Synopses & Reviews
An acclaimed, influential work now available in paper for the first time, this bestselling book applies the concepts of systemic family therapy to the emotional life of congregations. Edwin H. Friedman shows how the same understanding of family process that can aid clergy in their pastoral role also has important ramifications for negotiating congregational dynamics and functioning as an effective leader. Clergy from diverse denominations, as well as family therapists and counselors, have found that this book directly addresses the dilemmas and crises they encounter daily. It is widely used as a text in courses on family systems and pastoral care.
About the Author
Edwin H. Friedman, until his death in 1996, worked for more than 35 years in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, and was in great demand as a consultant and public speaker throughout the country. A family therapist and ordained rabbi, Dr. Friedman was well known in the fields of mental health and pastoral education for his motivational style and his unique blend of systems thinking, humor, and common sense. He offered acclaimed workshops for mental health practitioners, clergy, business leaders, and others.
Table of Contents
Introduction I. Family Theory
1. The Idea of a Family 2. Understanding Family Process II. The Families within the Congregation
3. The Marital Bond 4. Child-Focused Families 5. Body and Soul in Family Process 6. When the Parent Becomes the Child 7. A Family Approach to Life-Cycle Ceremonies III. The Congregation as a Family System
8. Family Process and Organizational Life 9. Leadership and Self in a Congregational Family 10. Leaving and Entering a Congregational Family IV. The Personal Families of the Clergy
11. The Immediate Family: Conflict and Traps 12. The Extended Family: Its Potential for Salvation