Advertisement

Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 71–88 | Cite as

You must leave before you can cleave: A family systems approach to premarital pastoral work

  • Kenneth R. Mitchell
  • Herbert Anderson
Articles
  • 38 Downloads

Abstract

We advocate the use of a family systems approach to premarital pastoral work, involving exploration of the families of origin of the intended spouses. Family systems theory argues that a marriage is like a merger of two corporations, each having its own stockholders; thus, adequate preparation for marriage involves coming to terms with the realities of one's family of origin and that of one's intended spouse. Exploratory techniques include genograms, house tours, family photo albums, and discussions of the rules and rituals in the respective families. Leaving father and mother is the central prerequisite to marriage.

Keywords

System Theory Cross Cultural Psychology Family System Pastoral Work Exploratory Technique 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Carl Whitaker, and Augustus Y. Napier,The Family Crucible (New York: Harper & Row, 1978), pp. 79ff.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Salvador Munichin,Families and Family Therapy (Cambridge, Masachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1974), pp. 16ff.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kenneth R. Mitchell, “Reinterpreting the Purpose of Premarital Counseling,”Pastoral Psychology, 18:177(1967) pp. 184.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Howard M. Halpern,Cutting Loose: An Adult Guide to Coming to Terms With Your Parents (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976). This book is a particularly good resource for helping individuals discover some of their own hidden struggles toward adulthood.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Helm Stierlin,Separating Parents and Adolescents (New York: Quadrangle Books, 1974).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Many other reasons are of course cited for delaying or refusing marriage. It is noteworthy that when couples who have lived together for a long time suddenly decide to marry, the reason is frequently that one or the other senses an impending breakup and wants to use marriage as a bond for the relationship—which it may have been in the family of origin.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Paul Watzlawick, Janet H. Beavin, and Don Jackson,Pragmatics of Human Communication (Palo Alto: n.p., 1967).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robert F. Stahmann, and William J. Hiebert,Premarital Counseling (Lexington, Massachusetts: D. C. Heath & Co., 1980), pp. 47–66.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Murray Bowen,Family Therapy in Clinical Practice (New York: Jason Aronson, 1978), pp. 373ff.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Walter Toman,Family Constellation (New York: Springer & Co., 1976), Third Edition.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Virginia Satir,Peoplemaking (Palo Alto: Science & Behavior Books, 1972).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson,Pragmatics.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jay Haley,Leaving Home (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cf. Toman,Family Constellation.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth R. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Herbert Anderson
    • 2
  1. 1.Eden Theological SeminaryWebster Groves
  2. 2.Wartburg Theological SeminaryDubuque

Personalised recommendations