How religious education and Christian spirituality can restore lost trust and foster interdependent relationships among adult children of alcoholics

S. Niranjan Rodrigo, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation presents a religious educational process to help the adult children of alcoholics (ACoAs) to move from a stage of merely surviving to fullness of life, to form healthy interdependent relationships with others, and to enter into a new spiritual way of being in the world. ^ There is considerable evidence that alcoholism has a disturbing effect on most of the family members of alcoholics. One of the most significant life issues for children of alcoholics is their own increased risk of developing alcohol problems. Further, they often do not receive adequate parental love and acceptance. Moreover, because they learn in childhood that they cannot trust their own and others perceptions of the world, they often experience difficulties in developing intimate relationships. ^ This dissertation focuses upon ACoAs “lack of trust” in themselves, others, and the world. By integrating religious education and therapy, the researcher has developed an approach for the religious and spiritual formation of ACoAs that can support a holistic process of recovery, help to restore ACoAs lost “sense of trust,” and enable them to come to terms with the obstacles they face as persons who are codependents on alcohol addiction. ^ The dissertation draws insight from Thomas Groome's Shared Christian Praxis approach and other contemporary theories of religious education. It integrates a religious educational perspective with an understanding of the five therapeutic stages of recovery for ACoAs proposed by therapists and addiction counselors such as Timmen Cermak, Herbert Gravitz and Julie Bowden. Overall, the dissertation presents an interdisciplinary holistic process of healing for ACoAs that addresses therapeutic, spiritual, religious and educational concerns. Furthermore, while the researcher discusses the value of integrating therapeutic stages and a religious educational approach to support ACoAs, the researcher discusses how the grace of God becomes the ultimate hope for their recovery. ^

Subject Area

Religion, General|Psychology, Social|Education, Religious

Recommended Citation

S. Niranjan Rodrigo, "How religious education and Christian spirituality can restore lost trust and foster interdependent relationships among adult children of alcoholics" (January 1, 2009). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3357196.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3357196

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