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Foundations of Pastoral Counselling

Integrating Philosophy, Theology, and Psychotherapy

Foundations of Pastoral Counselling

Integrating Philosophy, Theology, and Psychotherapy

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334055358
Number of Pages: 272
Published: 30/04/2017
Width: 15.3 cm
Height: 23.4 cm

Foundations of Pastoral Counselling offers a completely new approach to its subject, through an integration of philosophical ideas, theological thought, and psychotherapeutic psychology.

Using the work of philosophers including Martin Buber, Simone Weil and Soren Kierkegaard to begin the conversation in each chapter the author then draws on relevant theologians and psychotherapeutic thinkers to enrich the dialogue.

The result is a rich, multi-faceted, and often surprising round-table discussion about the fundamental issues in pastoral counselling.


Part 1: Fundamental Attitudes and Skills 

1 Respect for the Uniqueness of the Counsellee, or Resisting the Totalizing Tendency 

2 Empathy and the Body, or the Quest for Participatory Sense-Making 

3 Deep Listening, or Being Formed in the Discipline of Attention 

4 Conditions for Genuine Dialogue, or It’s the Relationship that Heals 

5 ‘Relational Humanness’ and ‘Relational Justice’, or Caring for Two Worlds 

Part 2: Fundamental Interventions and Strategies 

6 Revising Faulty Thinking, or a Socratic Approach to Healing ‘Belief-Sickness’ 

7 Facilitating Self-Challenge, or Learning the Art of Indirection 

8 Working with Counsellee Images, or Exploring the ‘Metaphors We Live By’

9 Connecting with a Community of Hope, or Pastoral Rituals that Shine a Light 

Concluding Reflection: It’s Also about Personal Spirituality

Neil Pembroke

Neil Pembroke has more than twenty-five years of practical experience, teaching, and research on pastoral care and counselling. He has published seven books and almost fifty articles with leading international outlets; and has served for many years on the editorial boards of Pastoral Psychology and Practical Theology and as a regular reviewer for Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health

"Foundations in Pastoral Counselling is the work of a mature teacher whose surefooted philosophical grasp offers a wise guide to learners and practitioners alike. Pembroke's wide-ranging study sets a new level of scholarship and sheer professionalism in a complex and challenging field." -- Revd Canon Dr Margaret Whipp

"Foundations in Pastoral Counselling provides a much-needed resource to the field of Christian pastoral care and counselling. It integrates philosophical thought into theology and psychotherapeutic theory through discussion and case-based examples and practice. Not only is it an excellent resource for professional pastoral counsellors, it also provides profound insight for those in pastoral ministry who provide pastoral care in congregations and social ministry contexts. It is practical and down-to-earth while also engaging in depth of thought and reflection. I strongly recommend this book for use in Christian counselling and ministry education programs and for those already serving in counselling and pastoral ministry who desire to deepen and expand their thought and practice." -- Pamela R. McCarroll, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto

"This book is a "must-read," not only for pastoral counsellors themselves but also for all who teach pastoral counselling. Neil Pembroke reflects upon fundamental attitudes, skills, interventions and strategies of pastoral care and stresses the role of the person and her spiritual commitment at the same time. It is very inspiring how Pembroke unfolds his pastoral care as a three-way conversation involving philosophy, psychotherapy and theology. I found the philosophical perspectives especially illuminating and ground-breaking. This is a very well-balanced and sophisticated book which I can only recommend." -- Isolde Karle, Institute for Religion and Society, Germany

"Foundations in Pastoral Counselling is set to become a new classic in twenty first century literature on the profession of ministerial caregiving. It revisits the foundation of Christian wisdom thinking; it represents a pastoral haven of hope, written from the spiritual depths of a ‘wounded healer’ for postmodern homo viator vagabonds. The book is like a ray of light within the theological space of academic reflection; it provides a deeper understanding of the Christian faith and promotes the dimension of spiritual healing and helping." -- Daniël Louw, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

"Intellectually sophisticated, theologically sound, clinically wise, and eminently practical, this book provides a rare and essential contribution: an exploration of the fundamental architectures of pastoral care and counselling. Teachers and clinical supervisors will find it a rich resource in the classroom, students will find it a fruitful introduction to the disciplines of pastoral care and counselling, and experienced practitioners will find it a valuable exploration that will deepen their understanding of the framework of their vocation. Beyond its value in teaching, this essential text reinforces the beauty and critical importance of the arts of pastoral care and counselling." -- Barbara J. McClure, Brite Divinity School, USA