Introducing the Pastoral Counseling
The tongue that brings healing is a three of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.- Proverbs 15:4 For students who want to practice as counselors within a church or church related setting, our pastoral counseling track will allow graduates to perform effectively to meet the unique needs of the church and its members. Pastoral counseling is a branch of counseling in which psychologically trained ministers, rabbis, priests and other persons provide therapy services.
Pastoral counselors often integrate modern psychological thought and method with traditional religious training in an effort to address psycho spiritual issues in addition to the traditional spectrum of counseling services. The church is becoming increasingly aware of the need to respond to numerous mental health challenges. These challenges include issues such as addictions, divorce, single parent families, economic difficulties and more. These issues are often a struggle for the leaders of a church to manage, as they feel ill equipped to address the mental health components of these challenges.
A pastoral trained counselor is a great solution to helping the church equip itself to respond to these issues. Graduates of this specialty area will have an extra emphasis on faith and counseling integration and on unique issues that present themselves within the church. Distinctiveness “What distinguishes pastoral counseling from other forms of counseling and psychotherapy is the role and accountability of the counselor and his or her understanding and expression of the pastoral relationship.
Pastoral counselors are representatives of the central images of life and its meaning affirmed by their religious communities. Thus pastoral counseling offers a relationship to that understanding of life and faith. Pastoral counseling uses both psychological and theological resources to deepen its understanding of the pastoral relationship.”
Membership in several organizations that combine theology and mental health has grown in recent years. Some pastoral counselors have developed special training programs to encourage cooperation between religious professionals and medical professionals on treatment of issues like addiction, since spirituality is an important part of recovery for many people.
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