Before coming to Franciscan, I thought I had a fairly well formed faith and saw the world through those eyes of faith. I came from a strong parish, a strong youth group, and many strong friends. It appeared I had it all. There was one thing about my faith that over the years has been challenged, formed and tested. The one way in which I feel it has changed the most has been in not seeing the world in such a black and white manner.
Overlap between counseling and pastoral counseling skills can appear to be fairly large in their practicality but in reality there is often a lot of pastoral skills and techniques in actual clinical mental health counseling.
One technique in particular that could be effectively used in a pastoral setting is the concept of unconditional self-acceptance that comes from REBT. This very foundational pillar of REBT is essential to the health of the whole person: body, mind and spirit.
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.