Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 223-232

First online:

Transference and covenant in pastoral care

  • Richard L. HesterAffiliated withSoutheastern Baptist Theological Seminary

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Transference raises issues in pastoral care which covenant addresses. Through transference one tames the terrors of life and death. Transference also provides a basis for healing in pastoral relationships. Transference must be managed so that it does not result in idolatry but rather points the helpee beyond attachment to the minister and toward dependence upon God. Covenant provides theological guidance for transcending transference. This covenant involves the pastor-helpee relationship, commitment to God as a third party, and accountability to the covenant community.