Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 67, Issue 6, pp 589–610 | Cite as

You Are My Friends: Pastoral Care with Young Mexican Men

  • Rubén ArjonaEmail author


In this article, the author discusses the significance of friendship in caring for and counseling with young men. Following Seward Hiltner, he affirms the distinction between friendliness (or friendly disposition) and friendship. Insofar as friendliness implies warmth and genuine concern, caregiving and counseling relationships can benefit from the minister’s friendly disposition. The author argues that ministers can effectively counsel with young Mexican men who are both their parishioners and their friends. To illustrate this point, he presents and discusses the case of a Mexican minister (Pastor Garza) and a young Mexican man (Alonso). By reflecting on the friendship motif in the Gospel of John, he concludes the article with the idea that friendship and counseling can coexist despite the power differential and imperfect mutuality between the minister and the care seeker.


Friendliness Friendship Mexican men Pastoral care Counseling 


  1. Abelove, H. (2003). Deep gossip. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  2. Alves, R. A. (1968). Towards a theology of liberation: An exploration of the encounter between the languages of humanistic messianism and messianic humanism. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Princeton Theological Seminary).Google Scholar
  3. Aristotle. (1980). Nicomachean ethics (D. Ross, Trans. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Berg, I. K., & Dolan, Y. M. (2001). Tales of solutions: A collection of hope-inspiring stories. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  5. Capps, D. (2001). Giving counsel: A minister’s guidebook. St. Louis: Chalice Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cervantes-Ortiz, L. (2003). Series de sueños: La teología ludo-erótico-poética de Rubem Alves. Quito, Ecuador: Departamento de Comunicaciones Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias.Google Scholar
  7. Cervantes-Ortiz, L. (2016). A theology of human joy: The liberating-poetic-ludic theology of Rubem Alves. Perspectivas, 13, 6–26.Google Scholar
  8. Crook, Z. A. (2011). Fictive-friendship and the fourth gospel. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, 67, 1–7. Scholar
  9. Culberston, P. (1996). Men and Christian friendship. In B. Krondorfer (Ed.), Men’s bodies, men’s gods: Male identities in a (post-) Christian culture (pp. 149–180). New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Culy, M. M. (2010). Echoes of friendship in the Gospel of John. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press.Google Scholar
  11. De Campo, A. (1991). Pueblo y canto (3rd ed.). Mexico City: UNAM, Coordinación de Humanidades.Google Scholar
  12. Díaz-Guerrero, R. (1975). Psychology of the Mexican: Culture and personality. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  13. Doehring, C. (2015). The practice of pastoral care: A postmodern approach (2nd ed.). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.Google Scholar
  14. Dykstra, R. C. (2007). The spiritual quest of the loser. In R. C. Dykstra, A. H. Cole Jr., & D. Capps (Eds.) Losers, loners, and rebels: The spiritual struggles of boys (pp. 45–76). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dykstra, R. C. (2012a). Friendly fire. In R. C. Dykstra, A. H. Cole Jr., & D. Capps (Eds.) The faith and friendships of teenage boys (pp. 71–84). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.Google Scholar
  16. Dykstra, R. C. (2012b). Subversive friendships. In R. C. Dykstra, A. H. Cole Jr., & D. Capps (Eds.) The faith and friendships of teenage boys (pp. 43–69). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.Google Scholar
  17. Dykstra, R. C. (2015). Finding language for what matters most: Hosting conversations about sexuality in pastoral counseling. Pastoral Psychology, 64, 663–680. Scholar
  18. Evans, C. F. (1990). Saint Luke. London: SCM Press.Google Scholar
  19. Evans, R. I., & Erikson, E. H. (1967). Dialogue with Erik Erikson. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  20. Freud, S. (2011). Group psychology and the analysis of the ego. York: Empire Books.Google Scholar
  21. Gabbard, G. O. (1994). Sexual excitement and countertransference love in the analyst. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42, 1083–1106.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Goizueta, R. S. (1995). Caminemos con Jesús: Toward a Hispanic/Latino theology of accompaniment. Maryknoll: Orbis Books.Google Scholar
  23. Greenspan, M. (1996). Out of bounds. In K. H. Ragsdale (Ed.), Boundary wars: Intimacy and distance in healing relationships (pp. 129–136). Cleveland: Pilgrim Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hiltner, S. (1950). Friendship in counseling. Pastoral Psychology, 1, 28–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ingram, D. H. (1991). Intimacy in the psychoanalytic relationship: A preliminary sketch. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 51, 403–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kuecker, A. (2011). The Spirit and the “other”: Social identity, ethnicity and intergroup reconciliation in Luke-Acts. London: T & T Clark International.Google Scholar
  27. Phillips, A. (2016). Unforbidden pleasures. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.Google Scholar
  28. Restrepo, L. C. (1997). El derecho a la ternura. Santiago: LOM.Google Scholar
  29. Reyes Nevarez, S. (1952). El amor y la amistad en el mexicano. Mexico City: Porrúa y Obregón.Google Scholar
  30. Sperry, L., & Pies, R. (2010). Writing about clients: Ethical considerations and options. Counseling and Values, 54, 88–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sullivan, A. (1998). Love undetectable: Notes on friendship, sex, and survival. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  32. Tillich, P. (1984). The meaning of health: Essays in existentialism, psychoanalysis, and religion. (P. D. LeFevre, Ed.). Chicago: Exploration Press.Google Scholar
  33. Waters, S. (2015). Identity in the empathic community: Alcoholics Anonymous as a model community for storytelling and change. Pastoral Psychology, 64, 769–782. Scholar
  34. Zea, L. (1952). Conciencia y posibilidad del mexicano. Mexico City: Porrúa y Obregón.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Iliff School of TheologyDenverUSA

Personalised recommendations