Pastoral counseling, as a unique branch of counseling, incorporates the faith of the client in all aspects of treatment. This being the case, pastoral counseling in practice looks significantly different than the iconic Freudian analysis of the client on the couch staring at the ceiling freely associating the contents of their thoughts.
Certain counseling interventions might be more unique to pastoral counseling than they might more standard counseling. In most regards, I’m a huge advocate for things like Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and also Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy.
Our discourse on pastoral counseling continues with focus on implementation of pastoral counseling and what to expect from a pastoral counselor. People go to therapy for mental, emotional or behavioral problems; Catholics are advised to seek pastoral counseling for same problems whenever such interferes with their practice of the faith.
After having theoretically outlined my understanding of Pastoral Counseling, I would like to take a more practical approach to the topic, listing the resources and techniques unique to this profession. The mental health field it’s self has many practical techniques which the Pastoral counselor should also find quite useful such as CBT, thought stopping, relaxation techniques, assertiveness training, etc.
Much of the emphasis of my last two blogs has been purely theoretical in terms of understanding the foundation from which a Pastoral Counselor operates. And while Pastoral Counseling encompasses endless amounts of theoretical ideas and stretches across the various disciplines, what the process looks like in practical terms is just as important to note.
Hello blog readers of the world,
Welcome back to round two of virtual lessons in pastoral counseling. I’ll be your host, M Mullan. A few weeks ago we talked about what pastoral counseling is theoretically. Now we have the mission, if we should choose to accept it, to draw a more practical picture of what pastoral counseling might look like in practice.