African American Pastors and Traditional Professional Mental Health Services: An Investigation of the Influence of Worldview on Perceptions and Engagement
For decades, research has consistently shown that African Americans underutilize traditional professional mental health services. Similarly, African American clergy have historically demonstrated hesitance towards these resources, opting to address their parishioners’ mental health needs on their own. Recent studies examining African American clergy’s perceptions of professional psychological resources, their preferred counseling approaches, and the rates and nature of their referral patterns have revealed that while African American clergy are more open to mental health resources than in the past, inconsistencies between their worldview and the philosophies undergirding these resources may contribute to the wedge that still exists. In order to examine this phenomenon more closely, this study will explore the relationship between African American clergy’s worldview and their perceptions of traditional professional mental health services. The purpose of this study is to assist professional mental health workers in becoming a more relevant and competent resource for African American clergy and the African American church community as a whole.
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
African Americans, Mental health services, African American clergy, African American churches