While I am excited to become a licensed clinical counselor, I see much value in pastoral counseling. I believe pastoral counselors in the Catholic tradition can be both religious persons or lay people, with or without psychological training, who are able to help people make meaning through the transitions and struggles in their lives, while drawing on Jesus’ life and other spiritual resources. The spiritual resources available to pastoral counselors are usually missing in the clinical setting, especially if the client is from a different faith tradition. Spiritual resources like prayer, sacraments, and scripture are vital to the spiritual well-being of clients. While some problems are strictly psychological and would need psychiatric attention, the bottom line is that it is all connected.
As a counseling intern in the Wellness Center at Franciscan University, one thing I have noticed is that it is very difficult for people to practice self-care. Yes, we get busy. Yes, we have papers due and tests to study for. Yes, we have over-committed ourselves to different activities.Details
When it comes to issues that would highly benefit from pastoral counseling, helping the families of addicts is near the top of the list. I subscribe to the following definition of addiction, which is the disease model that I learned in Prof. Mikita’s substance abuse course: addiction is a primary (not caused by a previous disease, injury, event), progressive (it will worsen), chronic (it is not curable), and fatal (if left untreated) disease.Details
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!).Details