Pastoral Counseling or Spiritual Direction

Pastoral Counseling or Spiritual Direction? Essential answers to questions you may not have known you needed to ask.

In my first blog, I attempted to illuminate the purpose and defining aspects of Pastoral Counseling; however, if you were left with the question, “I want to grow deeper in relationship with God but how do I know if I should seek out Pastoral Counseling or Spiritual Direction? Which one is right for me?” you are not alone.

Priest in front of Cross


Pastoral Counseling is a discipline confronted with the task of defining itself since it is, in some ways, still in search of an identity. In this write up I will take a look at pastoral counseling with regard to its meaning, history, identity and purpose.

The word Pastoral from the Latin word pastor, pastorem refers to the shepherd role of the elder(s) within the Christian community, especially the Latin Church.

Pastoral Counseling at Franciscan University of Steubenville

What in Heaven is Pastoral Counseling?

Hello World Wide Web!

What is pastoral counseling? This has been the question with which I have been wrestling for almost a month now. You know those times when we flip and twist and cramp our brain muscles over something? I have become an Olympic champion at mental gymnastics. I wish I could say I have had an epiphany of the “correct” answer to this question but I don’t think that is the correct perspective.

London underground logo

Pastoral Counseling: Minding the Gap between Ministry and Clinical Counseling

Throughout the beginning of this semester, we have attempted to define the title of our class “Pastoral Counseling.” This has proved to be a worthwhile endeavor but a difficult one at that. Ultimately, we discovered that pastoral counseling is not an easily identifiable term, and many writers and practitioners have differing opinions about its goals and structure, its strengths and limitations, and the uniqueness of a career which encompasses both ministry and counseling.

Pastoral Counseling at Franciscan University of Steubenville

Catholics and Dependent Personality Disorder? A diagnosis of the devout…

In today’s world, it seems every person can agree on one common goal, freedom; freedom from distress, freedom from illness, freedom from oppression, freedom from anything that keeps a person from being fully alive. The field of psychotherapy holds this “freedom from” at its core; it is not those individuals that feel satisfied with their sense of freedom that come into therapy, no, it is those among us that feel their freedom is being oppressed by their current conditions and circumstances in life.