MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS AND THE CLERGY: A NEED FOR CLINICAL COLLABORATION, TRAINING, AND RESEARCH

Authors


  • Andrew J. Weaver, MTh, PhD, is a United Methodist Minister, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Psychologist Hawaii State Hospital, Clinical Faculty, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii, Kaneohe, HI 96744.

  • Harold G. Koenig, MD, MHSc, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Internal Medicine, Box 3200, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.

  • David B. Larson, MD, MSPH, is President, The National Institute for Healthcare Research, 6110 Executive Blvd., Rockville, MD 20852 and Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL.

  • This article is dedicated to the Russian would citizen, Mikhail Gorbachev: “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called sons and daughters of God” (Matthew 4:9). We wish to express our gratitude to Winifred Wada, Ana Schladermundt, the Hawaii Psychological Research Consortium, and Lisa Iwamoto, MLIS, Head Librarian at Hawaii State Hospital for their generous help in the development of this project.

Abstract

This article calls for greater collaboration between clergy and marriage and family therapists. It spells out the reasons for potenial collaboration and suggests some specific ways it can occur. Marriage and family therapists acknowledge the highest rates of religious involvement of any metntal health profession, placing them in a unique position to be involved in the continuing education of clergy. There is a clear need for research to understand how marriage and family therapists and clergy can more effectively work together. The dearth of research, training, and collaboration between the two vocations is all the more unfortunate given the clear evidence of the importance of religion in the personal lives of the clients we serve.

Ancillary