The Orthodox Jewish Couple in Therapy: Addressing Religious Conflict and Confronting the Divine Elephant in the Room

  • Gila Cohen DavidovskyEmail author
Original Paper


This case study illustrates how religious conflict can define a couple’s therapy. The couple therapist’s understanding of religious background can enable deeper discussion. For example, the therapist’s knowledge of observance creates a therapeutic space to explore broader themes of grief, longing, anger, religious commitment, God, and ultimately, commitment to marriage. Religious themes emblematic in Orthodox Judaism are highlighted in this case study. Changes in one’s religious practice can generate a shift in the marital relationship; how to address religious changes and conflicts in therapy is explored using a framework of emotionally focused therapy. Practice implications are offered, which focus on confronting religious conflict when working with similar couples.


Orthodox Jews Marital therapy Religious conflict Chabad Judaism Religion Spiritual abuse Emotionally focused therapy 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LCSWTeaneckUSA

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