Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 487–504 | Cite as

The Psychological Impact of the Jesus Prayer among Non-Conventional Catholics



This pilot study explored the psychological impact of a 2-month intervention with the Jesus Prayer among a sample taken from a community of middle-aged Catholics in Spain. The study collected quantitative data on psychological symptoms with the Revised Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90-R) and on personality traits with the Revised Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R) at three different times: baseline, post-intervention, and 5 months after the 2-month intervention. It also collected quantitative data on transient mood states with the Profile of Mood States (POMS) before and after a 25-min intervention with the Jesus Prayer, plus data on adherence 2 years after the inquiry. Statistical analysis found lower scores on Interpersonal Sensitivity (p = .009) and Phobic Anxiety (p = .03) psychological symptoms after the 2-month intervention. Analyses of data also found lower scores and strong effect sizes on Tension (p = .03, d = 1.029) and Fatigue (p = .001, d = 1.390) after a 25-min intervention. The 2-year follow up found that one third of the final sample had completely adhered to a daily practice of the Jesus Prayer. Overall results indicate that the Jesus Prayer may be a relevant practice among Catholics both for well-being and spiritual purposes.


Prayer Meditation Mood states Psychological symptoms Personality 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical and Health Psychology DepartmentAutonomous University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.East-West Psychology DepartmentCalifornia Institute of Integral StudiesSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Psychobiology and Methodology of Health SciencesAutonomous University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.University Institute of Neurorehabilitation GuttmannAutonomous University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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