A Light in the Closet: Spiritually Informed Conceptual Model for Religiously Derived Mixed-Orientation Marriages

  • Joshua Weed
  • Barbara Couden Hernandez
Part of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy book series (BRIEFSFAT)


In this chapter I will explain my approach to working with conservative Christians in mixed-orientation marriages, from my own sometimes conflicted but scripture based and affirming attitudes toward LGBTQ individuals. I will present the case of Elaine and Bob, based on three mixed-orientation marriage couples known to me. The underlying framework is based on Doherty’s spiritual assessment and intervention model and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model. This includes reframing concerns framed solely in religious language regarding the self, relationship(s), family, faith affiliation, community, and society and to include moral and clinical dimensions of each layer of one’s context. Methods to move from a sense of having a counterfeit relationship to empowering both partners to consider their best interests while supporting both spouses will be presented.


Marriage therapy LGBTQ Sexuality Christian Mixed orientation Spirituality Religion 


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Copyright information

© American Family Therapy Academy 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua Weed
    • 1
  • Barbara Couden Hernandez
    • 2
  1. 1.Private Marriage and Family Therapy Practice in KentKentUSA
  2. 2.Loma Linda University School of MedicineLoma LindaUSA

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