Mark Cook is a second year student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at The Franciscan University of Steubenville. Before, attending Franciscan, he had the privilege of being a Marian Missionary of Divine Mercy, under the direction of Fr. Michael Gaitley, offering a ministry of presence for individuals on the streets of Boston, NYC, in soups kitchens, and assisted living facilities. He is also a professional magician and desires to incorporate this skill into his work as a counselor.
When searching for a concrete definition of pastoral counseling, one may come across many definitions that vary in their descriptions of what pastoral counseling is or what it looks like in different settings. The adjective, pastoral, suggests to many that pastoral counseling is counseling that is exclusively done by a pastor, priest, or other religious authority figures.Details
After a full day of working a residential site for internship, in the hopes of growing in the field of clinical counseling, I needed to meet another student briefly before returning come back to my Steubenville apartment, to simply relax or to look at other school related project. However, the course of life sometimes leads us in strange and different ways, and just before I was about to enter the city on Route 7 north, I began to hear a noise on my driver’s side.Details
The Baron Rugby team, ranked third in the nation, is off to Ireland today for a spring break tour of the country, some training with top Irish coaches, a couple of matches, and to experience the warmth of Irish hospitality. We are very excited for this opportunity! We’ll be sharing some photos and stories about the trip here, so keep an eye out for updates.Details
Usually, I don’t look forward to Lent, and I think it’s fair to hope that I’m not alone in that. Ash Wednesday feels like the longest day of the year for me. Washing the ashes off my forehead is the most satisfying feeling of the day, next to going to sleep knowing I can eat breakfast in the morning.Details
Lent doesn’t need to be all about giving things up. It can also be about deepening our desire to grow closer to God through adding items and activities into our life. One way to do that is picking up a good book. From spiritual devotions to biographies to novels, here are six suggestions for good Lenten reads from Franciscan University students and staff.Details
In practice, Pastoral Counseling offers clients an intersection of theological foundations, philosophical moral grounding, and evidence-based clinical skill applications. To envision how this intersection comes to life in a pastoral counseling session, a brief, fictional case study may be helpful. Imagine a young, 20-year-old male college student comes to the office of a pastoral counselor. Within the first meeting, the pastoral counselor is already aware that their time together with the student is likely limited.Details
In my first post I mentioned that a deeper exploration of what a pastoral counseling session might entail would require a separate post. Well now is the time for a deeper exploration of what pastoral counseling looks like in practice. For those who did not read the first post a brief excerpt provides a good summary.Details
Being in grad school, having a calling to become a counselor, and being a practicing Christian Catholic, all these aspects kind of do drive me to be a Pastoral counselor. So far I know two things that Pastoral Counseling is not; it is not spiritual guidance and it is not counseling for the clergy only. Pastoral counselors are interested in people having mental health and spiritual health, like I mentioned in my previous writing, we also care for your soul.Details
In my last post, I explored the idea of Pastoral Counseling. The main focus of that post was the qualities and purpose of Pastoral Counseling, while placing an emphasis on the qualities (portrayed by Christ) that should be displayed by the counselor. In this blog post, I want to express some more practical skills and techniques that one should have, if working from this position of ministry.Details
Struggling with feelings of depression? Anxiety? How about low self-esteem or anger management issues? In spite of all this, what about other spiritual struggles such as mistrust in a God-given purpose for your life, or a lack of belief in God’s love and forgiveness? Mental health issues are usually seen as requiring a different kind of help than the form of assistance required for one’s spiritual dilemmas. Although seeking help from a counselor and a spiritual director is always an option, pastoral counselors are clinically and spiritually equipped to professionally aid both sorts of issues in a person’s life.Details
According to Benner, strategic pastoral counseling should be time-limited, holistic, structured, involve assigned homework between sessions, is church based, spiritually focused and explicitly Christian. Some of these aspects overlap with clinical strategies; for example in achieving brief time-limited counseling a pastoral counselor may draw upon the practical skills and clinical techniques of basic listening, being directive, viewing the therapeutic relationship as a partnership and focusing on one specific issue or “goal”.Details
Pastoral counseling is the journeying with another human to the goal of wellness and flourishing human existence. So what does this journey look like practically?
First off, pastoral counseling clearly involves a foundation of good counseling. The pastoral counselor must be competent in theories and techniques of the helping profession.Details
I am a philosophy major. My workspace, wherever it is this time (my favorite is a bench on campus on a cool day), generally resembles a nuclear test site. Papers are strewn about and books are piled up, as I feverishly flip through their pages. I pound away at my keyboard, devising arguments for and against contemporary and classical philosophers, perhaps carefully cutting-and-pasting symbols from the “symbolic logic” page on Wikipedia, in the name of aesthetics and professionalism.Details
Going to clinical sites at some of the highest ranked hospitals in the country (located nearby in Pittsburgh), participating in our simulation lab with classmates, and being challenged by professors who have been in the field for decades has made all the difference in my education.Details
From engineering the Navy’s next-generation nuclear submarine, to helping pro-life nonprofits change hearts and minds, Franciscan students live busy lives outside the classroom. Whether you’re studying engineering or theology, your professors will guide you to finding real-world experience that mattersDetails
Campus protests, a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Title IX investigations, and much more. This is just a small sampling of what I have covered as a journalist since seeking the help of Franciscan University’s Career
Services office nine months ago, publishing stories on leading conservative news websites while gaining experience, connections, and even a decent income. My name is Jeremiah Poff and I am a junior Journalism student at Franciscan University.
As I was applying for colleges, I knew that I was looking for three things: a business management major, a minor in communication arts, and a place that would challenge me to live out the Catholic faith in a way that no other university could. When I visited Franciscan University for the first time, I instantly knew this was the place for me. From the friendly, welcoming students to the impressive daily Mass attendance and participation, Franciscan was different from all of the other colleges and universities I visited.Details
I spent my summer vacation doing biomedical research with the experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a senior biology major, this internship was an amazing experience. Not only was I doing original research, but I also had the opportunity to listen to talks from scientists in various fields and learn from many brilliant individuals at different points in their careers. Being surrounded by these talented scientists was inspiring, and their advice has helped me to evaluate my goals and to take steps to make them a reality.Details
As, both, a Christian and aspiring Counselor, I find the idea of pastoral counseling pretty intriguing and attractive. The question is: what is TRUE pastoral counseling?
There is a plethora of different interpretations of what pastoral counseling truly consists of. Some believe pastoral counseling is any opportunity for the pastor to guide or comfort, in a particular setting.Details
It seems that every source on this topic and every person asked has a different answer to the question, “What is pastoral counseling?” Some are in agreement; others are not. To answer this question, I think it’s first necessary to ask why we are asking this question in the first place. What is the purpose of distinguishing pastoral counseling from other forms of counseling or from other modes of being in day to day life?Details