Nine Clinical Cases:: The Soul of Pastoral Care and Counseling

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9781517411305: Nine Clinical Cases:: The Soul of Pastoral Care and Counseling

This book is actually an expanded review of the Fitchett-Nolan book and its thesis. For each of the nine cases and for each of the three associated critiques, I have provided a summary. Following that, I add my own critique of each case itself and of each associated critique. Following that is a summary and critique of the chapter on ethical concerns by David B. McCurdy. Finally, I set the entire book in the context of the clinical pastoral training tradition. Most of the published work on clinical pastoral supervision seems to have focused on principles and theory. The value of the Fitchett-Nolan work is that it is based on specific clinical cases, the nine cases that are published in the book itself. I hope they will have set the standard for future publications. Theory is useful, but nothing is quite as useful nor quite as engrossing as a specific clinical case. Fitchett, in his introduction to the book, argues for more published cases in the clinical pastoral training field. The current paucity of published clinical cases is actually puzzling in that the movement itself began a century ago with the study of cases. The founder of clinical pastoral training, Anton Boisen, actually made himself and his personal troubles the principal "case." Therefore, I second Fitchett's call for more published cases in the field as the best route for learning the art and science of pastoral care, counseling. and psychothereapy. The work that follows is a running commentary on the 9 cases as well as the 27 commentaries on the cases and on the summary essay, "Ethical Issues in Case Study Publication.” In addition to the two editors, six additional persons appear as critics of some of the cases. For better or for worse, I have commented on each and every one. I have elected throughout not to name the specific chaplains whose work is included herein. I am not thereby keeping a confidence. Their names and current positions are clearly identified in the Fitchett-Nolan book itself. But I am electing not to expose them further. I prefer to grant them what meager privacy yet available to them, which is not much. I actually feel some admiration for the nine who put their clinical pastoral work on view for all the world to see—and to pick apart. It is a very courageous choice to put one's work in the public arena for scrutiny. It is also potentially hurtful, particularly if one has thin skin, and, more so, if one has enemies eager to enter the fray for purposes of devaluation. No one is without flaws. No professional works without missteps. And no one is immune to certain blindnesses. But few would choose to lay their flaws and missteps open to public scrutiny. We have to applaud the courage of these presenting chaplains and pastoral counselors who have laid their professional work open to public examination in this book. They have my admiration and my esteem. But, as the reader will see, I have not elected to coddle or to consider the feelings of the presenters of the nine cases published here. I am assuming that they are professionals prepared to receive straightforward critique of their work. Nor do I spare their published critics. Nor do I myself expect to be spared strong rebuttal, particularly in instances where I might have been wrong or uninformed.

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About the Author:

Raymond J. Lawrence is a clinical pastoral supervisor and pastoral psychotherapist, former Director of Pastoral Care at New York Presbyterian Hospital, founder of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, author of The Poisoning of Eros: Sexual Values in Conflict, and Sexual Liberation: the Scandal of Christendom. He is also the author of various journal and book essays, as well as a number of opinion pieces in various newspapers. He has been an Episcopal clergyman for over half a century. You can begin a conversation with him at lawrence@cpsp.org.

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Raymond J. Lawrence
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015)
ISBN 10: 1517411300 ISBN 13: 9781517411305
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 88 pages. 8.43x5.85x0.73 inches. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # zk1517411300

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