The limited supply of professional mental health workers has stimulated a number of attempts to deliver counseling services indirectly. Variously, general physicians, ministers, lawyers, teachers, and even bartenders have been considered as possible resources. By improving the diagnostic and therapeutic skills of such practitioners through education or consultation, the hope has been that they would be better able to assist many of their clients in coping with life crises or emotional disorders. Professional mental health workers would then not be so flooded with referrals, and could be used where their impact would be greatest.
Professors Westberg and Draper approached this common ground from the differing vantage points of the ministry and psychiatry, respectively. They placed this convergence in the historical context of the ecumenical and community movements in both professions. While at the University of Chicago they collaborated on a project which is described in this