What does it mean to engage in ethical, anti-racist pastoral care with women with mental illness, particularly if these women are residents of an inpatient psychiatric hospital? This book draws on interviews with eighteen chaplains in three psychiatric facilities to examine psychiatric chaplaincy with women in the context of a state psychiatric hospital. It combines the voices of the chaplains with the disciplines of Christian social ethics and feminist, womanist, and intercultural pastoral care to create Just Care, an approach to pastoral care that accounts for both personal and societal-systemic factors in its practice of ministry. Just Care proposes that pastoral care that addresses the entirety of the person necessitates a commitment to justice and an attention to cultural dynamics as foundational for ethical pastoral care. It argues that psychiatric pastoral care must honor the communal and individual nature of careboth the particularity of the caregiver and care seeker as well as intersections of culture, gender, race, and class.
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About the Author
Leah R. Thomas is visiting professor of pastoral theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary.
Table of Contents1 Psychiatric Diagnosis and Pastoral Care: An Overlapping and Interrelated History
2 The Voices of Chaplains: Seeing the “Whole Person”
3 The Voices of Chaplains: Practices of Assessment
4 An Alternative to a Diagnosis-Focused Approach: Just Care