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A community study of formal pastoral counseling activities of the clergy
Am J Psychiatry 1986;143:323-328.
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Abstract

Although the clergy have been identified as a major community mental health resource, few epidemiologic studies of clergy practices have been conducted. The authors report a comprehensive survey of the counseling activities of clergy groups serving south-central Connecticut. They found that the clergy were a heterogeneous counseling group and that the counseling activities of many were extremely limited, although all were experienced with "troubled individuals". In recent years pastoral counselors have separated from their parishes and emerged as a psychotherapy profession. In contrast, certain parish- based clergy, especially the black clergy, have functioned as a major mental health resource to communities with limited access to professional mental health care.

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