heinrichs observed that the internalized image of God
generally parallels the status of the individuals capacity
for and quality of object relationships which are
learned from their parents in their early years at home.
Gaultiere and Gaultiere (1989) confirmed Heinrichss (1982) observations in their empirical study of
peoples image of God. They found that subjects in
their study described 14 false gods which paralleled
their images of their parents. Additionally, Kirkpatrick and Shaver (1990) found that a clients beliefs
about God and the nature of his or her personal relationship with God can be predicted from the nature
of childhood attachments. Strahan (1993), in a sampie of 220, found that subjects perceived deity as
more caring and empowering and less distant if their
fathers were perceived as caring. Strahan found a
number of gender-related correlations between perceptions of parents and perceptions of God. Brokaw
and Edwards (1994), in their study of 92 undergraduates, suggested that an individuals growing image of
God appears to be based not only on cognitive teaching about God but also on relational learning.
Strahan (1993) and Kirkpatrick and Shaver (1990)
cite Bowlbys attachment theory as an explanation of
the correlation between peoples image of God and
their perceptions of their parents. Sawin (1984) cites
Bowenian theory as an explanation. Heinrichs (1982),
McDargh (1983), and Latta (1990) refer to object relations theory for an understanding of the phenomena.
The question which is central in this article, however, is how to incorporate this knowledge about the
formation of the introjected image of God into therapeutic work in order to enhance the spiritual as well
as emotional growth of the client.
In t e r p r e t a t io n A d d r e s s e s
T r a n s f e r e n c e a n d R e s is t a n c e

There are three basic interventions which are


common to the practice of many genres of individual and family psychotherapy. During all therapeutic
work, the therapist of whatever persuasion must
constantly choose what kind of intervention he or
she will make.

JANICE MORGAN STRENGTH

Reflective Listening
The therapist may choose to reflect what she
hears or observes, mirroring the client as Donald
Winnicott (1971) encouraged. Carl Rogers (1961)
described this powerful concept as showing unconditional positive regard. By this he meant showing a
warm regard for the client as a person of unconditional self-worth. This is done at least partially by
accurate reflection whereby the therapist simply
restates what the client has said in her own words or
sometimes literally repeats verbatim what she heard
the client say. Most genres of psychotherapy employ
some form of reflective listening.

Clarification
The therapist may choose to clarify what he has
heard by asking questions or by asking the client to
tell more or expand upon the clients previous comment. While most genres of psychotherapy use clarification to some extent, many of the cognitive therapies utilize the intervention of clarification as the
central aspect of their work. Family therapists, White
and Epston (1990), described a particular form of
clarification in their narrative therapy approach.
Their relative-influence questioning utilizes both
clarification and reflection to allow clients to tell
their story beyond just a statement of the problem.
Both Murray Bowen (Hall, 1991) and BoszormenyiNagy (Boszormenyi-Nagy & Krasner, 1986) used
clarification questions as a central part of their
approach. Of course, the direction of the clarification varies somewhat, based on the particular theoretical assumptions that guide the therapists work.

Interpretation
In psychodynamic psychotherapies, both individual and family therapy genres utilize interpretation as an essential part of the therapeutic process.
The purpose of interpretation is to provide insight
to the client regarding that which is outside the
conscious awareness of the client. The interpretation may focus on unconscious transference or
resistance.
Transference. Therapists may use interpretation
to explicate the clients unconscious transference.
Interpretation involves the therapists formulating
and articulating unconscious processes of transference so that the client may become aware of them
and thus be able to make new and different choices
toward growth. Sometimes the growth in question is

