Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Pastoral Diagnosis

  • David Lee JonesEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_9306

Nancy Ramsay writes “Diagnosis is an evaluative process of discerning the nature of another’s difficulty in order to provide an appropriate and restorative response” (Ramsay 1998). She further argues that: “Diagnosis is never neutral. It always reiterates the anthropological and philosophical assumptions of the practitioner.”

Corey et al. (2012) define psychodiagnosis as: “the analysis and explanation of a client’s problems”; it usually includes “identifying possible causes of the person’s emotional, psychological, and behavioral difficulties,” and it entails suggesting appropriate therapeutic options to address the identified issues or problems. They define medical diagnosis as: “… the process of examining physical symptoms, inferring causes of physical disorders or diseases, providing some kind of category that fits the pattern of disease, and prescribing an appropriate treatment.”

Pastoral diagnosis differs from secular medical or psychodiagnosis because of the explicit theological...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Austin Presbyterian Theological SeminaryAustinUSA