Tom Hornbeck

Student Blogger


Hello World! (Or at least all those reading interested in Christian mental health counseling). My name is Tom and I’m passionate about helping people be more alive. I see that life ultimately comes from a relationship with Christ and his Church. I also know that many people have psychological obstacles that are blocks and barriers to encounter Christ and living a full life. That is why I am passionate about counseling as a means to healing and breaking down those barriers to a full life.

God has brought me through many steps on this path taking me from the great state of Kansas to the Ohio Valley.   I studied history and international relations, got Masters in geography, I worked for government intelligence, I spent four years in seminary, and I’ve helped find sponsors for kids in developing countries through the Unbound ministry.

I love beauty in people and nature and literature. So you can find me outdoors with a great novel or a book of poetry. I miss the rolling Flint Hills of Kansas, our wide open skies, Kansas City BBQ and baseball and Jayhawk basketball. I’m blessed to have encountered Christ in a real way that has changed my life and I want others to have that too!

What does Pastoral Counseling look like in Practice?

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.


What Makes Pastoral Counseling Unique?

Many Christians have heard of spiritual direction and most people have heard of mental health counseling but far fewer have heard about pastoral counseling.  Is pastoral counseling simply getting advice from your pastor or is it something more?  There is something more to pastoral counseling and the simplest way to understand the approach is to first explore what makes pastoral counseling distinct from spiritual direction and from Christian counseling and then look directly at what pastoral counseling is.