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Pastoral Care: An Essential Guide (Essential Guide (Abingdon Press)) Paperback – June 1, 2005

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About the Author

John Patton is the Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia and a retired United Methodist minister. He is the author of many books, including Pastoral Care: An Essential Guide, Is Human Forgiveness Possible? and Pastoral Care in Context: An Introduction to Pastoral Care. Dr. Patton is also an associate editor of Abingdon's Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling. He is a pastoral counselor and marriage and family therapist at Samaritan Counseling Center of Atlanta.
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Product Details

  • Series: Essential Guide (Abingdon Press)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press; Essential Guide edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0687053226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0687053223
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Charles Hart on June 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are other and better texts that profile the history of Pastoral Care, e.g. Charles Gerkin's "An Introduction to Pastoral Care." There are other and better introductory texts for ministers, student ministers, chaplains, and CPE students, e.g. Gerald Niklas' "The Making of a Pastoral Person" or Sharyl B. Peterson's "The Indispensable Guide to Pastoral Care." In my opinion, Patton's use of the shepherd and sheep imagery, and his focus on going after the lost sheep, are not as helpful as he imagines. One of his psychological models, Carl Rogers, referenced on pages 37 and 43, stresses the traditional clinical stance. It may esteem self-awareness and a one-to-one encounter, but it lacks an appreciation for and understanding of rapport building, relationships skills, and a contemporary and communal context for both care giver and recipient. Read Peterson's text if you want something more contemporary on how to improve one's basic listening and counseling skills in these areas; and she does so more clearly and briefly. Patton does encourage leading and guiding, but even in the one-on-one encounters he does not seem to understand and appreciate, for example, Jung's well-known lines of communication between the care giver and recipient (conscious to conscious, unconscious to unconscious, conscious to unconscious and so on). Patton does not address how a care giver's understanding and matching and pacing the other's emotional states can help build rapport, especially if the persons involved do not have a prior relationship. Patton's third chapter would have been a good place to address, for example, human anxiety, but he only scratches the surface in understanding its origins and other-than-conscious dynamics and elements.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pastor Bob Baker on November 18, 2011
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I am a pastor working in a health care setting and as such, pastoral care is my main function. I found the information to be a review for me and believe it would be very helpful to those seeking to find out about pastoral care in that context. The book could have been more expansive in the areas af pastoral care in the parish setting where you deal with the issues of divorce, abuseive behaviors for both selves and others and family and other personal issues.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mary J. Laabs on March 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a very practical book for pastors..no wasted words or "gush". We are using it in the 4th year of the United Church of Christ Lay Academy for our study in Pastoral Care.
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..."when a person walks into my office for their first appointment, my initial goal in building a strategy for their care is to discern whether their issue is (1.) decisions, (2.) demonic, or (3.) disease. I can help them with two of these.” First let’s remove the third option, saying that in cases which we suspect the parishioner’s issue is one of disease, we must make the referral to a professional who is trained to deal with those needs. Though for those who struggle with issues that can be understood as life-style/decision making, or spiritual in nature, pastoral care can be a source of relief.

I believe that the best form of pastoral care, for those in these first two categories, is for an integration of the concepts found in Lartney. This being that we approach people as intrinsically valuable divine image bearers, and that their experiences and emotions seriously, as they are the authoritative texts on their lives. You acknowledge that their distress is real, and that Jesus and the community are in distress with them. Having established that they are heard and valued, help the recipient craft a narrative that subverts the negative decisive and spiritual cycles in their life, helping them deconstruct their internal dialog. The care giver can now aid them in crafting a new narrative about their life, identity, worth moving forward, giving them the tools to actively subvert the dysfunction that is causing them distress and putting them on a trajectory to reconnect with the love of God, the love of their community, and the love of self.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Emily C. Blank on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction for those embarking on Clinical Pastoral Education. It is written from a Christian perspective, but is sufficiently ecumenical to be useful to those of other religions.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ruth D. Walsh, CPE Supervisor on March 29, 2007
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This is a one of a kind pastoral care book which is focused on what someone needs to know beginning their practice as well as for those who need to review. I have used it with Clinical Pastoral Education students who give it high marks as well as with a Church lay pastoral group. Worth considering for a personal library and professional review.
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This book is filled with practical wisdom and easily applicable insights that will enhance any person (staffed or laity) in engaging in healthy pastoral care ministry.
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By Christina C. on March 3, 2014
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Pastoral Care the essential guide is very informative and a necessity for the beginning pastor or clinical social worker. Great starter manual.
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