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Annotated Bibliography to Validate Spiritualpsychodynamics

The following is a bibliography of related biomedical, psychological, and spiritual science, to provide a background understanding on the scientific research which validates Spiritualpsychodynamics™ for further study in eliminating the stress underlying autoimmune-related disease. These sources have been peer-reviewed and vetted for the purpose of establishing a deeper understanding of how the current scientific body of research validates that stress causes disease. Current research studies in the spiritual sciences show they are effective in resolving psychological distress. The purpose of providing an annotated bibliography of these studies is to support further research with the objective of combining the spiritual and scientific disciplines and using them to treat patients. By synthesizing and operationalizing these disciplines into the clinical mental health setting, it is theorized these modalities will yield improved outcomes for eliminating the stress underlying autoimmune-related disease.


Each section provides the cited research, along with a summary of the research, discussion or findings, and the author’s recommendation of future study that relates to combining the disciplines. Each section will conclude with a statement of relevance or importance in validating Spiritualpsychodynamics™. (this is a living document)


Azar, Beth. “A New Take on Psychoneuroimmunology.” Amercian Psychological Association, Dec.     




This informational article offers insight into current research pointing to a circuit linking the immune system and brain connects illness, stress, mood and thought in a whole new way. The main point of the article is stress makes you sick and elicits behavioral change. For more than a decade, researchers have known that behavioral and psychological events can influence the immune system. But new research shows that the immune system sends signals to the brain through the vagas nerve that could alter neural activity and thereby alter the flows from neural activity, mainly behavior, of thought and mood.


This source is relevant research in that it provides additional information to bolster the thesis that stress causes disease. The research argues that stress—maybe even the stress of being cold—appears to tap into the same immune system—nervous system loop that triggers symptoms of the common cold. Stress taps into this very same circuit but starts in the brain rather than the immune system. Stress also produces exactly the same behavioral changes--including decreased food and water intake and decreased exploration--and physiological changes, including fever, and increased white blood cell count.

Bradford, Alina. “What Is a Scientific Theory?” Livescience.Com., Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

This article offers insight into the word 'theory,' and hypotheses. The main point of the argument is the word 'theory' differs from the way that we interpret facts. Scientific theory is the framework for observations and facts. Theories may change, or the way that they are interpreted may change, but the facts themselves don't change. Facts and theories are two different things. In the scientific method, there is a clear distinction between facts, which can be observed and/or measured, and theories, which are scientists' explanations and interpretations of the facts.


This source is relevant in that it argues a way to prove my thesis, given that science interprets ‘theory’ as fact. A scientific theory is not the end result of the scientific method; theories can be proven or rejected, just like hypotheses. That means that my thesis can be considered by science. Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts, which I will provide in my paper. Theories can be improved or modified as more information is gathered so that the accuracy of the prediction becomes greater over time.

Clarke, Ann M. “Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Human Intelligence.” vol. 34, Basil Blackwell, Publisher, Ltd, 1986.

This book presents a 'triarchic' theory of human intelligence that goes beyond IQ in its conceptualization and implications for assessment. The theory has three parts. The first deals with relations between intelligence and experience; the second, with relations between intelligence and the external world; the third part with relations between intelligence and the internal world of the individual.


Sternberg sketches the history of intelligence research. He then outlines the three parts of the theory and adduces supporting evidence, including evidence from studies of 'practical' as well as 'academic' intelligence. He considers the issues raised by exceptional intelligence and by intelligence testing. His conclusions will be of interest to all those concerned with intelligence, its development and its measurement.

Fonagy, Peter. “8. The Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Psychotherapies: An Update.” World Psychiatry, Vol. 14, No. 2, June 2015, pp. 137–50. PubMed Central, doi:10.1002/wps.20235.

This article offers insight into outcome studies and meta-analyses of effectiveness studies of psychodynamic therapy (PDT). The main point of the article argues abandoning “families” of therapies, advocating instead for using bioscience and psychiatry to assess the value of specific psychodynamic treatment components to address the key problems of individual patients.

This article information is relevant because the approach offers specific modalities of healing therapies deemed effective for depression, some anxiety disorders, eating disorders and somatic disorders. The author argues evidence base supports relatively long-term psychodynamic treatment of some personality disorders, particularly borderline personality disorder. Comparisons with other treatments allows an entry into my discussion advocating for consideration of spiritual modalities of healing therapy.  

Garzon, Fernando L., and Kimberley A. Tilley. “Do Lay Christian Counseling Approaches Work? What We Currently Know.” Journal of Psychology and Christianity. Christian Association for Psychological Studies, 2009, Vol. 28, No. 2, 130-140.

This article offers insight into several modalities of Christian inner healing prayer. Paraprofessional counseling has received empirical evidence of its effectiveness, yet the status of lay Christian counseling models remains unknown. The authors review the current research on such approaches. A few models evidence practitioner surveys, client satisfaction research, quasi-experimental studies, or out- comes-based case studies. The authors, including Dr. Fernando Garzon of Regent University faculty, make recommendations on potential improved research designs and encourage further investigations.


