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An exploration of women's experiences adhering to family purity laws within the first five years of marriage

Schapira, C (2018). An exploration of women's experiences adhering to family purity laws within the first five years of marriage. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The psychological impact of Jewish family purity laws is under-researched, particularly within the United Kingdom. This study gives women who observe these rules an opportunity to be heard, and contributes to the multicultural literature enhancing counselling psychologists’ understanding of ethnic minorities.The study explores in depth the experiences of women who observe Jewish family purity laws. Through a qualitative research design, the study aims to elucidate the deep meaning of the women’s experiences and the implications for their current lives, so that they can be supported efficiently through counselling psychology. The data was collected from eight observant orthodox Jewish participants who had been married for between one and five years. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather information from the participants. This was followed by an analysis of the data using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The four superordinate themes that emerged from the data were: The Power of Dissonance, conveying feelings of anxiety, pressure and guilt while bound be these rules; The Emotional Juxtaposition, describing paradoxical feelings of monotony and excitement within their martial relationship; The Phenomenon of Relational Space, exploring paradoxical findings covering closeness, distance, invasion and space; and last, Desire for Attachment, referring to the desire for meaningful relationships with G-d1 and their spouses. Existing literature is drawn on to evaluate the findings, and the limitations of the study are outlined, together with the implications for research into, and clinical practice of counselling psychology. Emphasis is placed on the need to offer therapy that empowers clients to take control of their lives and make informed choices on the basis of their own decisions and desires, rather than those imposed on them by anything else. The study concludes with recommendations for future research.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
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