Augsburg Fortress

Strategies for Brief Pastoral Counseling

Strategies for Brief Pastoral Counseling

More and more professionals in ministry realized the benefits of brief pastoral counseling—typically three sessions—for addressing the real-life dilemmas of their congregants. In this very helpful resource, eleven leaders in pastoral counseling—both established leaders and new thinkers in the field—offer a convincing rationale.
Based on reserach, case studies, and the latest thinking, they lay out (1) the dynamics of the pastor- parishioner relationship, including the need for collaborative, hospitable, future-oriented, and wholistic counseling, and (2) specific strategies, including brief counseling's solution-focused method, its relation to spiritual direction, its focus on people's strengths, and time limits. The volume concludes with a call for the whole field to recognize the contextual, practical character of effective, responsible pastoral counseling.


  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800632991
  • eBook ISBN 9781451409819
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 242
  • Publication Date February 28, 2001

Table of Contents

  1. Contributors

    Part I
    The Case for Brief Pastoral Counseling

  2. The Changing Times: A Case for Brief Pastoral Counseling
    Howard W. Stone
  3. The Power of Valuing in Brief Pastoral Counseling
    Jan James
  4. Collaborative Pastoral Conversation
    Nancy Gorsuch
  5. Helping Parishioners Envision the Future
    Andrew Lester and Howard W. Stone
  6. Extending Hospitality in Brief Pastoral Counseling
    Katherine Godby
  7. Making Brief Pastoral Counseling Wholistic
    Howard Clinebell

    Part II
    Brief Pastoral Counseling Strategies

  8. Elements of Brief Pastoral Counseling
    Howard W. Stone
  9. Staying Solution-Focused in Brief Pastoral Counseling
    Charles Allen Kollar
  10. Collaborating with the Spirit: Brief Spiritual Direction in Congregational Ministry
    Duane R. Bidwell
  11. Competency-Based Relationship Counseling: The Necessity of Goal Setting and Counselor Flexibility in Efficient and Effective Couples Counseling
    Frank Thomas
  12. Time-Limited Pastoral Counseling for Pastors
    Brian H. Childs
  13. Counseling for Solutions: A Model for Parish Ministry in the Third Millennium
    James Sharp

    Part III
    Pastoral Counseling Theology and Praxis

  14. Theory Out of Context: The Congregational Setting of Pastoral Counseling
    Howard W. Stone

    A. Pastoral Counseling Authors in Study
    B. Suggested Readings for Congregational Ministers
    C. Psycholtherapy Theorists D. Writers in the Classical Theological Fields E. Couple and Family Systems Theorists F. Pastoral Care/Counseling/Theology Theorists
    G. Writers in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction