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Description

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In this book, Paul Pruyser explores the first step in the helping process: the diagnostic assessment. He develops a set of guidelines for conducting pastoral-diagnostic interviews that acknowledges the pastor''s professional uniqueness and meets the parishioner''s expectations.

From the Back Cover

Dr. Pruyser explores, in depth, the first step in the helping process: the diagnostic assessment of the problem-laden person. The diagnoses that the minister makes cannot be medical or psychiatric, says Dr. Pruyser.

About the Author

Paul W. Pruyser was an esteemed clinical psychologist at the Menninger Clinic whose writings on psychology and religion have been widely read.

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
38 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Nancy Scott
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Chaplain School
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2019
Loved it
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Michael D. Eickhoff
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Overall good book.
Reviewed in the United States on November 23, 2013
It was an overall good book. It refocused me toward the language and perspective of faith and being a pastor when working with a troubled person. I completely agree with his construct of pastoral guidance in concert with clinical therapy.
2 people found this helpful
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Annie Gilchrist
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Four Stars
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2017
Good book.
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James King
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good transaction.
Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2016
Quick shipping. Happy with Purchase.
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sandra ogilvie
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on July 4, 2015
Very helpful, and assistive for me to asses my patients!
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John O
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great guide for pastors into the world of the patient
Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2002
Paul Pruyser, in "The Minister as Diagnostician" gives an insightful view into the challenges, struggles and questions of ultimate meaning that hospital patients face. The purpose of the book is not a biblical exegesis exercise, but rather to help pastors and... See more
Paul Pruyser, in "The Minister as Diagnostician" gives an insightful view into the challenges, struggles and questions of ultimate meaning that hospital patients face. The purpose of the book is not a biblical exegesis exercise, but rather to help pastors and chaplains draw on the disciplines of spirituality and psychology to gain a deeper understanding of what patients, familiy members and hospital staff go through. Pruyser''s book is a pioneering effort in this respect, because next to Anton Boisen''s work in the 1940''s and 50''s, this book is one of the few that adopts an interpretive rather than prescriptive approach toward pastoral care. In a nutshell, Pruyser seems to be saying that if we are to be effective in our pastoral care, we must first have a grasp on what situation the patient and his or her family are in- what are their resources for support? where do they locate ultimate meaning and hope? what are their challenges? What pastoral resources can be mobilized to address these needs?
Pruyser provides an extremely helpful model and template for understanding the spirutal needs of the patients to whom we minister. For those of us who make pastoral care visits, particularly in the hospital, on a regular basis- this book is tremendously helpful food for thought. If you are looking for a book of proof texts on the basis for pastoral care, however- that is not what this book is all about. Remember, Pruyser''s approach is descriptive, rather than prescriptive. This book is an excellent pastoral care resource for chaplains, pastors and pastoral care visitors. I have used it in my work as a hospital chaplain and I would highly recommend it.
26 people found this helpful
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Socio-physicist
2.0 out of 5 stars
Too academic but gemstones inside
Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2021
It is going to be awful to some here but this book sucks and dies an academic death. There are some gemstones inside. By talking to someone imaginary audience, the author is worse off. The only useful point is that Pastors have a unique angle to play. So what?
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Glenn Sackett
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent Guide to Dynamic Spiritual Assessment
Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2007
Pruyser''s small, easily read book is packed with both a conceptual framework and a distinct seven-dimension scheme for diagnosing spiritual issues. It is particularly useful for ministers working with people whose lives are complicated by illness, injury, addiction, or... See more
Pruyser''s small, easily read book is packed with both a conceptual framework and a distinct seven-dimension scheme for diagnosing spiritual issues. It is particularly useful for ministers working with people whose lives are complicated by illness, injury, addiction, or traumatic memories, or whose spiritual journeys don''t follow an expected path. A second group to benefit from this book would be healthcare providers who want to learn how to engage more helpfully with patients for whom spirituality is a significant factor affecting their well-being.

Pruyser explores several important distinctions:

* Example: The distinction between "diagnosis" and "labeling," contrasting Karl Meninger''s enlightening concept of co-diagnosis, in which the patient and professional come to a shared understanding of the patient''s situation, with the often demeaning experience of labeling, where the patient/parishioner is given a label by a doctor or clergy member.

* Example: The distinction between "religious judgment" and "spiritual diagnosis." Religious judgment typically focuses on how a person''s beliefs and behavior compare to a religion''s expectations; it may be expressed about someone within or outside the group. Spiritual diagnosis focuses on the quality of the person''s spiritual experience and its interaction with their physical, emotional and social well-being. Spiritual diagnosis will identify one''s spiritual strengths and resources as well as areas of difficulty and vulnerability that need attention.

* Example: The distinction between spiritual and psychological authority and language. Pruyser, a psychologist, wrote at a time when ministers were developing a new appreciation for the insights of psychology; some were adopting psychological language and abandoning religious language. He challenges ministers to be clear about their base of authority and to reclaim their own language in exploring and describing the human condition. The seven dimensions of spirituality he identifies are described in spiritual and experiential language.

The Minister as Diagnostician is a thought provoking guide for those who want to sharpen their ability to diagnose spiritual issues in people for whom they care. It is especially useful for those who work in multi-faith environments and who need both a clear and non-parochial language to communicate their understandings.

The Minister as Diagnostician is not a biblical treatise, nor does it claim to be. Pruyser''s base of authority is that of a psychologist and educator who learned to appreciate the contribution of an excellent chaplain to the interdisciplinary care team in the mental hospital where he worked. Pruyser''s inclusion of ministers in his list of professionals was intended as a compliment to the professionalism of that chaplain and others in an environment where ministers were generally marginalized.

My bias as a reviewer is that of a chaplain who has used Pruyser''s work as the foundation for spiritual diagnosis with thousands of patients over 25 years in medical hospital, addiction and mental health treatment settings. Patients, many who considered themselves to be non-religious, have often described this exploration to be the most helpful spiritual encounter of their lives. Pruyser''s diagnostic scheme and language opened the door for them to affirm their spirituality and to choose a path of intentional progress. Though Pruyser issues the caveat that he writes from a Christian perspective, and has tested his seven-dimensional model only within that environment, I can attest that it has also been quite effective in the multi-faith, multi-cultural environment of Hawaii. I include The Minister as Diagnostician in my "top ten" list of books most influential in shaping my ministry.
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Mario Drouin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on March 27, 2017
très satisfait
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