This research study explored the personal experiences of ten African American pastors, located in a south central state, through the use of basic interpretive, qualitative research and a phenomenological design for data analysis. A face-to-face, semi-structured interview methodology was used to examine how African American pastors referred their church members to mental health professionals. Concerns about referrals included not knowing any local therapists, potential cultural barriers such as financial costs and transportation needs, and wanting Christian counselors to work with their church members. This study found that these pastors would refer their church members to mental health professionals if they knew more therapists in the community. Additionally, those pastors who had referred their church members to mental health professionals had no or limited negative experiences with counselors. Discussion and implications for mental health counselors are provided.
West, Lizzie L.; Van Asselt, Kathryn W.; Daines, Andrea; and Judice, Andre
"African American Pastors and Mental HealthProfessionals: Referral Themes Identified Using QualitativeResearch Methods,"
Louisiana Journal of Counseling: Vol. 20:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalscholar.lsuhsc.edu/ljc/vol20/iss1/3