Integrating Ministry and Psychotherapy
Afterword: Toward Further Dialogue
This research is offered as one step in a movement towards furthering dialogue between religious and mental health professionals. Counselling/psychotherapy and Christian ministry operate in many ways that overlap, but both the literature and the experience of the research participants suggest that levels of understanding by practitioners in both fields are in need of development. What follows are some suggestions that might usefully contribute to that movement.
Among the limitations I noted in reference to methodology was that only one clergywoman responded to the invitation to participate in this research. Further research into the role of women as clergy who are also mental health professionals, and women clients who attend them, could contribute significantly to our understanding of the mental health of women in religion and society.
Another limitation I noted was that those who accepted the invitation to take part in the research were mainly Roman Catholic. This was not intended by me. Further research using a sample more broadly based across churches could help to give a fuller account of how counselling/psychotherapy function in the context of ordained ministry within more varied ecclesial structures.
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