In many ways, Joretta L. Marshall’s journey in pastoral counseling represents what is often referred to as a more traditional model of formation. Her work as a pastoral assistant, college chaplain, associate pastor, and staff person in a youth crisis center shaped her pastoral identity in church and community. Formed by a doctoral program that was clearly grounded in pastoral theology while working alongside pastoral clinicians who brought sophistication to their theological and clinical integration, Marshall began to see the identity of a pastoral counselor emerging among the multiple identities. Many of pastoral counselors related to the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) assume, at their own peril, that there is one traditional model out of which all other pastoral counseling movements arise. Lifelong learning activities emphasized the pressing need for pastoral counselors to increase their clinical competency and effectiveness.
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This chapter approaches the topics of referral, consultation, and collaboration from the perspective of the pastoral counselor, although religious leaders and allied professionals in other related fields should be able to benefit from the conversation. It addresses why and when a pastoral counselor would choose to work with a client without any additional outside professional resources and why and when a pastoral counselor would choose to obtain consultation, request collaboration, or provide a referral or some variant combination of these. In a pastoral counseling context, consultation is understood as the process of obtaining input from another professional regarding the clinical work that is being done with a client. Collaboration can involve better communication, closer personal contacts, sharing of clinical care, joint education programs and joint program and system planning. Collaboration often happens on an organizational level around topics or events irrespective of any particular client.