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Above Average Religious Activity As A Hyperactivational Strategy of Anxiously Attached Adults

Drago Jerebic
Faculty of Theology, University of Ljubljana

Individuals who have become addicted to alcohol very often have an anxious form of attachment. For individuals with this form of attachment it is characteristic that they react by hyper-activating the attachment system. This is a strategy with which they wish to achieve inner peace. As they do not get a calming response from their close ones, they turn to alcohol and so alcohol becomes their pacifying strategy. The case study will present an individual who stopped indulging in alcohol, but did not altogether stop indulging in a form of self-pacification in which they do not do something for the activity itself but above all for the purpose of self-regulation. The person exchanged alcohol for above-average religious activity. It served as a hyper-activational strategy, which provided them with an external source of temporary felt security. In order to feel calm in their relationship with God, they had to engage very intensively in emotionally intense religious forms of prayer and devotion. In this article we will use relational family therapy and attachment theory to present inappropriate ways of regulating feelings such as alcohol addiction, and the difference between healthy religiosity and forms of religiosity in which the relationship with God is not the end, but the means or substitute for regulating anxiety and avoiding unpacified feelings.



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