204. The response to the consultation also insisted on the need for training lay leaders who can assist on the need for training lay leaders who can assist in the pastoral care of families, with the help of teachers and counsellors, family and community physicians, social workers, juvenille and family advocates, and drawing upon the contributions of psychology, sociology, marital therapy and counselling. Professionals, especially those with practical experience, help keep pastoral initiatives grounded in the real situations and concrete concern of families. "Courses and programmes, planned specifically for pastoral workers, can be of assistance by integrating the premarital preparation programme into the broader dynamic of ecclesial life".235 Good pastoral training is important "especially in light of particular emergency situations arising from cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse".236 All this in no way diminishes, but rather complements, the fundamental value of spiritual directions, the rich spiritual treasures of the Church, and sacramental Reconciliation.
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