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Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

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The purpose of the dissertation is to construct an integrated conceptual model of crises intervention for Gikuyu people that would effectively inform the conceptualization of the nature, the methods employed and the purpose of utilizing traditional Gikuyu families and Christian resources for crises intervention. It will also inform the values for integration and the usefulness of systems and the crisis theories for the construction of the model for the Gikuyu. Moreover, the dissertation will report the significance of Christian pastoral resources and the relation to Gikuyu.

The model is a strategy in the attempt to revive some of the distorted Gikuyu people's values of family unity (belongingness), which was their norm for intervening into family crises. Family values of unity for the Gikuyu suffered distortion over the years of the Christian missionary work to the Gikuyu in the nineteenth century. The model is limited for use in the Presbyterian Church in Kenya. However, other churches serving Gikuyu people are welcome to use it.

The study is intended to be a foundation for the development of authentic literature, focusing upon new approaches toward crises intervention for Gikuyu, intended to mobilize families systems, Christian resources, and other networking systems for better work of crisis intervention.

From the systems and the crisis perspectives, the study examines the usefulness of systems and the crisis theories for their relevancy in developing a model of crises intervention for Gikuyu families. It examines the viability of correlation between traditional Gikuyu families resources and the Christian resources, examining how each one is related to the other.

The term 'crisis intervention' refers to the usefulness and the effect of the work of correlating resources from the two perspectives. Correlation is the criteria for determining the interdependence of the two sources of intervention. The term 'model' refers to the proposed methods of approaches utilized in reviving values of families interdependency, unity, and belongingness. The term 'differentiation of self' informs the need for family members and significant others to work together for better working crisis, while each maintains individual unique abilities of differentiating intellectual decision-making from those of families emotional fusion.

The dissertation uses two methods. The first method is founded on the concepts of families systems and the crisis theories for the construction of an effective model of crisis intervention for the Gikuyu and informing the reasons for its use.

Second is the method of correlation which is a theological application to the action of mobilizing and utilizing the traditional Gikuyu resources together with Christian Gikuyu resources. In this second method Christ becomes the common norm of correlation for the purpose of liberation and the giving of hope to the individual and families in crisis. Moreover, through the theological method the integration of the model is accomplished.

Before examining the usefulness of systems and crisis theories for analyzing data from the case study of illness, the history of the Gikuyu is examined. The purpose of the history is to inform the guidelines to which this model of crisis intervention should respond. For clarification purposes, these guidelines are the origin of the Gikuyu people, the nature of their corporate living; and the kinship governing principles. As part of the historical motivation of this dissertation, the role which was played by the social protest of the Gikuyu against Europeans and the missionaries is also examined. The protest was a symbol of dissatisfaction of the Gikuyu upon the mistreatment and the abuse of family values.

The dissertation has several illustrations of crises intervention based on various concepts of family therapy which include: Uri Rueveni in networking families in crises, Murry Bowen's eight interlocking ideas of family therapy, Edward Wimberly's theory of pastoral care of the Black Church, and also the work of Nancy Boyd-Franklin in multisystems approach to family therapy.

In concluding this study, it has been found that Gikuyu family and relational systems can be mobilized to resolve crises within the systems. It has also been discovered that the implication for further research is viable through the analyzing and the questioning of the claims in the data provided in this dissertation.

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