patience, self-control, emotion regulation, distress, persistence, development, equanimity, religious, self-compassion, goal, adversity


This article provides an overview of patience and its associated constructs by examining its role in five domains: (a) confidence and control; (b) distress tolerance; (c) relationship development, maintenance, and repair; (d) character development; and (e) spiritual maturation. It highlights initial evidence that patience contributes to increased self-regulation and impulse control, distress tolerance, self-compassion, mindfulness, empathy in relationships, perspective taking, use of cognitive reappraisals, prosocial ori- entation, character development, and spiritual maturation. Patience helps with coping with anxiety and depression, aids with handling uncertainty, facilitates relationship maintenance and repair, and sustains the ability to manage the ambiguities present during faith crises. It promotes persistence and long-suffering, and it facilitates humility, wisdom, forgiveness, benevolence, faith, hope, and charity. It also supports primary control efforts and activates secondary control strategies when situations are out- side of a client’s control. Patience enhances the possibility of benefit finding during periods of adversity. Patience may qualify as a common factor (Wampold, 2015) operating across theoretical models and contexts, and it manifests both as a client characteristic and as a therapeutic change process. Eleven potential interventions for cultivating patience are outlined in this article.