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what's is Pastoral Psychotherapy?

Pamela Cooper White writes in her book, Many Voices, "pastoral psychotherapy is not a synonym for a pastoral counseling, it is a particular and distinct healing intervention in its own right .  That is grounded in both psychoanalytic theory and method, that  are held in a constructive, creation affirming theology."White goes on to say that the special charge of pastoral psychotherapy is to accompany and support individuals, couples and families in recognizing and healing, especially painful psychic wounds and/or long-standing patterns of self defeating relationships to self and others" (Cooper White, Pamela   Many Voices  Fortress press, Minneapolis Pastoral psychotherapy is not a quick Band-Aid type approach to helping people with their problems.  It is a deep reaching method of therapy that seeks to get to the core of a person's emotional pain by making what is unconscious in the person conscious.  It is through the reviving and working through of painful experiences and emotions that healing takes place.  Pastoral psychotherapy may last for a few months or take several years, depending on what the patient wants to work through.  In my work as a pastoral psychotherapist I have spent many hours with patients listening as they talk through shameful and/ or painful events.  As a pastoral psychotherapist I respect my patients, religious, beliefs and help them to explore those beliefs to discover what they  mean to the patient in the context of their emotional and psychic pains.
Dr. Susan Bowen DMin.
Mind & Spirit Counseling


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