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New Study Reveals Emotional and Spiritual Recovery from Addiction
Dr. Kenneth Hart presents findings from a comparative study of forgiveness therapies
April 4, 2007-- For Immediate Release
TORONTO, April 4, 2007- Tyndale University College will host a public lecture, "Emotional and Spiritual Recovery from Addiction: Testing Secular & Spiritual Forgiveness Therapies" which will be delivered by Dr. Kenneth Hart, an expert whose research involves the three-way interface of clinical-health psychology, positive psychology and addictive behaviours. This free public lecture will be held on April 12, from 1:15pm - 2:30pm. at Tyndale University College in Room 2085.
At the public lecture, Dr. Hart, psychology professor in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Windsor, will present evidence to show that addicts who practice forgiveness enjoy a life-enhancing quality of recovery and that alcoholics who are struggling to stay sober can be taught how to forgive. Dr. Hart's therapeutic intervention study compares the well-known Enright Forgiveness Program (EFP; Enright & Fitzgibbons, 2000) with a new Spiritual Forgiveness & Repentance (SPIRIT-FR) program. Modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the SPIRIT-FR program facilitates the search for spiritual meaning by encouraging clients to engage in forgiveness and repentance-related aspects of the AA 'steps' program.
"The 'cancer of bitterness' is destructive for the mind, body and soul of angry people in 12-Step recovery from addiction. It also ruins relationships to others and to God. Perhaps forgiveness can serve as an antidote for 'white-knuckled' abstinence, " says Dr. Hart. "Research findings showed that participants in both treatment programs enjoyed long-term benefits in terms of their ability to forgive their worst offender and in terms of their motivational readiness to repent for their own transgressions. The sustained improvement on forgiveness was greater for clients in the SPIRIT-FR condition."
Currently, Dr. Hart is collaborating with Dr. Paul Wong, psychology professor at Tyndale University College, among others, to plan a CIHR grant application. If successful, the grant will fund a clinical trial to study the comparative benefits of exposing recovering alcoholics to brief motivational interventions designed to prevent relapse following discharge from professional treatment.
Tyndale University College & Seminary has been a major centre of Christian higher education in Canada since 1894. The longest-established school of its kind in the country, Tyndale is an undergraduate and graduate institution whose 1,200 students represent some 40 different denominations. The non-publicly funded Tyndale was accorded university status in Ontario in 2003. In addition to its religious degrees, Tyndale offers BA and BA (Hons.) degrees in the humanities, social sciences and business. Additional information is available at www.tyndale.ca.
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