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Religions 2017, 8(12), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8120267

Identifying Ingrained Historical Cognitive Biases Influencing Contemporary Pastoral Responses Depriving Suicide-Bereaved People of Essential Protective Factors

Casual Adjunct Lecturer in Biblical Studies & Theology, Harvest Bible College, Scoresby, VIC 3179, Australia
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 3 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
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Abstract

(1) Background: Historically and collectively, the Church has not responded to suicide-bereaved people with compassion, denying pastoral care in the form of spiritual, emotional, and practical support, considered key protective factors along with community support in facilitating funeral rite for their loved one in their deepest, darkest, hour of need, thereby placing them at risk to disenfranchised grief. (2) Aims: The study explores the presence of historical ingrained cognitive biases in contemporary pastoral responses from caregivers within Evangelical and Pentecostal streams. (3) Methods: Caregivers were provided with training offering greater understanding of the multifarious issues involved in the life of a person who has died by suicide and challenges faced by the bereaved. Responses to pre-workshop self-contemplating surveys based on workshop objectives were then compared to post-workshop survey responses of participant’s subjective evaluation of knowledge and skills gained through information presented. (4) Results: Post-workshop survey data revealed healthy shifts in historically ingrained cognitive biases; (5) Conclusions: These shifts provide the foundation for future pastoral encounters to offer spiritual, emotional, and practical support, considered key protective factors for those bereaved by suicide. View Full-Text
Keywords: protective factors; risk factors; suicide bereavement; pastoral care; spirituality; religion; cognitive biases; disenfranchised grief; hope; Evangelical; Pentecostal protective factors; risk factors; suicide bereavement; pastoral care; spirituality; religion; cognitive biases; disenfranchised grief; hope; Evangelical; Pentecostal
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Staley, A. Identifying Ingrained Historical Cognitive Biases Influencing Contemporary Pastoral Responses Depriving Suicide-Bereaved People of Essential Protective Factors. Religions 2017, 8, 267.

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