181
the clients growth in his relationship with God. By
interpreting the transference involving the clients
projections from his parents onto God, the therapist
is able to help the client replace the pale picture of
God with the real God.
Resistance. Therapists may also interpret resistance. Resistances are repetitions of all the defensive operations that the client has used in his past
life. All varieties of psychic phenomena may be used
for the purpose of resistance (Greenson, 1968, p.
37). Resistance is typically adhered to subconsciously by the client. Interpreting resistance is a critical
part of therapeutic work because, according to
Greenson, to be effective the therapist must deal
with resistance in order to facilitate growth. In other
words, resistance is often the internal mechanism
which prevents a person from moving forward in the
development of relationships which foster personal
growth. Sometimes resistance is evident in the
clients relationship with God.
To complicate matters, sometimes the transference is used as a resistance. According to Greenson
(1968), some transference reactions cause resistances, some transference reactions appear as resistances, some serve as resistances against other
forms of transference and some resistances serve to
ward off transference reactions (p. 281). These
scenarios are more complicated and go beyond the
scope of this article. For a full, but quite readable
explication of the various types of resistance, as well
as the art and technique of interpretation in psychodynamic terms, one may refer to Greensons book,
The Technique and Practice o f Psychoanalysis,
Volume I.
Though interpretation is such a critically important technique in the practice of psychodynamic
therapies, many therapists, particularly beginning
therapists, often have difficulty grasping the concept
of interpretation. They have difficulty learning to use
interpretation effectively in the therapeutic relationship. And further, Christian therapists may not consciously incorporate interpretations regarding a
clients relationship to God into the therapeutic process in a way that facilitates change in the clients
internalized image of God.
U

D a v a n l o o s T r i a n g l e s
F a c il it a t e I n t e r p r e t a t i o n

s in g

to

Habib Davanioo (1980), in his book Short Term


Psychodynamic Therapy, has explicated a simplified, though not simplistic, way to formulate interpre-

EXPANDING DAVANLOOS INTERPRETIVE TRIANGLES

182

Current relationship

Relationship to therapist

Childhood relationship
Figure 1. D avan loos triangle o f persons is used to form ulate interpretations o f transference.

tarions on the spot in the therapy session which lead


to an efficacious treatment process that is much shorter than classical, long term psychodynamic therapy.
According to Malan (1980), Davanloo developed his
interpretive technique through systematic taping of
sessions followed by analysis of the tapes to isolate
what exactly in the therapeutic process was most
effective. From this he developed his interpretive triangles to aid the therapist in shortening the analytic
work from years of therapy to 15 to 40 sessions.
Davanloo has treated more than one-hundred fifty
patients in this way, and in follow-ups of up to five
years no patient who had recovered at termination
has ever been observed to relapse (Malan, p. 18).
It should be noted that Davanloo (1980) put
forth his model in the context of a psychodynamic
form ulation of brief individual psychotherapy.
Davanloo prescribed his short term dynamic therapy
for a few very particular populations. Aligning with
the analytic community who think that more than
one client present in the therapy room could water
down the transference, Davanloo did not work with
couples or families. Though Davanloo defined specific parameters in his model, such as working with
individuals and utilizing the transference countertransference phenomena to inform the formulation
of interpretations, I have found it possible to effectively apply Davanloos basic formulation of interpretation beyond Davanloos original intent.
Therapists such as Scharff and Savege Scharff
(1987) have identified clearly the operation of both
individual and contextual transference in the context
of couple and family work. Scharff and Savege
Scharff contend that transference may be toward the
therapist or toward other family members. When
doing family therapy one may observe the transference between two family members occurring in the

therapeutic session. Since I work and train students


primarily in couple and family therapy, I have found
Davanloos model of interpretation to be invaluable
in training student therapists to make interventions
short, accurate, and powerful even if they are working beyond the frame of individual therapy.
T r ia n g l e o f P e r s o n s
In t e r p r e t s T r a n s f e r e n c e

One kind of interpretive triangle that Davanloo


(1980) described is the transference triangle or triangle of persons used to interpret genetic (i.e., historical) material. He recommended that the therapist
imagine a triangle that makes a connection between
an event in the clients current life situation, an event
with similar dynamics in his family of origin, and the
event happening in the therapy room in relation to
the therapist (see Figure 1). It has been useful in
training student therapists to insist that they formulate all three sides of the triangle before they offer a
verbal interpretation to the client. This increases the
students accuracy and also helps them make their
interpretations brief.
In working with Joe (fictitious name), I noticed
he was explosively angry at his wife, Rose, because
he felt she had too many unfulfillable expectations
of him. I also noticed that he was angry at me,
reporting that he felt unreachable expectations from
me. After examining his real relationship with his
wife and my own expectations of him, it seemed that
his idea of expectations placed on him by both his
wife and me, were out of proportion to those actually placed on him. In exploring his relationship to his
mother I learned that she had been demanding and
unappreciative of his efforts to please her. Therefore, I made an interpretive statement saying, Its
curious that just now it seems that you were angry at

183

JANICE MORGAN STRENGTH

Current relationship:
wifes expectations

Relationship to therapist:
therapists expectations

Relationship to mother:
mothers expectations
and lack of appreciation
Figure 2. Exam ple o f D avan loos triangle o f persons.

