Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Pastoral Psychotherapy and Pastoral Counseling

  • Ryan LaMotheEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9206
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Socrates was reputed to say that “the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” I suspect, given the Socratic method, that the beginning of wisdom is the double realization that definitions carry the illusion of certainty and elude univocal agreement. Definitions, we know, vary according to the historical and cultural contexts and traditions and sometimes as a result of conscious whims and unconscious desires. Yet, the Sisyphean work of defining concepts is nevertheless necessary, for without definitions we begin to lose clarity of who we are, what we do, and where we are headed. The plasticity of defining terms, which did not dissuade but instead emboldened this Athenian gadfly, is immediately evident when faced with defining pastoral counseling and pastoral psychotherapy, especially in such a short entry. It seems to me that a wise approach takes into account, if only briefly, the history and traditions from which these concepts are founded. More specifically, I locate and...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pastoral Care and CounselingSt. Meinrad School of TheologySt. MeinradUSA