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Christian Psychotherapy for Convicts?
Repeated research studies have revealed that secular efforts at rehabilitation have been unsuccessful in preventing recidivism. Not one of the various approaches to psychological counseling has been able to demonstrate success statistically in helping inmates rehabilitate. Among nearly 300,000 prisoners released in 15 states in 1994, 67.5% were re-arrested within 3-years. A study of 1983 releases estimated 62.5% (Langan and Levin, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2002).
Historically, this has been true according to the publication of The Effectiveness of Correctional Treatment (Lipton, Martinson, & Wilks,1975), which highlighted the controversy as to whether correctional treatment reduces recidivism. This review examined a variety of treatments (e.g., individual and group psychotherapy and counseling, intensive casework, and skill development) and reported the results on a number of different outcome criteria (e.g., adjustment to prison life, vocational success, recidivism rate). The relationship between any single treatment or combination of programs and recidivism rate was far from being convincing. In a review of the Lipton study, Martinson concluded that "with few isolated exceptions, the rehabilitative efforts that have been reported so far have had no appreciable effect on recidivism."
Psychotherapy has proven to be effective with most populations. Consumer Reports (Seligman, 1995) published an article that concluded patients who benefited very substantially from psychotherapy, that long-term treatment did considerably better than short-term treatment, and that psychotherapy alone did not differ in effectiveness from medication plus psychotherapy. Furthermore, no specific modality of psychotherapy did better than any other for any disorder psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers did not differ in their effectiveness as therapists and all did better than marriage counselors and long-term family doctoring. Patients whose length of therapy or choice of therapist was limited by insurance or managed care did worse.
So the question remains: Why have psychotherapeutic efforts been unsuccessful in reducing recidivism rates within the prison population? It is more than likely possible that the "psychotherapy" previously mentioned has not been made accessible or affordable to the prison population. It is also probable that this type of psychotherapy is not meeting this populations social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs.
The study of religion in criminology on the other hand is now receiving national and scholarly attention. Evans, (et al. 1995), found that participation in religious activities was a persistent and non-contingent inhibitor of adult crime.
President George W. Bush in his 2004 State of the Union Address, proposed a four-year, $300 million initiative to reduce recidivism and the societal costs of re-incarceration by harnessing the resources and experience of faith-based and community organizations. In 2003, President Bush created the nation's first White House Office of Faith-based and Community initiatives designed to send as much as $10 billion a year to these institutions to perform social services.
Chuck Colson, who was White House counsel under President Nixon and spent seven months in prison for his part in the Watergate affair, launched the Inner Change Freedom Initiative in 1997 at a Texas prison, with close enthusiastic support from President Bush, then the state's governor. The program is now offered at prisons in Kansas, Minnesota and Iowa, and has also expanded into federal penitentiaries. A two-year study, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania (peer-reviewed at Harvard and Princeton) between 2000 and 2002, showed that Inner Change graduates, when compared with a similar group of released inmates - controlled for race, age and offense type ? who met program criteria but did not enter the program, were 50% less likely to be arrested and 60% less likely to be re-incarcerated.
Johnson, Larson, and Pitts, (1997), after examining the impact of religious programs on institutional adjustment and recidivism rates in two matched groups of inmates from four adult male prisons in New York State, found that inmates involvement in "Prison Fellowship-sponsored programs who were most active in Bible studies were significantly less likely to be arrested during the follow-up period. They also suggested that if religion can inhibit delinquent and criminal activity, why might it not facilitate the process as well as the outcomes of prison rehabilitation?
Aside from complex and difficult theological discussion about the possible spiritual roles of religion, as well as the evidence demonstrating the mental and physical health benefits of religion (Bergin 1983, 1991 Gartner et al. 1991 Larson, Sherrill, and Lyons 1994 Levin and Vanderpool 1987, 1989), there are scientific reasons to predict that religion might effect behavioral and social change. Religion targets antisocial values, emphasizes accountability and responsibility, changes cognitive approaches to conflict, and provides social support and social skills through interaction with religious people and communities (Bergin 1991 Levin and Vanderpool 1987 Martin and Carlson1988).
Such emphases seem to be consistent with what many rehabilitation workers would call principles of effective treatment. Religious programs for inmates are among the most common forms of rehabilitative programs found in correctional facilities today as confirmed by the U.S. Department of Justice (1993), which reports representative data on America's prison populations. Religious activities attracted the most participation: 32 percent of the sampled inmates reported involvement in religious activities such as Bible studies and church services, 20 percent reported taking part in self-improvement programs, and 17 percent in counseling. These percentages are quite revealing, as nearly one inmate in three is involved in religious programs. Yet despite these figures, only a handful of published studies (Clearetal. 1992a, 1992b B. Johnson 1984, 1987a, 1987b) have examined the influence of religion and religious beliefs or practices on key prison predictor and outcome measures such as inmates' adjustment and recidivism.
