Integrating Ministry and Psychotherapy
CHAPTER 12 - New Possibilities: Relational Ministry
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New Possibilities: Relational Ministry
This research has been concerned with the relationship between ordained ministry and counselling/psychotherapy, and as the analysis progressed it has become clear that those participants who left ordained ministry did not do so because of difficulties integrating counselling/psychotherapy with ministry, but because of difficulties with ecclesiastical institutional structures. Historically, clerical and lay relationships have tended to follow particular patterns that evolved from the understandings people had about the meaning of ordination and the clerical ministry that followed it (cf. Chapters 3 and 4; Code, Appendix A; The Covenant, Appendix B). These patterns included practices that over time built up and maintained clerical identity and were enshrined in institutional structures which set the parameters of clerical life, such as regulations in the Presbyterian Code, in the Anglican Covenant, and in canon law.
As noted in Chapter 5, the core concept that emerged from the data in this research showed that the various areas of difficulty participants experienced in the course of carrying out their work in their churches centred on the issue of relevance, a concern which was rooted in the nature of the relationship between clerical and lay church members. For the participants this relationship fostered a style of ministry which they saw as irrelevant and therefore problematic and unhelpful.
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