Joseph Cionni III- The Pastoral Counseling Inventory

But instead of continuing with a list of possible techniques, I think what is paramount is to recognize the foundational perspective of Christian/Pastoral counseling—that of a spiritually guided holistic approach that aims not towards mere symptom reduction but transformation/conversion.

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Michael Graul- What is Pastoral Counseling?

A spiritual director cares a lot in terms of making sure the person receiving direction believes in the Triune God. Counselors, though, are not advise-givers and will not tell you what to do. Rather, the counselor will help the person heal their broken heart.

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The Franciscan Club Combating the Culture of Death

The Intercollegiate Defense of Equality and Solidarity Club, better known as the IDEAS Club, meets every Wednesday evening to discuss international politics and ways that they, as young Catholic adults, can actively support pro-life and natural law abiding politicians who are trying to implement just and moral laws.

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Claire Richard- Reframing in His Light

As we continue to grow in our own faith and serve as counselors, we may learn new information that can assist in our ability to reframe.  I recently was introduced to a concept called “protective darkness.”  This term can be used to explain why the future being unknown to us is a form of protection.  Our future is hidden as an intentional act of the Lord for our good

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From the Vatican to Franciscan

“Many of my students will probably be saints one day … I believe this place is a great place to make evangelizers, which is what the U.S. needs. That is why I like to teach here at Franciscan University.”

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“It Takes a Village”: New Parents Take Up Residence as RDs

Gill is one of three residence directors at Franciscan University of Steubenville raising a child while simultaneously being responsible for the residence life experience of some of the university’s estimated 1,600 on-campus students. While being a residence director can be an adventure in its own right, the residence directors are the first to admit adding a baby to the mix is a whole other ballgame. 

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Elizabeth Vega – What is Pastoral Counseling?

When searching for a concrete definition of pastoral counseling, one may come across many definitions that vary in their descriptions of what pastoral counseling is or what it looks like in different settings. The adjective, pastoral, suggests to many that pastoral counseling is counseling that is exclusively done by a pastor, priest, or other religious authority figures.

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Claire Richard – What Can Be Known

As I wiser person than me once said, “The more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know.” Throughout this past year of pursuing greater knowledge and skill of the counseling profession, I have learned a great deal.

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Marshall Myers – When Seeking Pastoral Counseling

After a full day of working a residential site for internship, in the hopes of growing in the field of clinical counseling, I needed to meet another student briefly before returning come back to my Steubenville apartment, to simply relax or to look at other school related project. However, the course of life sometimes leads us in strange and different ways, and just before I was about to enter the city on Route 7 north, I began to hear a noise on my driver’s side.

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Living Legacy

Catching up with legacy students and their parents on what’s changed (and remained the same) at Franciscan University.

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Nettina: Finding Beauty in Holy Week

There’s a common phrase we hear when discussing our faith. Perhaps you’ve heard it in class. Possibly, you’ve read it in a blog post. Maybe, you heard your favorite Catholic speaker lay claim to it, nodding your head and thinking, “yeah man, that.”

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Baron Rugby: Off to Ireland

The Baron Rugby team, ranked third in the nation, is off to Ireland today for a spring break tour of the country, some training with top Irish coaches, a couple of matches, and to experience the warmth of Irish hospitality. We are very excited for this opportunity! We’ll be sharing some photos and stories about the trip here, so keep an eye out for updates.

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Where the Good Way Is

Deciding how to approach Lent can sometimes prove almost as onerous as actually enduring your resolutions of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. How do I want to challenge myself? Can I repeat what I did last year?

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Teach Us to Sit Still

Early morning on I-20 comes slowly. Even from the driver seat of a Ford Mustang GT, cutting the dark blues of the expanding horizon between Abilene and Baird at 90 mph, the sunrise seems to take hours.