The scarcity of research about prisoners and the influence of religious variables on inmates' adjustment and recidivism can be attributed to potential problematic biases held by both religious workers and scientific researchers (Larson et al. 1986 Larson et al. 1995 Larson, Sherrill, and Lyons 1994 Post 1995). Many chaplains, ministers, and religious volunteers who work in religious programs have been reluctant or have lacked the skills to undertake publishable research. This reluctance had been fueled by a broader historical skepticism about the relevance of religion held by many in higher education, and at best by university researchers' ambivalence in studying spirituality or religion (Jones 1994, Larson et al. 1994).
Arthur Hogles, author of "The Church and the Criminal," proclaims, "many a criminal has been so completely transformed by the power of God that all desire to break the law has been eliminated. Evangelical religion is a social asset. Data, however, does not exist at present which directly demonstrates conclusively the effect of inmate conversion on recidivism. If in fact the root cause of all crime arises from man's sinful nature and his cultivation of sinful habits, then it is the churches responsibility to help with the rehabilitation process. Sinful lifestyles create guilt feelings which lead to low self-esteem and a poor self-image. Bad family situations, alcohol and drug abuse, and education and employment problems are all symptoms of the development of a failure identity. If the conversion experience has a direct correlation to a positive self-image and a success identity, then Christian psychologists can offer insight into the prevention, intervention and rehabilitation of criminals.
Recently, there has been a growing interest in biblically based approaches to counseling by spirit filled evangelical scholars and counseling psychologists. They are integrating the research of psychology and religion particularly the Christian Faith, for rehabilitative efforts. The claims of great numbers of people confessing a personal relationship with the God of the Universe through His Son, Jesus Christ, are amazingly similar regardless of place, time, environment, or background. They confirm that Christ satisfies the deepest mental and spiritual needs of all intellects, ages, races and nationalities. This relationship carries an influence through time and into eternity.
For more info see: "Christian Psychotherapy & Criminal Rehabilitation," by Dr. James Slobodzien at -
Addictions Recovery Management Services http://www.geocities.com/drslbdzn/Behavioral_Addictions.html
James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC, is a Hawaii licensed psychologist and certified substance abuse counselor who earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He is credentialed by the National Registry of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He has over 20-years of mental health experience primarily working in the fields of alcohol/ substance abuse and behavioral addictions in hospital, prison, and court settings. He is an adjunct professor of Psychology and also maintains a private practice as a mental health consultant.
Lesson Plans that Reach the Multiple Intelligences
American schools have traditionally favored those students who excel in the linguistic and analytical arenas because these skills are highly valued in our culture. Unfortunately, this traditional approach leaves certain students behind to stumble blindly through an educational system which ignores their unique abilities. This is not to say that the development of linguistic and analytical skills should be abandoned in favor of nontraditional approaches to education. Rather, traditional and nontraditional approaches should be combined to formulate a method of education that is best suited to the students who populate our classrooms.
What?s the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 2
Again, many of us think we listen, yet we don't always "attend" to the person who is speaking to us. We are too busy doing other things! We are not being 100% attentive. The following attributes of good listening are suggestive of the skills needed. There is some overlap between the various attributes, but each suggests something different.
The 5 Hindrances of the Mind: Are They Blocking Your Self-Esteem?
The issue of self-esteem is perhaps one of the greatest determinates in creating a life of freedom and abundance, or feeling inhibited and "just getting by". Self-esteem is defined as "a feeling of pride in oneself". It is how you feel in relation to yourself rather than how others see you. It's between you and, well? you. Therefore, it's not necessary to be so concerned about what others think to determine your level of self -esteem, as the definition does not include any "others", just you. So where can you help yourself to better understand you? There are so many aspects of you but one that is of great importance is that of your mind.
The Cultural Narcissist - Lasch In An Age Of Diminishing Expectations
"The new narcissist is haunted not by guilt but by anxiety. He seeks not to inflict his own certainties on others but to find a meaning in life. Liberated from the superstitions of the past, he doubts even the reality of his own existence. Superficially relaxed and tolerant, he finds little use for dogmas of racial and ethnic purity but at the same time forfeits the security of group loyalties and regards everyone as a rival for the favors conferred by a paternalistic state. His sexual attitudes are permissive rather than puritanical, even though his emancipation from ancient taboos brings him no sexual peace. Fiercely competitive in his demand for approval and acclaim, he distrusts competition because he associates it unconsciously with an unbridled urge to destroy. Hence he repudiates the competitive ideologies that flourished at an earlier stage of capitalist development and distrusts even their limited expression in sports and games. He extols cooperation and teamwork while harboring deeply antisocial impulses. He praises respect for rules and regulations in the secret belief that they do not apply to himself. Acquisitive in the sense that his cravings have no limits, he does not accumulate goods and provisions against the future, in the manner of the acquisitive individualist of nineteenth-century political economy, but demands immediate gratification and lives in a state of restless, perpetually unsatisfied desire."
