Supporting pastoral psychology in China: Methods and principles

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Although the psychology and counseling profession is rapidly emerging in socialist China, practicing pastoral psychology in China is still a recent trend in various religious settings. Since 2004, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology has been involved in empowering pastoral counselors in China. Over the years, we have related to over 200 pastoral counselors in China in the context of local seminars, intensive workshops and classes, conferences, and international exchanges. In this essay, we will report on the recent developments in formal pastoral psychology in China. Secondly, we will review the needs of pastoral care and challenges encountered in empowering pastoral psychologists in China. We responded to these challenges with bilingual classrooms, multi-cultural input, a collectivist orientation, theological diversity, and peer supervision. The approach was guided by a peaceable psychology model which integrates Christianity with the Chinese virtues or principles: guanxi (relational), xuji (modesty), huzhu (reciprocity), and youjiaowulei (inclusiveness).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychology and Theology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

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