Valerie Wark

CMHC Blogger


Hi there! My name is Valerie Wark, and I am a second year masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling student at Franciscan. I was born and raised in Houston, TX, and went to college at the University of Dallas before going to live and teach English in Spain for six months and then coming here to Steubenville! This semester I am not only taking three classes on campus, but I am also completing my counseling internship at Coleman Professional Services and at the FUS Wellness Center during the evening hours, and working as the graduate student assistant for the CMHC Department. Somehow in the midst of everything else going on, I try to make time for reading, prayer, pilates, and spending time with my friends. After graduation, I am hoping to get married, become a licensed professional counselor, and work with couples, families, and individuals in both clinical and pastoral settings.

Pastoral Counseling in the Context of Catholic Social Teaching

Pastoral counseling by its very nature incorporates spiritual beliefs and realities into the counseling process. One way in which it does so is by informing the pastoral counselor regarding his or her beliefs about human nature and views of the person. As a Catholic pastoral counselor, then, part of my job is to allow my beliefs to be shaped by Catholic social teaching.


The Special Role of Pastoral Counselors in the Field

I think one of the key skills of pastoral counseling would be the integration of spirituality into the counseling process. One key way in which this integration could be demonstrated is with a client who is having difficulty in a relationship and needs to work towards forgiveness of a past hurt.


Pastoral Counseling as Grace to Share the Journey

We have talked a great deal in all of my counseling classes thus far about counseling in general being a certain walking or journeying with our clients. By this, I mean to say that counselors do not simply stand there at the finish line of “health.”