Current relationship

Childhood relationship

Relationship to therapist

Relationship to God

Figure 3. T h e square o f persons is used to interpret the transference o f a clients introjects onto God.

me because you think I have expectations of you in


the same way you have described you feel angry at
your wifes expectations. It reminds me of those
times you have described to me when your mother
was very dem anding w ithout appreciating your
efforts (see Figure 2). Joe moved immediately into
his deep angry feelings of having felt unappreciated
in the past. He was better able to understand his
angry feelings at his wife and other females in his
current life when he felt they were demanding and
unappreciative. He was able to see clearly how he
had transferred angry feelings toward his mother to
both his wife and to me.
E x p a n d in g T r ia n g l e o f P e r s o n s t o
E x p l i c a t e t h e C l i e n t s I m a g e o f G o d

The therapist can expand the interpretation by


adding a fourth side to Davanloos triangle of per

sons, thus making* square o f persons. The fourth


side represents the clients relationship to God as it
functions or distorts in a manner similar to the
dynamics explicated in the triangles of persons. It
gives the client insight about how his relationship
to God is connected to the factors on the other
three dimensions.
For example, the therapist could add to Joes
insight, Your feelings of frustration at God, when he
seems to make endless demands for obedience upon
you, makes sense in light of your relationship to your
mother. You feel on a deep level that, just as you
could never please your mother, you will never be
able to please God, so why try? (see Figure 3). After
this interpretation, Joe was able to understand some
of the blockage which he felt in his relationship to
God. He began to understand that he was projecting
his mothers unappreciative demandingness onto

184

EXPANDING DAVANLOOS INTERPRETIVE TRIANGLES

Impulse

Anxiety

Defense
Figure 4. Davanloos triangle of conflict is used to formulate interpretations of resistance.

Impulse: Mothers anger

Anxiety: Fear of anger

Defense: Focusing on childs misbehavior


Figure 5. Example of Davanloos triangle of conflict
God He was able to direct his feelings of frustration
where they belongedtow ard his m otherand
release himself to see how God might be different
from his mother.
An interpretation such as this one, which identifies some of the clients dynamics in his relationship
to God, will help the client understand how he has
introjected an image of God which is more similar
to one or both of his parents than it is to the real
God as described in Scripture. This corrective experience can remove a roadblock in the clients quest
to know the real, living God on a deeper level. It can
clarify and modify the internal image of God carried
by the client.
As I work with clients and identify transference
in the therapeutic process, I always wonder how a
particular transference plays out in the clients relationship with God. Expanding the triangle to a
square is consciously including the spiritual aspect
of a clients life and bringing it into the therapeutic
process. Obviously the timing of making the interpretation aloud is critically important, but the therapist could be making the formulations long before
they are verbalized.

T r ia n g l e o f C o n f l ic t I n t e r p r e t s
R e s is t a n c e

Another triangle which Davanloo (1980) suggested as a means to interpret resistance is what may be
referred to as a triangle of conflict. Davanloo directs
the therapist to imagine a triangle of conflict wherein the client is conflicted by an impulse or feeling
which is defended against due to anxiety created by
the impulse (see Figure 4). The impulse or feeling is
the desire to do something or to express a feeling.
The anxiety is the fear of doing or saying what is
desired. The defense is the behavior or thought process which short circuits the expression of the
impulse. The therapist listens, reflects, and clarifies
until she can put together the three sides of the triangle of conflict. Once the therapist has identified in
her own mind the impulse, the anxiety, and the
defense, she should try to make the interpretation in
one or two sentences for the client.
For example, Sharon (fictitious name) was working with Marla (fictitious name), the mother of two
girls, who had been stalemated in an unresolved
bereavement for 10 years following the death of her
husband. In working with Marla, Sharon found that

