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The Art of Jewish Pastoral Counseling

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Table of Contents

Preface Chapter One: Turning to Clergy for Help Chapter Two: Pastoral Counseling and Mental Health Treatment: a Comparison Chapter Three: Pastoral Presence and Personal Life Chapter Four: Setting Up the Pastoral Interview Chapter Five: Understanding What You Hear Chapter Six: Preparing for the Unexpected Chapter Seven: Establishing and Maintaining Confidentiality Chapter Eight: Working in Groups Chapter Nine: Integrating Components to Approach Complex Situations Epilogue: Going Forward

About the Author

Michelle Friedman, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst long involved in bridging religious life and mental health issues. In 1998 Friedman began the pastoral counseling program at YCT Rabbinical School. She is now director of that program and associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC. Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D., is a psychologist and neuroscientist who has over the last 25 years conducted research on post-traumatic stress disorder and resilience. Dr. Yehuda has lectured in the Pastoral Counseling program at YCT, where she also served on the Board of Directors. She is currently Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine. She is also the Director of Mental Health at the James J. Peters Bronx Veterans Affairs Hospital.


"This book is necessary, informative, relevant, practical, and touching. For those interested in the modern rabbinate and its challenges, this book is heartily recommended. For those already in the pulpit, this book is required reading!"-Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President, Emeritus, Orthodox Union. "The Art of Jewish Pastoral Counseling builds bridges - between pastoral counseling and psychotherapy, between rabbis and their congregants, between religious practice and supportive care. Its teachings are wise and clear in a way that both conveys and yet belies the depth of the thinking underlying them. This book brims with emotional and spiritual intelligence. Read it and leap to a new understanding of counseling in the religious context."-David Spiegel, M.D., Willson Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine. "Congregants in crisis routinely turn to faith leaders for guidance. Friedman and Yehuda's book will be of immense assistance to rabbis, pastors and other faith leaders in meeting the needs of those crying in the wilderness of this life."-Victor Vieth, Senior Director & Founder, Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center, Board member, GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) "Rabbis are constantly confronted with suffering and complex human relationships. Friedman and Yehuda present an excellent foundation for good pastoral work: listening and establishing the necessary conditions that create trust, safety and resilience, being aware of one's own reactions and being able to establish boundaries and limits in order to be of maximal comfort. This is a wonderful addition to the literature."-Bessel van der Kolk M.D., Medical Director Trauma Center @JRI, Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine. "This masterfully written guide to pastoral counseling will be useful to clergy from many faith traditions. Some of the case studies pose quandaries specific to Judaism (e.g., a veteran who recently lost his left arm in battle asks how he can pray with phylacteries), but the subsequent discussions address pastoral care more broadly." -Elizabeth Palmer, PhD, Books Editor at the Christian Century Magazine "She offers resources to help clients with mild to moderate depression who would not likely be hospitalized and envisions partnerships with parish clergy.Though not addressing the role of a chaplain, behavioral health chaplains could use this resource to move toward a deeper integration of spiritual care into their interdisciplinary team's treatment of depressed clients. This may result in more informed referrals, adaptations in spiritual care provided to depressed clients that is congruent with cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] principles and possible themes or content for spirituality groups." -Chaplain Marcia Marino, DMin BCC, Teacher, Church of the Larger Fellowship (Unitarian Universalist) and the Oates Institute

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