Document Type: Original Article
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanistic Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Psychology, Research Institute of Hawzeh & University, Qom, Iran
Introduction: This study aimed to explore the conceptual model of religious and spiritual struggles among a Muslim sample by using qualitative method.
Method: The current study was carried out by using the grounded theory. The purposive sampling method was applied and sampling continued until data saturation. Via In-depth, semi-structured phenomenological interview, 14 individuals with religious and spiritual problems were interviewed. Based on the standards of in-depth interview, with each individual, four 90-minute sessions were held to identify different dimensions of their experiences. Open-ended questions were used to accomplish the purpose of the interview. In addition, “clinical exercises” were used to elicit clients' religious and spiritual struggles.
Results: Based on the findings of this study, religious and spiritual struggles have been divided into six categories: divine struggles, intrapersonal struggles, interpersonal struggles, supernatural struggles, struggle with some teachings of religion, and struggle with the effectiveness of religious institutions.
Conclusion: There are different types of religious and spiritual struggles among Iranians. It is necessary to address religious and spiritual struggles, as many studies have reported a negative relationship between spiritual struggles and mental health. One practical implication of the present study is the necessity of constructing psychological interventions for spiritual and religious struggles in the Iranian society in order to improve well-being and mental health, especially among religious people.