The Special Problems of Consultation with Local Churches
The local church in many communities plays a significant part in the delivery of front-line mental health services, in a wide variety of forms. The fact that it does so in the mid 1970s represents a reversal of what the observers predicted 10 years ago. In the mid 1960s, enrollments in theological seminaries were faltering; those who did enroll, moreover, made it clear they intended their theological education to equip them for almost anything but pastoral leadership in a local church. Now, however, seminary enrollments are significantly on the rise, and the local church is often identified by students as the place they want to work, because it seems to be “where the action is.” Local parishes and congregations make serious efforts to be communities of mutual care and support, where both ordinary and exceptional people can find help intended (and in many cases carefully designed) to meet felt needs.
KeywordsMental Health Mental Health Professional Pastoral Care Mental Health Concern Counseling Process
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