185

JANICE MORGAN STRENGTH

Anxiety

Impulse

Impulse/Anxiety/Defense
G od

Defense
Figure 6. Redirection of the triangle of conflict to interpret the clients resistance toward God.
whenever Marla began to feel anger about her husbands death she quickly diverted the conversation
to the misbehavior of her children (see Figure 5). In
other words, when Marla began to experience an
angry impulse, she defended against it by focusing
on the bad behavior of her children. When Sharon
made the interpretive statement, Just now when
you m en tio n ed the d eath of your h usband, I
thought I saw a feeling of anger cross your face.
When I inquired about it you quickly changed the
topic to your daughters problems, perhaps because
you are afraid to feel your anger about the death of
your husband. With this statement Sharon connected Marlas fear of her anger at her husband
with M arlas defense of jumping away from the
affect of anger by focusing on her daughters misbehavior. This intervention expanded Marlas ability
to process her anger toward her husband for leaving her alone to raise their daughters. As she understood and dropped her defensiveness and allowed
herself to feel and articulate her anger, new information emerged as toe why she was so angry. As it
turned out, Marla had been pregnant before her
husbands death and had lost the baby in a miscarriage. Though she had w anted to get pregnant
again, her husband refused. She learned from a
nurse the day that her husband died that he had
known for quite some time before he died that he
was going to die and that was why he had refused
to impregnate her prior to his death. Without realizing the connection, for 10 years Marla had held in
this anger at her husband for not telling her of his
impending death. This repressed anger was a contributor to her unresolved bereavement. It was the
interpretation of the resistance, the defense of
focusing on her childrens behavior, that unleashed
many layers of anger in Marla.

S h aro n s aw areness and in te rp re ta tio n of


Marlas defense of focusing on her children helped
Marla to experience her angry affect and begin to
heal. In the subsequent session, Marla was able to
express her anger with great energy resulting in a
personal calmness. In addition, this gave the children the opportunity to speak more directly about
the anger regarding the death and loss rather than
to collude with the mother and act out their anger
through misbehavior. Technically one could say
that, probably in addition to focusing on her children as a defense, the mother was transferring some
of her anger toward her husband to the daughters,
which the therapist might interpret using a triangle
of persons. However, in this particular case, that
aspect was not directly interpreted. The interpretation of resistance was sufficient to unleash this
frozen family system. It was in the week following
this intervention that the l l yearold daughter, for
the first time, was able to get through a whole week
without throwing a temper tantrum.
R e d ir e c t in g t h e T r ia n g l e
C o n f l i c t E x p l i c a t e s C l i e n t s
R e s is t a n c e T o w ard G o d

of

The dynamics articulated in Davanloos triangle


of conflict reveal the factors operating regarding
blockage of expression of an impulse within human
relationships. If the Christian therapist wants to
include a clients relationship with God, he or she
should think about what the clients impulses are
toward God and what the anxiety and defense might
be. In contrast to the triangle of persons, it is not
that the therapist adds a fourth side to the triangle,
but that the therapist examines how the same triangle of conflict operates in the clients relationship
with God (see Figure 6).

186

EXPANDING DAVANLOOS INTERPRETIVE TRIANGLES

In thinking about it, Sharon, the th erapist,


thought that Marla also had been conflicted regarding expressing her anger at God for taking away her
husband and baby. Sharon knew that Marla had
expressed her feeling that God had abandoned her.
Marla also had discussed her ambivalence about
attending church ever since the death of her spouse.
In the next session, going beyond facilitating healing
in the family, Sharon added to her interpretation.
Marla, I noticed that, in the same way that you were
fearful of expressing your anger in general about the
death of your husband, you also seem to be afraid to
express your anger at God. By diverting your anger
to your daughters behavior, you also successfully
averted facing your anger at God. Upon hearing this
added interpretation Marla put her head in her
hands and cried deeply. Then she began to express
her anger toward God. As she did this, a new layer of
calm began to be evident in Marla. She later reported that she had found a new, deeper, and richer relationship with God. She no longer felt conflicted
about participating in church activities.
This interpretation demonstrates how the mechanism of the triangle of conflict, in addition to
blocking progress in the grief process and subsequent relationships within the family, also short circuited the clients relationship to God. By interpreting first the triangle of conflict and then suggesting
the implications regarding Marlas relationship with
God, Sharon facilitated growth in the relationship
between Marla and God. Whatever misconceptions
Marla may have had about Gods inability to handle
her anger could be addressed, helping her to interact with the God of Scripture more directly rather
than to try to contact God through her own defensive process.
V a r i a t i o n s o n F o r m u l a t io n
U s e o f I n t e r p r e t a t io n s

