This highly informative text is designed for mental health professionals who work with clergy and religious. The title, Psychotherapy with Priests, Protestant Clergy, and Catholic Religious: A Practical Guide, accurately describes the work's intention and content. This study asserts that effective clinical treatment of religious must address their psychological needs with a respectful understanding of one's religious culture and belief. Psychotherapy serves as a comprehensive survey of the major lifestyle, behavioral, and mental problems which ministers face today and offers constructive strategies for assessment, treatment, and intervention.
The co-authors, Joseph Ciarrocchi, Ph.D., Director of Doctoral Clinical Education in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola College in Maryland, and Robert Wicks, Psy.D., Chairperson of the Graduate Programs at Loyola College, MD, write with an authoritative wealth of clinical theory, supervision, practice, together with an impressive teaching record, lectures, and publications. Psychotherapy gleans their accumulative wisdom and experience.
The book divides into four main sections: Part I: Practical Religious-Cultural Issues treats such topics as Ministerial Burnout, Anticlericalism, Christian Confusion about Anger, Loneliness, and Marriage and Family issues; Part II: The Treatment of Negative Emotions in Religious Professionals explores the emotions of Anxiety, Depression, and Guilt; Part III: Compulsive Behavior and Sexual Issues treats Addictive Disorders, Substance Abuse, Sexual Problems, and also present a balanced, enlightening section on Celibacy, Homosexuality, and the effects of Countertransference in therapy in considering these topics; Part IV: Observing Limits and Handling Change provides an in-depth look at Dual Relationships, Transitions, and Boundary issues. The periodic surfacing of realistic case models throughout these chapters convincingly blends theory with praxis.
Psychotherapy is recommended for therapists, practitioners, and those who have a clinical knowledge base. The volume assumes such a background. An up-to-date Reference and Reading Section helpfully points the interested reader to locate additional information. I not only recommend this valuable and much-needed guide for psychotherapists but also for those whose ministry is in the area of vocation recruitment, formation, spiritual direction, and pastoral counseling. Mental health professionals will grow more cognizant of the unique struggles of ministers. Those in formation and pastoral ministry will clearly know when to make a referral.