CPA Conference group photo

Witness to Hope

This last week, I felt that I was consumed with stress, homework, obligations, and decisions. Some of the graduate students and I planned to go to the Catholic Psychotherapy Association Conference in Arlington, VA and I felt that it was becoming an impossible feat to get there. I was surprised to see where these obstacles came from, but as one of my friends pointed out that Satan was working very hard to keep us from the good that was the conference.

Pastoral Counseling at Franciscan University of Steubenville

Pastoral Counseling: On First Impressions and Web Presence

It’s an unfortunate fact that many Catholic parishes have truly horrible websites. The reasons for this are many, varied, and generally valid – budgets, time, staffing constraints, and so on. But the end result is that potential parishioners and visitors have a very difficult time getting the information they need, and may form some negative opinions about the parish based on this virtual first impression.

Pastoral Counseling at Franciscan University of Steubenville

Pastoral Counseling?

I don’t know about any of you readers, but I have never been to a pastoral counselor.  I have been in counseling and in spiritual direction, but never pastoral counseling. So when I entered a pastoral counseling class I didn’t really know what I was getting into. We have spent the first four weeks of class reading articles and discussing what pastoral counseling is and what it is not. And to be honest, it’s still confusing.

drawn Injured heart

Pastoral Counseling: What is it and how does it compare to clinical counseling?

As a student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program, I have learned to do assessments, diagnose, create treatment plans, and use techniques and skills to help my clients attain their goals. Many of my classes involve thorough discussions about ethics, legal issues, and boundaries (document everything!).

Pole with a lot of directional signs

Pastoral counseling – what’s that, again?

In some ways, “pastoral counseling” is a very precise phrase that is used to describe a very vague idea. Professionals in the counseling field have put forth a wide variety of ideas about what it is that distinguishes pastoral counseling from clinical mental health counseling or spiritual direction, the two fields that are most closely related to the general concept of “pastoral counseling.”