Exploring a fourth dimension: spirituality as a resource for the couple therapist

J Marital Fam Ther. 1997 Jan;23(1):3-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.1997.tb00227.x.


This article explores ways in which the therapist's own spirituality can serve as a resource in couple therapy. Spirituality is defined as subjective engagement with a fourth, transcendent dimension of human experience. This engagement enhances human life and evokes corresponding behavior. Spiritually based therapy may be influenced by three assumptions: that God or a Divine Being exists, that human-kind yearns innately for connection with this Being, and that this Being is interested in humans and acts upon and within their relationships to promote beneficial change. In therapy these assumptions affect how the therapist listens and responds throughout sessions. The authors incorporate a case example illustrating the application of this fourth dimension in couple therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Christianity
  • Communication
  • Couples Therapy / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Therapy / organization & administration*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Religion*