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Hope in Pastoral Care and Counseling Paperback – April 1, 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this ground-breaking book, pastoral counselor Andrew Lester demonstrates that pastoral theology (as well as social and behavioral sciences) has neglected to address effectively the predominant cause of human suffering: a lack of hope, a sense of futurelessness. Lester examines the reasons that pastoral theology and other social and behavioral sciences have overlooked the importance of hope and despair in the past. He then offers a starting point for the development of addressing these significant dimensions of human life. He provides clinical theories and methods for pastoral assessment of and intervention with those who despair. He also puts forth strategies for assessing the future stories of those who despair and offers a corrective to these stories through deconstruction, reframing, and reconstruction. This book will be invaluable to pastoral caregivers who are looking for a vantage point from which to provide care and to pastoral theologians who are seeking to develop a theological lens through which to understand the human condition.

About the Author

Andrew D. Lester was Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. He is the author of several books, including Hope in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Pastoral Care with Children in Crisis, and The Angry Christian, all published by WJK.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1st edition (April 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664255884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664255886
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Michael T. Seawright on June 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hope in Pastoral Care and Counseling is a fine book. Lester's thesis regarding hope is solid and convincing. That being said, it has its shortcomings. It seems like Lester is not sure who his audience is: pastors in a parish setting, pastoral counselors/therapists, or chaplains. It would probably be most useful for chaplains. For the pastor in a parish setting, there is good material to be gleaned, and it is helpful, but it wouldn't be on the top of my list when it comes to pastoral work. It is fairly accessible (not overly academic) but dry. For the chaplain or pastoral counselor, it should be on your bookshelf. For the parish pastor--maybe.
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Format: Paperback
Brite Divinity School's (Texas Christian University) Andy Lester is spot on in this wise, insightful, cogent discussion of the powerful place that hope - or lack thereof - holds in our lives. Through a number of case studies in which he himself was the counselor (as opposed to 3rd-person reporting), he describes how often people in crisis are unable to envision a future, particularly if it differs in any way from the "life video" they had mentally and emotionally pre-recorded. Beyond the client narratives, however, Lester brings in collected wisdom from ancient Greek and Roman sources through Scripture, the Enlightenment, Freud, major 20th cen. theologians (Macquarrie, Moltmann, et al.), and current well-known colleagues in the mental health field.

Contrary to another reviewer's reflection that the audience is unclear, the subtitle should make that quite obvious. Counseling in the public sector, i.e., not specifically affiliated with a religious organization or denomination, can be as "pastoral" in nature as that given by an ordained clergyperson; which is to say that this book is a superb tool for all who are on the broad spectrum of mental and emotional counseling, including M.D. psychiatrists.

Lester provides background and foundation for his arguments by means of both the wide-ranging sources he employs and makes available to the reader and by the well-chosen case studies he cites. I have relied on the wisdom in this book in my own pastoral work and have referred clergy colleagues and mental health counselors to it many times. The author avoids both psychological jargon and the snobbery of academic "lingo" to make it accessible to a wide range of folk. I would go so far as to say that friends and family in crisis would benefit immensely from being in daily relationships with people who are familiar with these concepts rather than being fed the pablum that so many receive from folks who "mean well."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lester gives good ideas to bring into my ministry. The personal experiences were wonderful examples of helping people. This book was a good help in understanding the idea of Pastoral Care.
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