Salugenic Relationships that Rehumanise: A Grounded Theory of Congruence
Brown, Cathrin Ann Ruth
This study is a mixed methods study, conducted in a therapeutic faith community, using quantitative (CGI, SCL-90-R and WHODAS-II) and qualitative interview data that generated a theory of congruence. Early findings demonstrated that context changed the dynamics of the relationship between the researcher and the participants. This led to dissemblance in responses to the outcome measures. A critical realist ‘value laden’ approach was used which challenges the existing tendency to privilege quantitative over qualitative data by proposing that context and subjectivity are involved in all aspects of interpersonal research.\ud \ud The theory of congruence proposes that the key to personal positive change is the ability to recognise personal incongruence. Incongruence was identified as a fragmented self, social isolation, crisis of faith and lack of environment ‘fit’. Becoming congruent was identified in three areas, a whole self, a social self and a spiritual self. The process of becoming congruent with self begins with external sources that are relationships and environment. These relationships have been termed salugenic (health-producing) relationships, which are voluntary, volitional and mutual. Such relationships resist hierarchy, promoting positive power and autonomy. The theory of congruence proposes that individuals who have been socially isolated learn how to form salugenic relationships that facilitate salugenic emotion.\ud \ud A congruent environment is where individuals feel they belong, find hope, safety and freedom. It is also a place that is congruent with their beliefs. The combination of congruent relationships and environment leads to the process of finding congruence with self within the context of having personal choice.\ud \ud The participants in this study were incongruent with professionalised and structuralised services that can be too rigid to meet the needs of the emotionally and mentally ill. Congruence theory can be applied by any organisation to prioritise structure, relationship and choice that rehumanises mental health care.