Pages Menu
Categories Menu


  • is to draw our self-identity and to judge ourselves from the values of the group to which we belong
  • is excessive dependence on our group such as family, clan, school, club, team, peer group
  • gradually diminishes as we practice Centering Prayer and are moved by grace to contemplation 

Over-identification is sometimes referred to as “excessive group identification.”

  • FG: 78-79
  • HC: 33, 36
  • IL: 32-39 

We deliberately dismantle excessive group identification by letting go of our cultural conditioning, preconceived ideas, and over-identification with the values of our particular group or by opening to spiritual development beyond group loyalties. In some circumstances, we may have to separate ourselves from our group for motives of conscience. In any case, we must let go of depending on the group for our security or esteem needs of acceptance and affirmation.

Related Concepts




Over-identification with our cultural conditioning gradually diminishes as we practice Centering Prayer and allow God to reduce our emotional programs for happiness and our over-dependence on our social groups.

Security needs are decreased by spiritual consolation in prayer. Esteem needs are decreased by confidence in God. Control needs are diminished by the freedom to love.


 Reflection: Listening

Over-identification is due to cultural conditioning. The ideas and values of a particular group may hinder or prevent growth in Christ.

Reflection: Reflecting

How does over-identification thwart spiritual growth? To what extent do group values influence your life?

Reflection: Responding

Dismantle excessive group identification. Let go of group values that are contrary to the Gospel.