December 1960

Distinctive Functions of Psychotherapy and Pastoral Counseling

Author Affiliations

New York
Presented as part of the program of a Round Table on the title subject at the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Atlantic City, N.J., May 10, 1960.
Associate Attending Psychiatrist, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; Professor of Pastoral Psychiatry and Dean (Emeritus), Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(6):583-589. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710060015003

It depends, perhaps, on which end of the telescope one chooses to look through whether one sees the borderline between psychiatric therapy and ministerial counseling as fuzzy or as clear and sharp. To me it seems clear and sharp, and I believe that we must define it ever more explicitly. We need to determine where cooperation ends and trespassing begins, lest we wind up in a morass of confusion.

In his Presidential address at our annual meeting in Chicago in 1956, Dr. R. Finley Gayle, Jr.1 made two statements. One was: ‟Properly qualified persons in both professions, working closely together can accomplish much." The other was: ‟ . . . some psychiatrists are as apprehensive about clergymen 'doing therapy' as some clergymen are about catching psychiatrists in the act of 'forgiving sins.' ‟ With refernce to the first statement, we have no problems. We have been cooperating with the clergy

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