So You Think You Don't Know One?

Addiction and Recovery in Clergy and Congregations

Nancy Van Dyke Platt, Chilton R. Knudsen

Nov/2010, 126 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819224125



Unpacking a common, but rarely addressed problem—from the theological dimensions of codependency to treatment of the minister and congregation—clergy experts Platt and Knudsen cite real-life experiences with clergy addiction and congregations in crisis in this ecumenical approach to recovery.

Chapter 1: The Theological Dimensions of Codependency

Chapter 2: How It All Begins: The Seeds of Codependency in a Congregation

Chapter 3: Symptoms of Codependency in the Congregation

Chapter 4: The Minister and Addiction

Chapter 5: Options for Ending the Codependency

Chapter 6: Treatment and Early Recovery

Chapter 7: Change

Chapter 8: Recovery for the Minister and the Congregation

Chapter 9: The Search Process, or, How They Find Each Other


Nancy Van Dyke Platt is an Episcopal priest, counselor, and author. Her writings include Addiction; Pastoral Care to Cancer Patients; and Alcoholic's 12 Steps into Life. She lives in Augusta, Maine.

Chilton R. Knudsen is the retired Bishop of Maine. She was Pastoral Care Officer in the Diocese of Chicago and worked with clergy and congregations in crisis. Her writings include Pastoral Care for Congregations in the Aftermath of Sexual Misconduct. She lives in Bath, Maine.

“It has been said that unawareness is the root of all evil. This careful and well-illustrated exploration of the dynamics of addiction and codependency is a call to awareness. The authors set out a path for clergy and congregations toward the liberating mindfulness that overcomes denial and opens the way to the healing and the transforming power of grace and truth.” —The Most Rev. Frank T Griswold, XXV Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

“The systemic malady of codependence is like an oil spill spewing from the brokenness of a leader’s addictive behavior. It pollutes congregational ministry in ways both seen and unseen, lasting for generations and sabotaging efforts to restore health. Knudsen and Platt provide a compelling analysis and wise guide to recovery that sets aside blame and quick fixes; it draws on theology, systems analysis, and spiritual wisdom to probe the bewildering and insidious disease of codependence.” —Bishop Margaret G. Payne, New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

“Hard as it is to accept or believe, clergy and congregations sometimes struggle mightily with patterns of addiction and codependency. This book deals honestly with all these challenging issues, illuminating the pathways to full healing and recovery. I strongly recommend it to all who care about healthy church life.” —The Rev. Dr. Ron Baard, Imes-Lowry Professor of Pastoral Studies, Bangor Theological Seminary

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