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Filling the Void Through Ninevah 90

Usually, I don’t look forward to Lent, and I think it’s fair to hope that I’m not alone in that. Ash Wednesday feels like the longest day of the year for me. Washing the ashes off my forehead is the most satisfying feeling of the day, next to going to sleep knowing I can eat breakfast in the morning.

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Six Books to Read During Lent

Lent doesn’t need to be all about giving things up. It can also be about deepening our desire to grow closer to God through adding items and activities into our life. One way to do that is picking up a good book. From spiritual devotions to biographies to novels, here are six suggestions for good Lenten reads from Franciscan University students and staff.

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Pastoral Counseling Applications

In practice, Pastoral Counseling offers clients an intersection of theological foundations, philosophical moral grounding, and evidence-based clinical skill applications. To envision how this intersection comes to life in a pastoral counseling session, a brief, fictional case study may be helpful. Imagine a young, 20-year-old male college student comes to the office of a pastoral counselor. Within the first meeting, the pastoral counselor is already aware that their time together with the student is likely limited.

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What does Pastoral Counseling look like in Practice?

In my first post I mentioned that a deeper exploration of what a pastoral counseling session might entail would require a separate post.  Well now is the time for a deeper exploration of what pastoral counseling looks like in practice.  For those who did not read the first post a brief excerpt provides a good summary.

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Practical Techniques for Pastoral Counseling

Being in grad school, having a calling to become a counselor, and being a practicing Christian Catholic, all these aspects kind of do drive me to be a Pastoral counselor. So far I know two things that Pastoral Counseling is not; it is not spiritual guidance and it is not counseling for the clergy only. Pastoral counselors are interested in people having mental health and spiritual health, like I mentioned in my previous writing, we also care for your soul.

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Pastoral Counseling in Action

In my last post, I explored the idea of Pastoral Counseling. The main focus of that post was the qualities and purpose of Pastoral Counseling, while placing an emphasis on the qualities (portrayed by Christ) that should be displayed by the counselor. In this blog post, I want to express some more practical skills and techniques that one should have, if working from this position of ministry.

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Multi-Faceted Approaches of Pastoral Counseling

Struggling with feelings of depression? Anxiety? How about low self-esteem or anger management issues? In spite of all this, what about other spiritual struggles such as mistrust in a God-given purpose for your life, or a lack of belief in God’s love and forgiveness?  Mental health issues are usually seen as requiring a different kind of help than the form of assistance required for one’s spiritual dilemmas.  Although seeking help from a counselor and a spiritual director is always an option, pastoral counselors are clinically and spiritually equipped to professionally aid both sorts of issues in a person’s life.

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Pastoral Counseling in Practice

According to Benner, strategic pastoral counseling should be time-limited, holistic, structured, involve assigned homework between sessions, is church based, spiritually focused and explicitly Christian. Some of these aspects overlap with clinical strategies; for example in achieving brief time-limited counseling a pastoral counselor may draw upon the practical skills and clinical techniques of basic listening, being directive, viewing the therapeutic relationship as a partnership and focusing on one specific issue or “goal”.

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Pastoral Counseling 101

Pastoral counseling is the journeying with another human to the goal of wellness and flourishing human existence. So what does this journey look like practically?

First off, pastoral counseling clearly involves a foundation of good counseling. The pastoral counselor must be competent in theories and techniques of the helping profession.

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Philosophy: The Stepping Stone Major

I am a philosophy major. My workspace, wherever it is this time (my favorite is a bench on campus on a cool day), generally resembles a nuclear test site. Papers are strewn about and books are piled up, as I feverishly flip through their pages. I pound away at my keyboard, devising arguments for and against contemporary and classical philosophers, perhaps carefully cutting-and-pasting symbols from the “symbolic logic” page on Wikipedia, in the name of aesthetics and professionalism.

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The Franciscan Nursing Difference

Going to clinical sites at some of the highest ranked hospitals in the country (located nearby in Pittsburgh), participating in our simulation lab with classmates, and being challenged by professors who have been in the field for decades has made all the difference in my education.

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