Referral is not a pastoral failure. It is a subtle and important helping art.... I propose that we think about
it as illustrative of the more generally useful skill of helping people to focus their needs and clarify their
"The Referral: Helping
People Focus Their Needs,"
by Thomas W. Klinkl in
December 1962 P. 11.
"The Art of Referral"
This lesson presents an overview of some of the military and nonmilitary "helping" agencies that
are available eligible persons when there is a need for assistance. Referrals to these agencies often occur
through chaplains, though you may wish to contact any one of them directly yourself.
Fortunately or unfortunately, chaplains are called upon by soldiers and Army families for a
variety of nonspiritual and/or nonreligious reasons. In their roles as pastoral counselors, chaplains hold
unique positions in the military service. Chaplains are supposed to know a little bit about a lot of
things--enough to help you on your way when you need help. Thus, much of the work of chaplains
involves referral counseling.
The chaplain's responsibility is not tied to a denominational following. Men and women of all
denominations, as well as many with no religious background come to the chaplain for help which may
or may not be of a religious nature.
Moreover, chaplains vary in their approaches and abilities to help you based on their own
expertise and training. In addition to their theological training and education, some chaplains hold
degrees and have civilian experience in family counseling, group therapy, psychology, business and
You and your unit chaplain, together, after the first couple of consultations or counseling
sessions will have some idea whether your need for help is one the chaplain can address directly.
Chaplains are often confronted with counseling problems which necessitate the use of local "helping"