Clinebell, Howard J., Jr. 1922–2005

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Clinebell, Howard J., Jr. 1922–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born June 3, 1922, in Springfield, IL; died of complications from Parkinson's disease April 13, 2005, in Santa Barbara, CA. Minister, counselor, educator, and author. Clinebell, a Methodist minister, was a leading figure in the pastoral counseling movement that began in the 1960s. He earned his B.A. from DePaul University in 1944, and then attended Garrett Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 1947. While serving as a pastor in the Midwest and later New York, he became interested in mental health; this led him to study psychotherapy in a special program for pastors at the William White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Psychoanalysis, as well as at hospitals in New York City. After lecturing in religious education at New York University in the mid-1950s, Clinebell moved to Pasadena, California, in 1957 to work as a counselor and minister. He was also a chaplain at the Methodist Hospital in Acadia from 1958 to 1959. Clinebell saw the ministry and psychotherapy as compatible fields that both tried to help troubled individuals, and his advocacy of counseling by ministers led to his helping found the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, where he also served as president from 1964 until 1965. Clinebell was interested in helping people who suffered from addictions to alcohol and drugs, as well as those with marital and other relationship issues. His work was especially influential among his colleagues in that he blamed problems like alcoholism to disease, rather than failings in personal character; he also advocated group and family counseling methods. Throughout his life, he continued to explore new areas in the relationship between mental health and environment, most recently studying the effects of pollution and war on mental health in his Ecotherapy: Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth (1996). By 1959, Clinebell had joined the School of Theology at Claremont in California as a professor of pastoral psychology and counseling, moving to the graduate school in 1968. He remained at Claremont until his 1988 retirement. Among Clinebell's other writings are Understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic through Religion and Psychology (1956; third revised edition published as Understanding and Counseling Persons with Alcohol, Drug, and Behavioral Addictions: Counseling for Recovery and Prevention Using Psychology and Religion, 1998), Basic Types of Pastoral Counseling (1966; expanded edition titled Basic Types of Pastoral Care and Counseling, 1984), The Intimate Marriage (1970), which was written with his wife, Growth Counseling (1979), and Counseling for Spiritually Empowered Wholeness: A Hope-centered Approach (1995).



Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2005, p. B19.

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), May 14, 2005, p. 24.

Washington Post, May 15, 2005, p. C11.

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Clinebell, Howard J., Jr. 1922–2005

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