003. God Attachment, Self-esteem, and Faith

Morning Workshops (8:30 – 11:45 AM)


Mercy Connors, Ph.D. Megan Clunan, Ph.D.

CE Credits


Professional CE Credit

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Chemical Dependency Counselors,

IBCC Credit

Pastoral Counselors, Pastors, Teachers, Coaches,

CME/CEU Credit

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Nurse Practitioners,



Self-esteem dramatically impacts the physical and mental health of children and adolescents. Bowlby’s attachment theory will be explained and expounded in this pre-conference workshop. Research on the migration and assimilation of attachment theory into faith and God attachment will be reviewed. Specifically, attachment theory describes the formation of identity and self-esteem due to human connection, especially the connection with caregivers. Research has shown a strong correlation between adolescents’ attachment style and a positive or negative perception of self, which corresponds with expressed attachment behavior. Generational attachment patterns will be discussed as a possible influence on an adolescent’s outworking of their identity and the possibility of altering these patterns to create a more positive self-concept for a caregiver and adolescent. The presenters will explain how psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, medical professionals, and ministry leaders can assess for parental attachment, God attachment, the health of the child or adolescent individual’s self-concept, and the impact of both the parental attachment and God attachment. Attendees will be prepared to utilize these assessments for practical treatment plan options that address both caregivers and adolescents in the healing attachment processes on self-esteem.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Explain how faith-based adolescents’ attachment to caregivers directly influences their attachment to God and faith.
2. Describe how the caregiver relationship influences identity and self-esteem development and its connection to adolescent behavior.
3. Construct practical treatment plan options that address individual caregiver and adolescent healing attachment processes on self-esteem.