Keywords

gender, marital therapy, power, spirituality, triangulation

Abstract

Spiritual practices are increasingly accommodated by therapists working with religious couples. While research documents potential benefits, spiritual practices such as prayer may invoke an interpretive couple-God relationship distorted by pathogenic processes in one or both spouses. A survey administered to 78 religious couples examined the influence of power/gender as it relates to couples’ harmful triangulation with Deity. Results suggest that harmful triangulation with Deity does occur to some degree in couple relationships, that there are significant differences by gender, and that spouses’ tendencies to triangulate are correlated with one another. We discuss these results from a systemic-feminist perspective, and offer some clinical applications for working with religious couples.

Original Publication Citation

Gardner, B. C., Butler, M. H., & Seedall, R. B. (2008). En-gendering the couple-deity relationship: Clinical implications of power and process. Contemporary Family Therapy, 30(3), 152-166.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2008-05-08

Publisher

Contemporary Family Therapy

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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