and

Gather adequate information before verbalizing the interpretation. It is important for the
therapist to gather adequate information regarding
an interpretation. Students and young or poorly
trained therapists tend to hazard unfounded guesses
in their interpretations, a practice that confuses the
client and takes away from the power inherent in the
interpretive process. I encourage students and
trainees to formulate all aspects of the interpretation
before verbalizing it to the client. Information for
formulation of interpretations may be gathered by
the therapist through many avenues such as the use

of reflective listening and clarification. Or going


beyond Davanloos parameters of treatment, the
therapist may use genograms, artwork, and observation of family dynamics in the therapy room to gather information for formulation of the interpretive triangles and squares.
Encourage the client to supply some part o f
the interpretation. Many times the therapist need
only state two sides of the triangle and ask the client
to provide the third piece. For example, in the previously described situation with Joe, the therapist
could make the first interpretive sentence and then
ask, Can you think of a situation in your childhood
when you felt very angry that someone was making
impossible demands of you and not appreciating
your efforts? It is preferable to have the client provide the third side, but if she is unable to, then the
therapist may provide it. Also, the therapist may initially make a partial interpretation that includes only
two sides of the triangle and leave the third side for
another session. Please note that, typically, the therapist should have all sides of the triangle or square formulated in his or her own mind, even though part of
it is solicited from the client. Even if the therapist
hasnt figured out one part of the interpretation,
however, it is sometimes appropriate to wonder with
the client about the missing part.
Order the interpretation according to the
area o f desired focus. Another nuance of the technique is that the therapist may word the order of the
dimensions in such a way that the aspect he would
like the client to pay particular attention to is the last
part of the formulation. Typically, the last thing stated is what the client will pick up and process. For
instance, if the therapist wanted to move the client
to the here and now, the therapist could say to Joe,
Just as you are angry with God, your wife, and your
mother when they have unreasonable expectations,
so you are now angry with me about my unreasonable expectations. Or, if the therapist wanted the
client to focus on God, she could say, in Marlas
case, Just as you use focusing on your daughters to
keep you from allowing people to see your feelings
because of your fear, you also seem to fear allowing
God to see your feelings.
C o n c l u s io n

Understanding and interpreting the transference


that clients form from introjects of past interpersonal relationships and project onto current relationships, including relationships with the therapist and

187

JANICE MORGAN STRENGTH


God, frees clients to relate to the real God and not
just a pale picture of him. Also, understanding and
interpreting how the clients resistance blocks the
clients growth both in human relationships as well
as in relationship with the true, living God accelerates the therapeutic process regardless of the partiallar modality of treatment.
Davanloos interpretive triangles are a concrete
way to make the typically unconscious introjection,
transference, and resistance processes conscious.
The Christian therapist can help the client understand these projections onto God by expanding
upon Davanloos triangles. This will foster the clarification of the distorted, internalized image of God in
the client. It is hoped that it will enable the client to
be more aware of the God of Scripture and, therefore, facilitate spiritual growth and development in
the client. The models presented should create a
bridge between integration theory that suggests the
Christian therapist should bring God into the therapy arena and practical suggestions for how to accomplish that task.
R eferences
Bloom, A. (1966). Living prayer. Springfield, IL: Templegate.
Boszormenyi-Nagy, I., & Krasner, B. R. (1986). Between give
and take: A clinical guide to contextual therapy. New York:
Brunner/Mazel.
Brokaw, E., & Edwards, K. (1994). The relationship of the God
image to level of object relations development. Journal o f Psychology and Theology, 22, 352-371
Davanloo, H. (1980). Short-term dynam ic psychotherapy.
New York: Jason Aronson.
Gaultiere, W., & Gaultiere, . (1989). Mistaken identity: Clear
up the image o f G o d and enjoy his love. Old Tappan, NJ:
Fleming Revell.
Greenson, R. R. (1967). The technique and practice o f psychoanalysis, Volume I. New York: International Universities Press.
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uthor

STRENGTH, JANICE MORGAN. Address: School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, 180 North Oakland Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 Title: Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family
Therapy; Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Degrees: BA,
Music Education, University of South Florida; MA, PhD, Clinical
Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University.
Specializations: Christian psychology in Russia, psychodynamic
couple and family therapy, applied integration of psychology and
Christianity.

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