My personal reflections of what I am studying in pastoral counseling takes me back to my protestant roots and my years of studies in preparation for ministry. I would like to address three key points that Brenner (1998; Care of the Soul) discusses which are congruent to my own beliefs; 1) pastoral care, 2) pastoral spiritual counseling and 3) pastoral counselors licensed for community counseling.
Since I was a child, my friends always seemed to come to with their secrets: about what girls they were interested in, who did better on a test or what one of my friends said about another. At the time I thought that was normal, but as we grew older the secrets became more real and personal such as: family troubles, thoughts of depression and advice on how to navigate tricky situations. Little did I know it was molding me into an empathetic and understanding person and ultimately my career.
The field of counseling encompasses a vast array of theoretical disciplines and specialties. Among these is pastoral counseling. Pastoral counseling is similar to other forms of counseling in that it is interested in how the client’s mind, body, and soul operate and perceive reality. The counselors with a pastoral counseling discipline, like in other trains of counseling, are constantly becoming more informed about new counseling techniques, theories, and research findings.
As a Master’s student in the Counseling Program, I have still been trying to come to terms with the fact that this profession is the goal that I am aiming for. Like a few others in the program, I am still trying to find my path as a counselor to find what I will enjoy and what I may be successful in.