Reconstructing Social Relationships in a Post-Lockdown Suburban Area of Southern Italy Using Pastoral Counselling

Antonio Stizzi, Ester Negrola, Erika Iacona, Maria Naglieri, Giorgio Scalici, Ines Testoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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The growing interest in spirituality has enabled numerous avenues of pastoral counselling support, which can be a useful resource for improving quality of life in the context of significant social deprivation. The aim of this research was to investigate the role of the spiritual dimension of pastoral support interventions created to help the inhabitants of a strongly deprived territory in Southern Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eight people between the ages of 28 and 67 took part in the study. A qualitative research design was applied via online interviews with the participants, who were operators of a pastoral counselling service located on the outskirts of a suburban town. The main emergent themes were the importance of religiosity and spirituality in the lives of the participants, the role that these two aspects play in the lives of those who carry out activities devoted to helping others, and the ways in which these dimensions are used within support programmes responding to the needs of an area characterized by socioeconomic and psychosocial problems. The interviews revealed how pastoral counselling can be useful in situations of stress in highly deprived areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245–256
Number of pages12
JournalPastoral Psychology
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Contexts of psychosocial deprivation
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Pastoral counselling
  • Spirituality


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