The Pastor's Guide to Psychological Disorders and Treatments (Haworth Pastoral Press Religion and Mental Health) Paperback – 4 Aug 2000
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"This book is the most comprehensive and clinically sound attempt that I have encountered to help bridge the slippery area between pastoral care and psychological intervention. In this day and age, pastors must be informed and skillful in dealing with a broad range of issues and personalities within their congregations. Due to cutbacks in mental health coverage, pastors will more and more have the responsibility of providing triage for those in mental and emotional distress. This book is a must not merely as a reference on every pastor's shelf, but as a textbook to be studied carefully, whether in seminary or out. Besides extensive and useful descriptions of psychiatric disorders, the authors provide essential guidance for pastors on how, when, and whom to refer parishioners who are in distress. The section on evaluating self-help books alone is worth the price of this book for the tools it provides pastors in navigating through the morass of unscientific, self-promoting, and potentially destructive publications."
―Rev. K. Casey Longwood, MDiv, rector,Christ Episcopal Church, Puyallup, Washington
"Good shepherding requires being able to identify parishioners who have mental health issues. Brad and William Johnson have written an excellent handbook for pastors to guide them in assessing psychological concerns that require special care. Pastors will find the chapter on maladaptive personalities worth the price of the book. They will quickly identify folks in their ministry who they thought were simply troubling people, but are in fact troubled people―many of whom may need mental health care along with pastoral care. Teachers of pastoral care and counseling will find this a useful text. Pastors with little training in pastoral care and counseling will find the chapters on various kinds of psychological disorders helpful, as well as how to select a mental health professional and what to expect from professionals. Even well trained chaplains, pastoral counselors, and ministers who work in the mental health field will find this a good resource."
―David W. Sharrard, ThO, professor of pastoral care and counseling, Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky
"Just what every pastor needs! Written in understandable language and geared to the particular interests of pastors, this book is a rich resource covering the range of emotional and psychiatric disorders every pastor is likely to encounter. But more than this, it also covers the wide range of therapies used to treat these disorders in such a way that pastors can be better informed about how to make referrals to mental health professionals. I intend to include it in my courses for pastors as required reading."
―Archibald D. Hart, PhD, FPPR, professor of psychology and former dean of the graduate school of psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Pastors regularly come into contact with a wide variety of human difficulties. Many parishioners, of course, are caught up in 'normal' problems--grief in the face of anticipated or recent losses, anxiety in the face of medical problems, long-term stress and fatigue growing from caring for a loved one. But there are also the 'abnormal' and more intense manifestations of emotional and physical difficulty. While not trained to treat the more acute forms of human distress, pastors still need to be able to recognize, assess, and refer hurting people to the proper care. Sometimes the pastor just 'has a feeling' that something more is wrong than meets the eye. That's where Brad and William Johnson's book becomes a valuable resource. With their combined skills in counseling and psychiatric research, the authors have provided a resource of invaluable help for busy pastors. Limiting itself to the syndromes most likely to be encountered by pastors, The Pastor's Guide provides case vignettes, features and symptoms to watch for, summaries of current treatment, and suggestions for appropriate referrals. The language is clear, practical, and in a form that is readily useful. The book should be on the ready reference shelf of any practicing pastor."
―William V. Arnold, PhD associate pastor for senior adults, Union Theological Seminary-PSCE
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I RECOMMEND IT TO ALL PASTORS!
It isn't a book for Psychiatrists - it's a book for Pastors who encounter disturbing behavior and wonder if there is something more going on psychologically. It gives great insight to what may be going on with some of your difficult parishioners, or even the people you care deeply about. It advises when to refer to actual counselors, or how to handle these people in Church settings.
It will describe symptoms and key indicators of Psychological disorders, recommended courses of action for the Church, summaries, guidelines for interaction, etc.
I can say I wish I had heeded much of this advice years ago.
Even though mental disorders are widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 who suffer from a serious mental illness. In addition, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for ages 15-44. Interestingly enough, by in large more many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for two or more disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity. In the U.S., mental disorders are diagnosed based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V), released in recent months. However, the clinical language contained in the DSM-V can be difficult to interpret for the typical pastor with a standard seminary degree. Another item among the long list of things they don't teach you in seminary.
In most instances, introductory courses in counseling and psychology rarely delve into the specific process of diagnosing, much less interacting with the increasingly varied number of psychological issues confronting the average pastor. Quite frankly, the process for distinguishing one type of psychiatric condition from another is overwhelming at times for those licensed within the profession, much less a novice. At the same time, it is vital that a pastor acquire a familiarity with the varying degrees and categories of emotional and psychological disorders that continue to plague society. It is a safe assumption that current trends will most likely continue, given increased levels of anxiety and turmoil within the family unit, and throughout the world.
In fact, The New York Times reported in May 2013, that "suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm." Many of us involved in ministry are tracking the Baby Boomers and are very much aware of many of these folks returning to churches in pursuit of purpose and meaning in their lives. The Times also indicated that, "More people now die of suicide than in car accidents." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.
The numbers are staggering and give pause to those within pastoral ministry who undoubtedly address parishioners on a weekly basis contemplating similar attempts of "escape." Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and the elderly, and the surge in suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is surprising. Accordingly, the CDC report indicated, "from 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7."
Suicide is most often a desperate attempt to permanently escape the mental anguish resulting in psychological or psychiatric conditions capable of debilitating affects.
The Pastor's Guide to Psychological Disorders and Treatments offers the conscientious pastor an opportunity to enter into the counselee's difficult world. Much like the children's toy that challenges the toddler with inserting the various pieces through the corresponding holes, with this helpful reference, so to the pastor is better able to interpret the shape and sort of need with a subsequent plan of action
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