Series Forward by Howard W. Stone
This book is one in the series on Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling. The series listed was written primarily for ministers (and those preparing for the ministry), but will also prove useful to other counselors who are interested in the crucial role of spiritual and value issues in all helping relationships. In addition the series will be useful in seminary courses, clergy support groups, continuing education workshops, and lay befriender training with a special emphasis to giving guidance and pastoral care and counseling of couples in their middle years.
Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling Series
Editor: Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.
Associate Editor: Howard W. Stone
The Care and Counseling of Youth in the Church by Paul B. Irwin
Growth Counseling for Marriage Enrichment: Pre-Marriage and the Early Years by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.
Crisis Counseling by Howard W. Stone
Pastoral Care and Counseling in Grief and Separation by Wayne E. Oates
Counseling for Liberation by Charlotte Holt Clinebell
Theology and Pastoral Care by John B. Cobb, Jr.
Pastor and Parish -- A Systems Approach by E. Mansell Pattison
Pastoral Care with Handicapped Persons by Lowell G. Colston
The Care and Counseling of the Aging by William M. Clements
Anger and Assertiveness in Pastoral Care by David W. Augsburger
Using Behavioral Methods in Pastoral Counseling by Howard W. Stone
New Approaches to Family Pastoral Care by Douglas A. Anderson
Let me share with you some of the hopes that are in the minds of those of us who helped to develop this series -- hopes that relate directly to you as the reader. It is our desire and expectation that these books will be of help to you in developing better working tools as a minister-counselor. We hope that they will do this by encouraging your own creativity in developing more effective methods and programs for helping people live life more fully. It is our intention in this series to affirm the many things you have going for you as a minister in helping troubled persons -- the many assets and resources from your religious heritage, your role as the leader of a congregation, and your unique relationship to individuals and families throughout the life cycle. We hope to help you reaffirm the power of the pastoral by the use of fresh models and methods in your ministry.
The aim of the series is not to be comprehensive with respect to topics but rather to bring innovative approaches to some major types of counseling. Although the books are practice-oriented, they also provide a solid foundation of theological and psychological insights. They are written primarily for ministers (and those preparing for the ministry), but we hope that they will also prove useful to other counselors who are interested in the crucial role of spiritual and value issues in all helping relationships. In addition we hope that the series will be useful in seminary courses, clergy support groups, continuing education workshops, and lay befriender training.
This is a period of rich new developments in counseling and psychotherapy. The time is ripe for a flowering of creative methods and insights in pastoral care and counseling. Our expectation is that this series will stimulate grass-roots creativity as innovative methods and programs come alive for you. Some of the major thrusts that will be discussed in this series include a new awareness of the unique contributions of the theologically trained counselor, the liberating power of the human potentials orientation, an appreciation of the pastoral care function of the ministering congregation, the importance of humanizing systems and institutions as well as close relationships, the importance of pastoral care (and not just counseling), the many opportunities for caring ministries throughout the life cycle, the deep changes in male-female relationships, and the new psychotherapies such as Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, educative counseling, and crisis methods. Our hope is that this series will enhance your resources for your ministry to persons by opening doorways to understanding of these creative thrusts in pastoral care and counseling.
In this volume, Howard J. Clinebell, Jr. has given us a practical guide to pastoral care and counseling of couples in their middle years. The book builds on his first book in this series, Growth Counseling for Marriage Enrichment: Pre-Marriage and the Early Years. He continues to develop his theme that marriage counseling does not need to be oriented only to pathology and problems but can be positive in focus, aiming at enrichment and growth. Growth Counseling for Mid-Years Couples has something to say about marriages which are already more than a few years old. It is about how you can continue (or start anew) to enhance the marriage relationship even when the children are grown and gone and you think you know all there is to know about your spouse.
One of the striking things about the book is how personal it is. Howard Clinebell writes not just as a clinical therapist observing middle-years marriages, but also as one who is experiencing these years of marriage himself: "This book reflects my own struggles and satisfactions in the mid-years." The book is also highly readable -- clear, articulate, and practical. It is not a book to be read and then laid aside; you can apply it to your own marriage as well as to the marriages you encounter in your parish. It is useful as a monograph on marriage counseling but also as a resource guide for marriage enrichment groups within your parish. It is a book that mid-years couples themselves can enjoy and appreciate.
Many of you reading this book have already read one or more of Howard Clinebell's previous books and are aware of his impressive background. He is one of the most effective pastoral counselors and teachers of pastoral counseling and marriage enrichment in the United States. He has been a professor of pastoral counseling at the School of Theology at Claremont, California, for eighteen years, has traveled throughout the world lecturing and conducting workshops, and is the author of numerous books in his field.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have; I am confident that it will contribute much to your professional as well as your personal growth.
Howard W. Stone