Prayer in Couple and Family Therapy
Prayer, or the human effort to communicate with God, is likely the most pervasive religious/spiritual practice. Surveys and empirical research from the past two decades consistently indicate that although most Americans do not attend worship services weekly, approximately 90 % of Americans report praying at least some of the time and a significant minority pray several times a day. Consequently, prayer has drawn the attention of some clinicians and researchers as a potential therapeutic tool.
Careful and systematic research on prayer, particularly as a potential intervention in couple and family therapy, is a recent development, but prayer in general has drawn the attention of select leaders in the social sciences for more than 100 years. William James (1902), often credited as the father of American psychology, referred to prayer as “the soul and essence of religion” (p. 365). This identified salience of prayer holds particularly true in the Abrahamic world faiths. In...
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