This article is relevant because I am familiar with administrating the Theophostic Ministry (TPM) model. Garzon finds that preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of TPM was noted. In all studies reviewed, the authors identified methodological limitations; therefore, the broad need for well-designed efficacy and effectiveness research on every model is clear. With current data, the authors argue they cannot say definitively that lay Christian counseling works. Consequently, the authors make recommendations on potential improved research designs and encourage further investigations.

Garzon, Fernando. Personal interview. 18 Apr. 2020.

This interview offers insight into the areas of scientific innovation explored by the thesis of my paper, stress as the underlying cause of disease. Dr. Garzon responds to seven interview questions and a request for him to review the material on Spiritualpsychodynamics™, which he agrees to do. The main point of the questions was to elicit more information on relevant studies to my research, which proved very fruitful, as Dr. Garzon was very accommodating.

This interview will be useful in my research article because Dr. Garzon is rebuilding his research team, which in the past has studied TPM, and found it to be very promising. Dr. Garzon is a Regent University Assistant Dean, Professor in the School of Psychology and Counseling, and we met almost 18 years ago because of our work on TPM. Dr. Garzon is a clinical researcher, and the interview could not have been more helpful. God promised that he would heal millions from their emotional and physical diseases through my ministry calling—and today that promise is closer to being fulfilled!

Gothard, Bill. Institute in Basic Life Principles. “How to Resolve 7 Deadly Stresses.” Edited by Bill Gothard and Dr Stephen Paine, First edition, Institute in Basic Life Principles, 2008.

This article offers insight into a new hope to the millions who suffer from sickness and disease. The main point of this book is sin causes stress, which causes disease. Separation from God due to sin is the bulk of this work. It offers Biblical insight on tracing disease and health problems to five basic factors - what you think, say, do, eat, and inherit - and identifies seven stresses that, if left unresolved, are likely to cause specific types of diseases.

This article will be useful in my research because it emphasizes how one can resolve or avoid each of the stresses. Since stress causing disease is part of my thesis, this work is critical because its main finding is supported by physicians. This resource is part of my research and provides a spiritual basis for discussing religion and science as compatible for addressing ill-health and disease in God’s people.

Harvard Health Publishing. “11. Merits of Psychodynamic Therapy.” Harvard Health., Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

This article offers insight into psychodynamic therapy which has its roots in psychoanalysis, the long-term talking cure. The main point of the article argues for psychodynamic therapy because it is just as effective as other cognitive therapies, but that the benefits of psychodynamics may increase over time. Like psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy recognizes that the relationships and circumstances of early life continue to affect people as adults, and the events of childhood may be an emotional driver to adult behavior.


This web article is useful to my research because it provides a body of work to ‘layer’ my proposal of spiritual—psychodynamics over the concept because it has been a proven modality of therapeutic counseling. Spiritualpsychodynamics™ theorizes the same therapy model can be adopted by incorporating spiritual modalities of healing therapy with the increasingly popular psychodynamic clinical therapy model. (NOTE: Spiritualpsychodynamics™ is a proposed new science, by Thomas Kasperek and is in the process of being trademarked.)

Knabb, Joshua J., and Kenneth T. Wang. “10. The Communion with God Scale: Shifting from an Etic to Emic Perspective to Assess Fellowshipping with the Triune God.” Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Educational Publishing Foundation, 2019, p. No Pagination Specified-No Pagination Specified. APA PsycNET, doi:10.1037/rel0000272.

This article offers research into a new area of scientific innovation that studies the ability to assess and measure a believer’s closeness with God. The authors argue for a psychometric model to operationalize “communion with God” from two different perspectives, and insider view, and an outsider view. This development means that science can be used as spiritual science to understand the religious experience. The authors deployed a new science called indigenous psychology, which starts with local culture when investigating the psychological phenomenon, in contrast to general psychology.


This article is relevant as a research paper because it provides scientific innovation chosen as the topic for this course. This study leverages the psychospiritual construct of communion with God for testing the depth of fellowshipping with God. The scientific innovation allows the researchers to measure Christians’ perceived relationship with God with a reliable method. I will argue in my research paper in favor of this future use of this scientific methodology to enable researchers to study and execute ways to improve closeness to the Triune God.

Lillie, Elizabeth O., et al. “6. The n-of-1 Clinical Trial: The Ultimate Strategy for Individualizing Medicine?” Personalized Medicine, vol. 8, no. 2, Mar. 2011, pp. 161–73. PubMed Central, doi:10.2217/pme.11.7.

This article offers insight into the N-of-1 or single subject clinical trials which argues that an individual patient can be the sole unit of observation in a study investigating the efficacy or side-effect profiles of different interventions. The ultimate goal of an n-of-1 trial is to determine the optimal or best intervention for an individual patient using objective data-driven criteria. Lillie ultimately argues that n-of-1 trials demand serious attention among the health research and clinical care communities given the contemporary focus on individualized medicine.