You, I and We
Our life in society hovers around the concept of 'You?I? We'. The first stage is 'You-You' which is called 'dependent' stage. As a child, we are dependent on others for our needs and expect help and support from others. The dependence can be either emotional or physical. The second stage is 'I ? I', where in we attain relative freedom and corresponding changes are noticeable in terms of speech, behavior, movements, preferences, interests and perceptions.In this stage we act with absolute freedom both mentally and physically. The feeling of 'Me-Mine' will be at a high point during this stage. Typical thought processes will be as follows:
An Easy Cure For Math Phobia
Why is it that one person enjoys math, while another person hates it?
The Essence of Being Human
What does it mean to be Human? Well if you reflect on your thoughts and behaviors and those of the individuals around you on this planet since the beginning of our existence here I think you will likely come to the conclusion that to wear the label Human is not exactly endearing or desirable.
How Big of a Problem is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - "ADD" or "ADHD" - affects between five to ten percent (5% - 10%) of all children in the United States, and three to six percent (3% - 6%) of adults. About 35% of all children referred to mental health clinics are referred for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, making it one of the most prevalent of all childhood psychiatric disorders.
The Offspring of Aeolus - On the Incest Taboo
Incest is not such a clear-cut matter as it has been made out to be over millennia of taboos. Many participants claim to have enjoyed the act and its physical and emotional consequences. It is often the result of seduction. In some cases, two consenting and fully informed adults are involved. Many types of relationships, which are defined as incestuous, are between genetically unrelated parties (a stepfather and a daughter), or between fictive kin or between classificatory kin (that belong to the same matriline or patriline). In certain societies (the American Indians or the Chinese) it is sufficient to carry the same family name (=to belong to the same clan) and marriage is forbidden. Some incest prohibitions relate to sexual acts - other to marriage. In some societies, incest is mandatory or prohibited, according to the social class (Bali). In others, the Royal House started a tradition of incestuous marriages, which were imitated by lower classes (Ancient Egypt). The list is long and it serves to demonstrate the diversity of this most universal taboo. Generally put, we can say that a prohibition to have sex with or marry a related person should be classified as an incest prohibition, no matter the nature of the relationship.
Are Observations Objective?
On the outset all observations may seem to be objective, but in reality subjectivity tends to shape the objective observations. The observations can be categorized into three for better understanding Objective, Subjective, medley of subjective/objective observations.
What?s the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 1
Solution Focus is the brain child of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. This positive approach to problem resolution is rooted in the tradition of Milton Erickson's brief therapy. It assumes that small modifications in the individual's cognitive and behavioral expressions can lead to significant life changes. It further assumes that how individuals perceive events is what gives meaning to those events; how one organize and reorganize those experiences in conversation with others, allows for a reality that is versatile, fluid, and capable of revision. This approach is based on the premise that all individuals and families have definite strengths, coping skills and unique problem solving abilities to create positive change. Solution Focus taps in to this strength, helps individuals/families build upon it and uses a variety of tools such as purposeful questions that are utilized to assist in the movement from problems to solutions.
Four Cognitive Skills for Successful Learning
The word "cognition" is defined as "the act of knowing" or "knowledge." Cognitive skills therefore refer to those skills that make it possible for us to know.
Fairies and Mental Health
Schizophrenics hallucinate alternate realities. People who claim to have been abducted by aliens are accused of having Fantasy Prone Personalities. So what about those of us who claim to be conversing with angels, fairies, and spirit guides? Are we nuts? Absolutely yes! If we weren't crazy before we started chatting with the divine, we soon will be. Just the constant questioning of one's sanity can drive a person insane. How do you know if you're really talking to spirits or if you're losing your mind?
Why Does It Seem That There Are More Children With ADHD Than Ever Before?
Even though the percentage of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is likely the same as in the past, there are three likely reasons why it seems that "there is more ADHD" than ever before:
The Undeniable Power of Suggestion
How exactly is the Human Psyche effected by the trivial "power of suggestion?" When a thought or seed is planted into the human mind, the psyche responsively triggers a lingering product of that thought. For example, urban legends have been circulated throughout history; in doing so, a mindset is incorporated into the psyche, creating a deceitful illusion that cannot distinguish fact from fiction.
Morality As A Mental State
Fallacies About the Inner Child
Over the past 10 years I have helped individuals who have been plagued by the memories of past events to permanently release the disruptive energy imprints of such memories from their energy bio-fields.
Metaphors of the Mind (Part I)
The brain (and, by implication, the Mind) has been compared to the latest technological innovation in every generation. The computer metaphor is now in vogue. Computer hardware metaphors were replaced by software metaphors and, lately, by (neuronal) network metaphors. Such attempts to understand by comparison are common in every field of human knowledge. Architects and mathematicians have lately come up with the structural concept of "tensegrity" to explain the phenomenon of life. The tendency of humans to see patterns and structures everywhere (even where there are none) is well documented and probably has its survival value added.
A Look at The Brain
The endless, immeasurable brain. It does seem like more we discover about it, the more mystery we create. Perhaps the most intriguing of all is the child's brain. In certain ways, children are the most brilliant people in the world. They have the ability to absorb more information than we can conceive of as adults.
Why Other Children are Rejecting Your Child
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