The present study seeks to examine the dynamics of Catholic priests' pastoral counselling by exploring two sessions with each of 11 Catholic priests. They were interviewed using the qualitative critical incident method. Analyses of interview transcripts were fed back to a group of four of the participants for verification, clarification and elaboration. The main findings indicated that single sessions were the usual option. A problem solving approach was evident, with the Catholic priests assuming the major responsibility for reaching rapid solutions. The lack of awareness of counselling skills, techniques, models of helping, and the need to establish boundaries and effect referral indicated an absence of any significant theoretical understanding of pastoral counselling. Formal supervision for Catholic priests was not evident, and many of them spoke of the pressure and isolation they felt.
O'Kane, S., & Millar, R. (2002). A qualitative study of pastoral counselling of Catholic priests in one diocese in Northern Ireland. BRITISH JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE & COUNSELLING, 30(2), 189-206. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069880220128056