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Editors' introduction to the 40th anniversary special issue, part 2.

This is the second of two issues to celebrate 40 years since the initiation of the Journal of Psychology and Theology (JPT). As you saw in the previous issue, a lot has happened in those years. We began that issue with a review by Grimm, Barnett, Bassett, Pearson, Cornell, Morton, Scott, and Stevenson. Integration had clearly matured within the forty years of writing since JPT began. We saw this in increased sophistication of theorizing, more edited books, and more empirical studies. In addition, psychoanalytic thinking and writing about forgiveness had made important appearances of a critical mass of literature. We grouped the first 12 essays by our guest commentators in the Journal of Psychology and Theology, 40(1) in two large categories--(1) Theological, Philosophical, or Metasystemic Perspectives and (2) Macro Integration with a Complementarity (Both-And) Approach. The take-home message was a conceptual splitting into more subdisciplinary conversations and a multitude of pleas that valued both theological and psychological perspectives as unique contributors.

In this second issue, we begin with a continued empirical look at the published literature within the pages of JPT and the Journal of Psychology and Christianity by Barnett, Bassett, Grimm, and Repass. Barnett et al. found that there was a substantial increase in the frequency of citations for book chapters and forgiveness-related books. Important (heavily cited) articles were often either theoretical or scale-development articles. Barnett et al. found a low frequency of multiple-study articles, which they see as a weakness in the integration literature relative to trends in secular psychology. That pattern suggests limited programmatic research.

Again in this issue, the articles from our commentators seem to group themselves--without the coaching of the editors--into a few large categories. Five addressed the interaction of integration with culture (Hook & Davis, Yarhouse, Erickson, Dueck, and Abernethy). Three examined specific sub-areas: Reimer (Christian caregiving), Aten (disasters), and Walker (psychotherapy with children and adolescents). Four experts look at anticipations for integration and for training in integration in the future. Clinton and Sibcy focus on the promise of neurobiology. Tan considers integration across different levels and roles. Ripley speculates about the future examining six specific trends that provide a hope for the future. Finally, Garzon and Hall discuss trends in teaching integration.

Multicultural Competence/Multicultural Humility

Hook and Davis kick off this issue with an excellent overview of many multicultural considerations. They also examine the push--at least within their discipline of Counseling Psychology--for social justice. They critically evaluate the multicultural counseling and social justice movements from a Christian perspective. They recommend three bits of advice to provide advances in dialogue: seek God's heart for the needy, empathize, and hold convictions with humility. There could not be a better start for the remaining articles in the issue.

Yarhouse considers integration in the areas of homosexuality, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues, and sexual identity. He observes that, in contrast to (1) the secular gay-narrative and the Christian healing and reorientation narratives, there are new narratives being used. Some Christians do not engage in same-sex behavior or identify with the gay community but they acknowledge same-sex attractions and have come to terms with that reality rather than attempting to change to heterosexuality.

Eriksson examines practical integration with helping missionaries on the field. Missionaries are often caught in a difficult catch-22. They have little support on the field. They have few people to reveal problems and doubts to because their supporters back home want to hear success stories, not struggles. Member care provides resources for missionaries in the field. It acknowledges the spiritual, personal, familial, organizational, and professional roles in addressing the relational and emotional needs of missionaries.

Dueck observes that the conversation between the Christian community and the dominant culture involves the use of language. However, culture is implicated in the language used as we think. People in dominant cultures are admonished to decolonize psychological insight.

Abernethy used a musical metaphor to reflect on her perspective on integration's past, present, and future. If integration began as a small chamber orchestra, it is currently a collection of symphony orchestras. She expresses her hope that it will become a variety of musical ensembles, including jazz ensembles as well as rock bands.

Integration within Specific Sub-areas

Reimer examines a transcript from a research project to observe how Christian caregiving should involve listening to the person. It involves integration in the way a Christian should practically listen, integrating psychological understanding and Christian compassion.

Aten uses his research and practice specialty, disaster care, as a metaphor for how the future is likely to shape up. He emphasizes that people, disciplines and emotional and spiritual care must work more closely together. He identifies three themes: collaboration, multidisciplinary cooperation, and holistic mental health. Practice guidelines for integrative disaster spiritual and emotional care are offered, as well as a series of diverse examples of faith-based disaster interventions.

Walker notes that, beginning in the mid 1990's, integrative scholarship has dealt with applied clinical integration. Applied clinical integration with children and adolescents is an area of clinical practice in its infancy. Walker advises the development of developmentally sensitive measures of religion and spirituality with children and teens and suggests promising spiritually oriented interventions with children.

Future of Integration and Training in Integration

Clinton and Sibcy describe the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology, which describes a complex interrelationship between the mind, body, brain, environment (including genetics) and especially the role of close relationships. They suggest that, within that framework, the future will still depend on having therapists who are cognizant of being image-bearers of God.

Tan discusses three directions for the future of integration. He notes that advances will be needed in theoretical formulation and research, in professional practice, and in personal development. He urges the field to remain Christ-centered, biblically-based, and Spirit-filled.

Ripley identifies six trends that are seen as hope for the future of the integrationist movement. These are the healthcare crisis, education, research, application, global networks and technology. She finds in these changes the grounds for hope.

In the final article, Canon and Hall look to teaching integration. They describe changes in student characteristics, emerging technologies, and paradigm shifts in the disciplines themselves. They identify a need to advance the development of integration learning theory, increase applied integration resources, consider integration in secular university settings, and explore how to use the latest technologies to foster attachment-based integration learning in online and hybrid teaching environments.

Overall, we have been blessed once again in the present issue to assemble for the stimulation of thinking in our community a set of thoughtful speculations. We have come a long way in 40 years, and with this present issue and the last, we hope that we have helped undergraduate students, graduate students, professional psychotherapists, teachers, and researchers take the next steps in the journey into the next 40 years.

Everett L. Worthington, Jr.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Todd W. Hall

Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University

Please send correspondence regarding the article to Everett L. Worthington, Jr. at eworth@vcu.edu.
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Author:Worthington, Everett L., Jr.; Hall, Todd W.
Publication:Journal of Psychology and Theology
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2012
Words:1164
Previous Article:Books received.
Next Article:Revisiting the issue of influential sources in the integration of Psychology and Theology: are we there yet?
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