"This book is the most comprehensive and clinically sound attempt that I have encountered to help bridge the slippery area between pastoral care and psychological intervention. In this day and age, pastors must be informed and skillful in dealing with a broad range of issues and personalities within their congregations. Due to cutbacks in mental health coverage, pastors will more and more have the responsibility of providing triage for those in mental and emotional distress. This book is a must not merely as a reference on every pastor's shelf, but as a textbook to be studied carefully, whether in seminary or out. Besides extensive and useful descriptions of psychiatric disorders, the authors provide essential guidance for pastors on how, when, and whom to refer parishioners who are in distress. The section on evaluating self-help books alone is worth the price of this book for the tools it provides pastors in navigating through the morass of unscientific, self-promoting, and potentially destructive publications."
—Rev. K. Casey Longwood, MDiv, rector,Christ Episcopal Church, Puyallup, Washington
"Good shepherding requires being able to identify parishioners who have mental health issues. Brad and William Johnson have written an excellent handbook for pastors to guide them in assessing psychological concerns that require special care. Pastors will find the chapter on maladaptive personalities worth the price of the book. They will quickly identify folks in their ministry who they thought were simply troubling people, but are in fact troubled people—many of whom may need mental health care along with pastoral care. Teachers of pastoral care and counseling will find this a useful text. Pastors with little training in pastoral care and counseling will find the chapters on various kinds of psychological disorders helpful, as well as how to select a mental health professional and what to expect from professionals. Even well trained chaplains, pastoral counselors, and ministers who work in the mental health field will find this a good resource."
—David W. Sharrard, ThO, professor of pastoral care and counseling, Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky
"Just what every pastor needs! Written in understandable language and geared to the particular interests of pastors, this book is a rich resource covering the range of emotional and psychiatric disorders every pastor is likely to encounter. But more than this, it also covers the wide range of therapies used to treat these disorders in such a way that pastors can be better informed about how to make referrals to mental health professionals. I intend to include it in my courses for pastors as required reading."
—Archibald D. Hart, PhD, FPPR, professor of psychology and former dean of the graduate school of psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Pastors regularly come into contact with a wide variety of human difficulties. Many parishioners, of course, are caught up in 'normal' problemsgrief in the face of anticipated or recent losses, anxiety in the face of medical problems, long-term stress and fatigue growing from caring for a loved one. But there are also the 'abnormal' and more intense manifestations of emotional and physical difficulty. While not trained to treat the more acute forms of human distress, pastors still need to be able to recognize, assess, and refer hurting people to the proper care. Sometimes the pastor just 'has a feeling' that something more is wrong than meets the eye. That's where Brad and William Johnson's book becomes a valuable resource. With their combined skills in counseling and psychiatric research, the authors have provided a resource of invaluable help for busy pastors. Limiting itself to the syndromes most likely to be encountered by pastors, The Pastor's Guide provides case vignettes, features and symptoms to watch for, summaries of current treatment, and suggestions for appropriate referrals. The language is clear, practical, and in a form that is readily useful. The book should be on the ready reference shelf of any practicing pastor."
—William V. Arnold, PhD associate pastor for senior adults, Union Theological Seminary-PSCE