Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Issues in Religion and Psychotherapy, 26 1 We recognize the trust placed in and unique power of the therapeutic relationship. While acknowledging the complexity of some pastoral relationships, we avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of clients.
What is the value of pastoral counseling?
The value of counseling by a pastor is many-faceted. Pastoral counseling can be defined as counseling by a church pastor directed to an individual or couple in his own flock. There are instances where a church pastor counsels those outside his congregation, but, generally speaking, the benefits of pastoral counseling are much greater when exercised inside the church.
Pastoral counseling is unique and differs from other types of counseling. As a shepherd, his duties include feeding, protecting, and caring for those in his congregation. Just as a shepherd must bind up the wounds of the sheep that are sick or injured, so does the church pastor bind and soothe the emotional wounds suffered by those in his flock.
First and foremost, pastoral counseling must be biblical counseling, as opposed to psychological counseling. Secular psychology or psychotherapy, based primarily on the teachings of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers, has no place in biblical counseling.
While biblical counseling can be obtained outside the church, pastoral counseling has unique benefits not to be gained elsewhere. The pastor has a relationship with his counselee that continues outside the counseling sessions.
He is in a position to observe and follow the progress of the church members he counsels. He can also solicit the prayers and advice of others in the church such as elders, always keeping in mind whatever confidentiality agreement he has with the counselee.
There is also the accountability factor that the pastor can bring to bear during counseling sessions. The downside of pastoral counseling is two-fold. First, the average, modern-day pastor is overwhelmed with many tasks and must be careful not to take on more than he can handle.
Many churches spread counseling out among associate pastors or elders who are equally equipped to counsel from the Word of God.
Some churches hire counseling pastors whose primary role is to counsel those in need in the congregation, freeing the preaching pastor for sermon preparation and teaching responsibilities.
Second, care must be taken to avoid counseling situations that can lead to sin. Dependence upon God and His Word should be sought and stressed in each session, not dependence on the pastor to meet every emotional and spiritual need, an impossible task for any pastor.Robert Baral**COUNSELING**case study– Substance Abuse**3/01/ AD**page 5 spiritual counseling with the couples’ Church Clergy should be sought in conjunction with a resumption of therapy - both individually and as a couple.
THEORIES OF PASTORAL CARE & COUNSELING PCGRO Fall (Online) is most effective for this individual, couple, or family with this particular presenting issue(s) and specific set of circumstances. As a result we must learn journal of Pastoral Psychology.
(Article will be available in Blackboard) Friedman, Edwin. Family Analysis research papers are written for sociology or psychology courses and analyze the dynamics of families and the influences on them. Below is an excellent example of taking a novel and analyzing the family within the novel. Pastoral Psychology is one of the oldest and most well established academic journals in the field of psychology and religion/spirituality.
Since , the journal offers an international interdisciplinary forum for the publication of original papers that discuss the work of caring for, understanding, and exploring human beings as persons, in families, in small groups, and in community. Pastoral counselors— with training in both a religious tradition and the basics of psychology and psychotherapy—can challenge rigid, defensive, or misinformed spiritual beliefs that might contribute to a patient’s psychological distress and dysfunction.
1. All in the Family Mental Illness and Caregiving Across the Generations Rachel Pruchno, Ph.D., is the Endowed Chair and a professor of medicine at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine.