Faith-based substance abuse treatment :Is it just about God? Exploring treatment providers' attitudes toward spirituality, forgiveness and secular components of treatment

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Although spirituality and forgiveness components of substance abuse treatment programs are viewed as important by faith-based substance abuse treatment providers researchers have not compared their relative importance to other treatment components. This study evaluated the perceived importance of spiritually and forgiveness-based treatment components in comparison to other secular psycho-educational components in faith-based treatment programs. A brief survey was completed by 99 Salvation Army drug and alcohol treatment providers employed within Australian residential rehabilitation programs. The survey examined the relative importance treatment providers’ placed on spiritual and secular components of treatment. Attitudes towards spiritual components of treatment, such as Christian education and spiritual development, were positive; however, treatment providers rated secular interventions such as relapse prevention and anger management as more important than spiritual components. Treatment providers also conceptualized forgiveness to primarily be a spiritual construct that was as important to treatment as other secular based components. Implications for treatment providers are discussed.

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Journal Article

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