This article is useful because N-of-1 trials can be used to leverage other study design and statistical techniques associated with standard population-based clinical trials, including randomization, washout and crossover periods, as well as placebo controls. Although N-of-1 trials have been used sparingly in medical and general clinical settings, Dr. Garzon has stated this would be helpful in further studying the efficacy of TPM, which I may get involved with.

Sarno, John E. The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders. 1 edition, Harper, 2006.

This book offers insight into the entire spectrum of psychosomatic (mindbody) disorders. The main point of the book is a seminal expose of Dr. Sarno’s work proven to be effective in treating chronic pain from a psychosomatic treatment model. The author argues mainly that the interaction between the generally reasonable, rational, ethical, moral conscious mind and the repressed feelings of emotional pain, hurt, sadness, and anger characteristic of the unconscious mind appears to be the basis for mindbody stress-related disorders.


This book is crucial to the research because it traces the history of psychosomatic medicine, including Freud's crucial role, and describes the psychology responsible for the broad range of stress-related illness. This work is empathetic to my research paper because it points to psychosomatic phenomena that proves that knowledge and awareness of the process of addressing stress clearly has healing powers. Thousands of people have become pain-free by following Dr. Sarno's therapies. How and why this happens is a fascinating story, and is revealed in The Divided Mind.

Suran, Melissa. “7. The Separation of Church and Science.” EMBO Reports, vol. 11, no. 8, Aug. 2010, pp. 586–89. PubMed Central, doi:10.1038/embor.2010.106.

This article offers insight into the fact that science and religion do not always see eye to eye. The main point of the article is that Suran believes both science and religion can peacefully coexist in the right context. Despite the historical evidence that science and religion offer different worldviews, Suran sets out to inform both communities that science and religion can be complementary.


This article is a relevant research article because the thesis theorizes that disease may be spiritual root-causal, due to the research that exists that stress is a cause of the six most deadly diseases. Religious believes can be proven to lessen certain stresses, bring one closer to God, and bring peace to their lives. Spiritual modalities of healing originate in religious prayer and ministry activity, and my research will seek to explore the complementarian features of both religion and science together to improve health care outcomes.

Wu, Feng, et al. “1. Abnormal Functional and Structural Connectivity of Amygdala-Prefrontal Circuit in First-Episode Adolescent Depression: A Combined FMRI and DTI Study.” Ebsco Host Connection, Feb. 2020,

This article offers insight into abnormal brain functionality and structural connectivity in the amygdala-prefrontal circuit which is involved with emotion processing. The main point of the article argues that heavy stress in young children has detrimental effects in adulthood. Emotional processing is implicated in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). Adolescent MDD may have severer dysfunction of emotion processing than adult MDD. This study used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine the potential functional and structural connectivity abnormalities.


This web article is relevant because it provides a basis to establish my thesis. The article provides a well-researched connection between early childhood trauma and on-going emotional issues that cause stress later in life. These findings suggest that both functional and structural abnormalities of the amygdala-prefrontal circuit may present in the early onset of adolescent MDD and play an important role in the neuropathophysiology of adolescent MDD.

Ziegler, Geordie W. “1. Is It Time for a Reformation of Spiritual Formation?: Recovering Ontology.” Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, vol. 11, no. 1, SAGE Publications Ltd, May 2018, pp. 74–92. SAGE Journals, doi:10.1177/1939790918758164.

This article offers insight into a trinitarian perspective of Spiritual formation. The main point of the article is discuss spiritual formation from an ontological and a Christological perspective. As such it argues that what is commonly practiced is a “subjective moral formation,” and what is proposed as a solution or antidote to this is an “objective trinitarian participation.” Christologically anemic versions of anthropologically-centered Spiritual formation are examined and contrasted against an approach grounded in a christological ontology.


This article is relevant because part of my research will support Zeigler’s view that Spiritual formation must be theologically grounded in trinitarian Christology because we are a tripartite being; spirit, soul, and body. This is central to the argument that it is spiritual issues that are at root in disease. I will argue for greater trinitarian participation in characterizing the type of Spiritual formation that exemplifies the living ascended Christ, gaining his peace and healing.

Holy Bible: New International Version: Containing the Old Testament and the New Testament. International Bible Society, 1984.

This resource offers the ultimate insight of God’s Word, which is the source of all truth. It is the truth of God’s Spirit that heals, as revealed in Jesus’ first Galilean Sermon, where Jesus, with the Spirit of the Lord upon him, quotes Isaiah chapter 61, “to proclaim the good news…to proclaim freedom for the prisoners…recovery of sight for the blind…set the oppressed (stressed) free…and thus the Scripture is fulfilled” (Luke 4.18-21). The Bible is the source of healing truth, and the thesis of my research hinges completely on this fact, coupled with science and spiritual modalities of healing ministry.


The Bible is relevant as the source of all truth, and biblical truth that validates science and mental health science modalities of healing as insufficient. It is the Holy Spirit who heals. Science does not seem to have a lens through which to view spiritual issues at all, although many scientific innovations have risen, some of which will appear in my research paper, to conclude my thesis that stress causes disease, but what is the root cause of stress? My thesis concludes that separation from God (sin) is the root cause of stress.

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