In November of 2006, a simple survey was taken from 151 pastors and other church leaders who said they were actively using TPM. Many different denominations were represented in this group to include; Baptist, Assembly of God, Episcopal, Lutheran, Nazarene, Pentecostal, Catholic, Vineyard, Christian Church, Evangelical Free Church, Presbyterian, Church of England, Non-denominational and others. Though everyone in this group had some experience in using TPM, this survey did not attempt to qualify the expertise or skill level of the individual or even if he or she was doing the ministry correctly. What follows is a summary of some of the question responses.
– Of the 151 surveyed 91% had been using TPM for over one year. 47% had used TPM for more than five years. Only about 8% had been using it less than a year. This suggests that some of these people where probably seasoned users.
– 96% reported having “highly effective to effective” outcomes.
– 88% reported TPM to be more effective than any other approach they had used in helping people emotionally. Another 10% reported TPM to be at least as effective as other approaches. The remaining percentage reported “no answer” to this question.
– 20% said that every person with whom they had offered ministry reported complete resolution of all emotional pain reported when viewing a specific memory in which they had applied ministry. 72% reported this occurring most of the time. 23% reported complete resolution half of the time. 6% reported this occurred now and then. There was a combined 92% reporting complete resolution at least 50% of the time.
– 38% reported what they believed was genuine life transformation in all of the people with whom they had ministered. 90% reported that they had witnessed what they believed was genuine life transformation in most of their ministry sessions. Only one person reported no noticeable transformation in any of his cases. One of the tests used in TPM to determine if change had occurred in the ministry session was whether the lie believed still felt true following receiving the truth from the Holy Spirit. The long term test is whether the person’s behavior shows permanent change thereafter. “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Rom. 12:2).
– 98% of the pastors and leaders stated that they had personally benefited from having received ministry themselves.
– 95% of the pastors said that the training in TPM has positively impacted their preaching in various ways.
– 93% said that TPM has become a significant tool that they use in ministry.
– Nearly 85% said that they were able to integrate the core teaching of TPM without any theological problem. 13% said that they had had some theological issue. What is interesting with the responses to this question is the fact that though there was some theological issue with TPM, 100% of those surveyed said that they recommend TPM to others, 98% personally benefited from it, 96% found highly effective outcomes, 90% reported life transformation in the people who had received ministry, and 96% said that people came to complete resolution at least 50% of the time! It appears that even with the diverse theological differences represented in this cross cut sampling of ministers in the Body of Christ, there is a unity that is grounded in the centrality of Christ as is foundational in this ministry approach.
– 100% of everyone surveyed said that they recommend TPM to others.
Outcomes-based Case Study
Some years ago Dr. Fernando Garzon (a professor with Liberty University) headed up a research project along with a team of mental health professionals and lay ministers, which included observing 13 cases where TPM was used. He and his team has written and published a full report of their findings in their book “Pursuing Peace.”
Dr. Garzon and his team completed 13 outcomes-based case studies of people who were suffering from anxiety, depression, and adjustment problems and were treated with Transformation Prayer Ministry (TPM). In 10 of the cases, the practitioners were licensed mental health professionals; in three, they were lay counselors ministering under the supervision of mental health professionals.
The study was designed to test each of the clients:
- prior to treatment,
- after every 10 hours of ministry,
- and at the conclusion of treatment.
Three months following treatment the same cases were administered the following tests:
– Symptom Checklist 90R, a psychological test.
– Spiritual Well-Being Scale, a measure of spiritual well-being.
– Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, a rating scale completed by the therapists administering
– Dysfunctional Attitude Scale, a measure that examines the number of depression-
causing beliefs a person has.
Garzon reported the following, “At the conclusion of treatment, each person was asked to complete a satisfaction inventory. Since clients can sometimes think they’ve improved just because they’ve been a part of a research project, we took the extra precaution of having a licensed professional who did not use Transformation Prayer Ministry to assess their progress by interviewing each client for half an hour and examining his or her clinical record. These professionals also did not know the type of treatment (TPM) that had been received. Doing such ensured an objective evaluation of each case. The findings were very positive. The lowered scores on the Symptoms Checklist 90R chart indicate reduced psychological distress.
The Symptom Checklist 90R was also examined in regards to clinical significance, or how therapeutically meaningful the changes were for the clients. Of the 13 clients who completed treatment, nine were classified as recovered, two as improved, one as no change, and one as deteriorated. (It is not uncommon, by the way, for 5-10 percent of people in psychotherapy to exhibit negative responses, so this one case is within the normal parameters.) The overall numbers are very good and indicate obvious improvement in most of the cases. If, as it purports to do, TPM reduces the lie-based thinking of people, the depression-causing beliefs in the group should show decreased scores on the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale. And that’s exactly what we saw happening. The graph below indicates these results:
What about the spiritual well-being of the clients receiving TPM?
If Christ was meeting them in a deeply meaningful way, their scores on the Spiritual Well-Being Scale in this area should have risen. Again, that is exactly what we saw happening.
Overall Spiritual Well-Being Scale Ratings
Apart from the tests, do the clients themselves say they have improved? Yes. All 13 clients indicated they had been helped through the prayer format. The 12 who had received previous non-Transformation modalities for getting help, all endorsed TPM as being more effective than what they had experienced before. Eleven of the 13 believed they had grown spiritually through receiving TPM. The opinions of the objective third party reviewers were only slightly less positive. They classified nine as showing “very much improvement” (the highest rating available), two as showing “moderate improvement”, and two as showing “mild improvement.” But overall, their findings were quite consistent with the test results and client opinions. The ultimate question, of course, is—do the results hold up over time? In this preliminary study, we gave the clients follow-up tests three months after their treatment ended. As you can see from the above graphs, the scores certainly held up during the three-month period. In summary, all these measurements indicate client improvement in most cases. Combined with the practitioner survey results reported earlier, these studies support the need for a more thorough scientific evaluation of TPM using true experimental designs. Such designs are needed before clear statements about efficacy can be made.
Numerous research projects have been conducted by many doctoral students over the years. Very favorable results continue to be reported. But then, if the Lord is doing the work, then only good can come of it.