What is pastoral psychology?

Miscellaneous Seddon235 August 7, 2016 0 0
In the twentieth century psychology is completely detached from theology come to full development. This meant that the psychology profession is no longer within theology. In pastoral psychological knowledge is important.

Four forms

The relationship between theology and psychology adopted four forms:
  • Mutual distancing and rejection: in theology, for instance, psychoanalysis no standing.
  • The ancilla paradigm: psychology as a servant. The theologian provides the necessary knowledge, pointing to bottlenecks but also methods to realize the pastoral objective.
  • Psychology as a guide: data from different types of psychology provide insight into the various fields of pastoral care.
  • Equal cooperation: pastoral psychology is an integration of psychology and theology. This involves a dialogue between empirical and normative science.

Correlation Model

The correlation model is one of the many solutions for the problematic ?? co ?? between theology and psychology. The book Capps, Pastoral Care. A Thematic Approach ?? operates seven theme ?? s nav from the work of theologian and psychologist Paul Pruyser. He does this in addition to the eight stages of Erikson. Below is an example.
Providence correlates with trust / distrust. In theology focuses trust in God who has the world under His care. In psychology focuses on confidence which has been built in early childhood compared to the parents, especially the mother.

The integration model

The integration model looks for common ground. It is important that psychology has recognized God's revelation in Scripture and creation.


A third model for theology and psychology to bring together the normative character of both sciences. Like the theology psychology is not a value-free science. Pastoral Psychology is actually an independent frontier science.

Labor fields of pastoral psychology

The pastoral psychology has mostly insights in clinical psychology. These insights are used to develop a range of training pastors and an analysis of the pastoral conversation between pastor and care receiver.

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education is training for chaplains with the aim to come through the path of insight into their own performance improvement of ministry. Founder of this is Anton Boisen. Through contact with many doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists, however, in danger or the risk becomes the theological identity of the pastor in the background. Reflection and demarcation of theology and psychology on the other hand is an important issue.

Objective of the Clinical Pastoral Education

The growth of the personality must be a reflection on the pastoral action to come. This is possible through the following objectives:
  • Understand own pastoral role
  • Understanding one's own psychological functioning and that of others
  • Sensitivity can increase, better learn to listen and learn better perceive others' feelings
  • Theological matters by thinking of psychological knowledge.

Teaching methods

To achieve the above objectives, the following methods used:
  • Conversation Analysis: in a group watch hidden feelings and meanings.
  • Group Supervision: in the group to name three phases; orientation phase, aggressive phase, reflection phase (think about what happened with opportunities to gain new insights about their own performance.
  • Sermon Analysis: be called discussion feelings aroused by a sermon by a participant. It focuses on listening to each other and to the Gospel.

Pastoral counseling

Pastoral psychologists are primarily engaged in the consultative meeting: the pastoral counseling. This is most likely to live with problems such as mourning, illness, disability etc.


It was initially oriented himself to unsystematic manner literature of psychotherapists such as Freud, Jung and Maeder had a great influence. With the advent of the Clinical Pastoral Education they started to focus more on the insights of the Rogerian interview technique. Of psychoanalysis has been adopted include the following concepts:
  • Unconscious: yet no man has access but does affect mental functioning.
  • Resistance: the unconscious secret lies deeply rooted and can only be faced with a lot of pain and effort.
  • Transmission: painful feelings transferred arise during childhood on the therapist. The care requester approached the therapist as a substitute for a father or mother. The past is relived.
  • By Transfer: the therapist may have unconscious unresolved emotions and react to statements made by the client.

New impulses by Carl Rogers

Rogers method aims to maximize the clients themselves determine the course of the conversation. The counselor intervenes as little as possible and limited to understanding the role of facilitator. The reason this method in the (Christian) pastoral care is used much to the fact that these values ​​are experienced in it:
  • Empathic attitude, good listening and understanding
  • Authenticity or veracity


The disadvantage of the Rogerian method is that the client takes the lead and that the faith dimension was raised only if the client does. Subsequent developments show a more directive method. . This again gave a power struggle between pastor and psychotherapist. Fortmann quotes in this case McCann ?? the psychiatrist makes free, the pastor inspires the freedom to use the best possible ??. In other words, where the therapist stops enters the pastor forward. The pastor man reaches a deeper vision of existence. The vision of psychotherapists have characterized by attention to the inability of the client, with the aim of restoring its ability to achieve satisfactory design to life. The chaplain is focused on supporting people with life questions and problems are approached from ideological frameworks of the client and counselor, and which aims to support and promote the mental functioning of the client.

Central research task

Bodisco Massink and Blom believe that the pastor can connect the stories of clients to the religious tradition of the client. A good use of the traditional stories and texts can have a healing effect, according to them. In this area is a central research task for both theology and psychology. The question is how to offer the Christian faith tradition prospects for individual and social life issues. From various pastoral psychology literature shows that especially stories, parables, images and symbols can bring about such an interpretation of the personal situation of religious perspective. The unspeakable and indescribable can be made so clear.