Aimee L. Keith, Psy.D., is a 2017 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle

Dissertation Committee

Suzanne Engelberg, Ph.D., Committee Chair

Jude Bergkamp, Psy.D., Committee Member

Marcia Webb, Ph.D., Committee Member


spiritual struggle, spiritual resolution, spirituality, resolution, trauma, grounded theory, qualitative, stages, adult, women, Christian

Document Type


Publication Date



Spiritual struggle has been described as a disruption in religious practice and spirituality resulting in questioning beliefs, experiencing discord within religious communities, decreasing spiritual practices, and experiencing painful cognitions such as the belief that one is being punished by God. This study used constructivist grounded theory to explore how women identifying as Protestant Christians at the time of the traumatic event resolve their spiritual struggles. Eleven conceptual categories, which are presented in a stage model, emerged from the data. The stages were Experiencing an Event Discordant with Beliefs, Emotional Reaction (following the traumatic event), Questioning (of beliefs, suffering and identity), Disconnection (From God and Others), Seeking Resolution (as a priority), Seeking and Gaining New Understanding, Selectively Seeking Support, Reconnecting with Beliefs, Reconnecting Emotionally with God, Feeling Resolved, and Maintaining Resolution. A definition of spiritual resolution was also constructed. Resolution of spiritual struggle was revealed to be an ongoing process partially simultaneous with spiritual struggle. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA, and Ohio Link ETD Center,


Aimee L. Keith, Psy.D., 2017.

Orcid# 000-0001-6084-6276