Not Just a Time‐Out: Change Dynamics of Prayer for Religious Couples in Conflict Situations

Not Just a Time‐Out: Change Dynamics of Prayer for Religious Couples in Conflict Situations For religious couples, the spiritual domain stands alongside biological, psychological, and systemic domains as an influence upon interaction and mechanism for change. A qualitative methodology consisting of structured interviews of religious spouses was used to investigate effects of prayer on couple interaction during conflict. A reliable description of the dynamics of prayer across spouse interviews was extracted by four analysts using a group interpretive procedure. Findings suggest that prayer invokes a couple‐God system, which significantly influences couple interaction during conflict. Overall, prayer appears to be a significant “softening” event for religious couples, facilitating reconciliation and problem solving. Prayer 1) invokes an experience of relationship with Deity; 2) deescalates hostile emotions and reduces emotional reactivity; 3) enhances relationship and partner orientation and behavior; 4) facilitates empathy and unbiased perspective; 5) increases self‐change focus; and 6) encourages couple responsibility for reconciliation and problem solving. Therapists' support of religious couples' use of prayer as a change mechanism is considered. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Family Process Wiley

Not Just a Time‐Out: Change Dynamics of Prayer for Religious Couples in Conflict Situations

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0014-7370
eISSN
1545-5300
DOI
10.1111/j.1545-5300.1998.00451.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For religious couples, the spiritual domain stands alongside biological, psychological, and systemic domains as an influence upon interaction and mechanism for change. A qualitative methodology consisting of structured interviews of religious spouses was used to investigate effects of prayer on couple interaction during conflict. A reliable description of the dynamics of prayer across spouse interviews was extracted by four analysts using a group interpretive procedure. Findings suggest that prayer invokes a couple‐God system, which significantly influences couple interaction during conflict. Overall, prayer appears to be a significant “softening” event for religious couples, facilitating reconciliation and problem solving. Prayer 1) invokes an experience of relationship with Deity; 2) deescalates hostile emotions and reduces emotional reactivity; 3) enhances relationship and partner orientation and behavior; 4) facilitates empathy and unbiased perspective; 5) increases self‐change focus; and 6) encourages couple responsibility for reconciliation and problem solving. Therapists' support of religious couples' use of prayer as a change mechanism is considered.

Journal

Family ProcessWiley

Published: Dec 1, 1998

References

  • Exploring a fourth dimension: Spirituality as a resource for the couple therapist
    Anderson, Anderson; Worthen, Worthen
  • The divine triangle: God in the marital system of religious couples
    Butler, Butler; Harper, Harper
  • Quanta, quarks, and families: Implications of quantum physics for family research
    Doherty, Doherty
  • Employing the God‐family relationship in therapy with religious families
    Griffith, Griffith
  • The psychosocial problems of sickle cell disease sufferers and their methods of coping
    Ohaeri, Ohaeri; Shokunbi, Shokunbi; Akinlade, Akinlade; Dare, Dare
  • Spirituality and family therapy: Spiritual beliefs, myths, and metaphors
    Prest, Prest; Keller, Keller

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