Helping the Healers by Supporting Secure Attachment Relationships with God


  • Maureen Miner
  • Dion Khlentzos


Christian counsellors, chaplains and psychologists are agents of the church’s mission to heal. As such, they need psychological and spiritual resources to help them maintain their own homeostasis whilst also offering healing to others. COVID-19 is a challenge not just to physical health, but to the psycho-spiritual health of everyone. In the context of the pandemic, a vital resource for Christian healers and those in need of healing is secure attachment to God. Attachment is a relational bond that functions to provide safety and security in contexts of threat. A believer’s reported relationship with God includes features of attachment and can be assessed as secure or insecure. Secure attachment to God is associated with both psychological health and spiritual well-being. Thus, particularly during COVID-19 when human attachment relationships may be strained, churches should not only recognise and address material suffering but also support secure relationships with God. This paper uses both the literature on attachment to God and insights from Trinitarian theology to suggest ways in which churches can help their healers maintain secure attachment to God and thus resource them for their challenging but vital work.

Author Biographies

Maureen Miner

Dr Maureen Miner is Director of Research at Excelsia College, a Director of the Lumen Research Institute and a practising clinical psychologist. She has co-authored several books and over 50 peer refereed publications and reports in key areas of psychology, including abnormal psychology, organizational and educational psychology, and the psychology of religion and spirituality. Her work at the intersection of psychological science and Christianity has been recognized internationally by a Crawford Miller Fellowship (St Cross College, Oxford) and a fellowship for the John Templeton Oxford program of seminars and research into Christianity and science. Her latest research includes the formation of students in Christian higher education.

Dion Khlentzos

Dr Dion Khlentzos has been a lecturer, researcher and manager within tertiary institutions for 15 years. He has also worked as a psychologist and counsellor, both within organisations and in private practice. Dion has had previous roles as Program Manager and Program Director with the Jansen Newman Institute, as well as the Counsellor Trainer with the Salvation Army’s crisis telephone counselling service. Dion is the Senior Lecturer for the graduate counselling programs at Excelsia College. His current and published research covers the topics of attachment in higher education students, educating within Christian and secular worldviews, social and emotional learning programs in schools, domestic and family violence, and alcohol reduction programs. His recent presentations have included Programs for fathers with addictions who use domestic violence, Men’s mental health, and Counselling and service to the community.






Peer Reviewed Articles