Over these past few years, I have spent my time learning more and more about psychological theories, theological concepts, Marian apparitions, Group dynamics and so many other things as I study to become a Pastoral Counselor at Franciscan.
A couple of weeks ago, we briefly discussed (in response to Benner’s chapters 3 & 4) issues related to the implementation of pastoral counseling—that is, the kinds of practical decisions, approaches, and techniques pastoral counselors might use when meeting with clients. I also asked you to think about resources or counseling practices that you have or would use with clients that can be seen as unique to pastoral counseling.
Readings thus far have tried to address the question of “What is pastoral counseling?” As a discipline, pastoral counseling is, in some ways, still in search of an identity.
What do Edgar Allan Poe and Kanye West have in common? How about William Shakespeare and Taylor Swift? Nothing? Wrong. They all use literary devices in their writing! Whether it be poetry or songs, the literary devices are there and they are turning good writing into great writing.
In many ways, clinical counseling and pastoral counseling have a significant overlap in techniques used and in necessary skills. Lack of active listening, empathy, respect, and authenticity would make any class of counseling ineffective, and perhaps not genuine counseling at all.
Going through life, and especially growing up, we are constantly asked what we want to be when we grow up. Some kids say they want to be president, others want to be an astronaut, and some claim they will be dinosaurs.
Pastoral Counseling? Yes! God is in the equation and he is clearly conveying a very spiritual meaning that can and will set the captives free.
What is pastoral counseling? In short, I don’t entirely know. In a way I know exactly what it is because of how pastoral counselors are currently practicing, even what it has been as I have studied the development of it.
Have you ever found it hard to find the right words when someone shares news about misfortunes in their life? Whether it be a tragic health diagnosis, a death of a loved one, or maybe just a bad day—words can escape us. As a counselor in training, I am not immune to this. Furthermore, as a person who deeply identifies with the Catholic faith it can be tempting to have a knee-jerk response of…
With my final semester of internship drawing to a close, I am surprised at the number of times I have been able to use pastoral counseling in my internship experience. In many instances, I have had the opportunity to work with people I thought were the least likely to want to include spirituality in their therapy.