Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Journal of Psychology and Christianity. (Journal File)

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Journal of Psychology and Christianity. (Journal File)

Article excerpt

Cappa, S. A. (2001). "They came bearing gifts": A case study of the manifestation of gift giving in psychotherapy.

Cappa provides an interesting case study to emphasize the potentially powerful impact of the appropriate gift giving in the therapeutic relationship. The author clarifies with a necessary caveat that not all gift giving is appropriate or beneficial to therapeutic process. Certainly some gift giving can be construed as manipulative and even ethically dangerous. However, symbolic, inexpensive mementos can be extremely beneficial, especially for the giver. Building off the Biblical account of the Magi and Jesus, Object Relations theory, and a stirring case example, the author demonstrates how important gift giving can be for the client in cementing (and internalizing) the counselor, especially in termination.

Vol. 20(3), 287-292.

The author relates an example of a woman who had experienced severe loss in her childhood. Her father left her at a young age, and her mother was not compliant with her anti-psychotic medication. As a result, the client was placed in a series of foster homes. The woman continued to receive hurtful letters from her mother accusing her of being, among other things, a "daughter of Satan." Cappa continues to explain that despite these losses, the woman continued, as a child, to flourish in her life and her faith.

At the time of therapy, the woman was married to a man who began to withdraw from her and their previously shared lifestyle. …

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