Original Research

Integrating professional counselling during marriage counselling within neo-Pentecostalism

Mookgo S. Kgatle, Andrew Spaumer
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 57, No 1 | a2920 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v57i1.2920 | © 2023 Mookgo S. Kgatle, Andrew Spaumer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 2022 | Published: 31 May 2023

About the author(s)

Mookgo S. Kgatle, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Andrew Spaumer, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


It is argued here that most couples in neo-Pentecostalism tend to consult their pastors when encountering various challenges in their marriages as opposed to professional counselling. Some would, however, opt for consulting professional counsellors as a last resort to save their marriages. The marriage counselling offered by pastors has proven to be effective in some instances, but it has some shortcomings in others. This kind of counselling is often conducted by untrained pastors who are not able to do a proper diagnosis of the problems and to offer proper solutions. In addition, previous studies demonstrate that some Pentecostal pastors have abused their congregants during such counselling. In this article, the integration of professional counselling is proposed as a complementary approach to the counselling offered by Pentecostal pastors. This will be achieved by reviewing the literature on counselling offered by pastors and its successes and failures. The integration of professional counselling with the counselling conducted by Pentecostal pastors will be discussed using the integrated approach as a theoretical framework.

Contribution: This article makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing discourses on the abuse of religion among neo-Pentecostal churches by proposing an integration of professional counselling. This type of counselling is important for the ethical conduct of Pentecostal pastors as counsellors, correct diagnosis of problems, and providing an accurate solution.


professional counselling; pastoral counselling; marriage; Pentecostalism; integration theory.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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