Serving the Amish: A Cultural Guide for Professionals

Serving the Amish is a targeted guide for professionals who care for or interact with Plain people: doctors, nurses, law enforcement officers, judges, social workers, psychotherapists, and addiction counselors, among others. For these professionals, knowing the what of Amish life is not enough. They must go deeper, understanding the why - the ideologies that both drive and bind this community in a system of beliefs that seems alien to those who embrace the technological and social turbulence of the twenty-first century. James A. Cates draws heavily on his experiences as a clinical psychologist in private practice in northeastern Indiana, a region that is home to more than 35,000 Amish people. He combines anecdotal evidence and first-person narrative to shed light on the social, emotional, and psychological foundations of Amish life to help professionals interact competently and build rapport with Amish clients. He also explains the unique challenges outsiders face in offering aid to a people whose lifestyle and rules dictate a distance from all things worldly. This practical book balances evidence-based principles of care with an emphasis on reducing anxiety and establishing warm relationships. From the police officer dispersing a party full of Amish Youngie to the social worker staffing a child protective services hotline, professionals who work with the Amish will benefit from this one-of-a-kind guide.