Clergy Sexual Misconduct: A Systems Approach to Prevention, Intervention, and Oversight


book
(John Thoburn). Gentle Path Press, 2011.

More than a dozen experts contribute to this comprehensive work on clergy sexual abuse that is edited by therapists and mental health practitioners John Thoburn and Rob Baker. Together, these scholars offer a systemic approach to clergy recovery that is ultimately redemptive without denying the reality of the negative effects of the behavior. The thirteen chapters cover a variety of topics, including prevention, treatment, education, intervention, and twelve “key assessment factors” for prospective and sitting clergy, such as workaholism, attachment issues, and narcissism. Additional topics discuss the legal ramifications, the inherent vulnerabilities in the pastoral role, why sexual abuse is difficult to eradicate, the impact on clergy families, and the effect abuse has on a church and how a congregation can move toward healing. This difficult topic is handled with professionalism, and its value for denominational leaders, seminaries, counselors, clergy and their spouses, and congregations of all types and traditions cannot be overstated.

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