You might be asking yourself: What is Pastoral Counseling or, How does it compare with Professional Counseling?
Christian Pastoral counseling is an approach to therapy which has evolved through the years from religious and spiritual counseling, to pastoral psychotherapy. Pastoral counselors are not only mental health professionals with a significant amount of clinical training, but persons who have in-depth religious and theological training.
Professional counseling has to do with our professional self, our qualifications, and our licensure. Pastoral counselors are also professionals having either a PhD or a Master’s Degree. Pastoral counselors are also licensed as mental health providers in most states. Unlike strict professional counseling, pastoral counseling offers the insights of theology and spirituality that are integrated with the principles of modern behavioral science to help individuals, couples, families, groups and institutions achieve wholeness and health.
In comparison with other forms of counseling, Christian pastoral psychotherapy is based on the premise that emotional illnesses are best treated by honoring the wisdom of theology and faith along with the teaching and the knowledge of human psychology.
I think it is important to point out that Pastoral Counseling has now become a major provider of mental health services in this Country, accounting for over 3 million hours of treatment annually in both institutional and private settings.
Pastoral counseling understands that health is optimized when there is a balance and integration of the body, mind, and spirit. Through the ongoing integration of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual self, each person has the opportunity to create and preserve a whole and happy life. The pastoral counselor assists the person in achieving this level of integration and in moving towards an optimal state of health and well-being.
For those looking for a mental health professional who is grounded in faith and the spiritual dimensions of life, a Christian pastoral counselor may be the answer.
I have a graduate degree in Pastoral Counseling and a certificate in Spiritual Direction. Please contact me about providing counseling if you live in Lee County Florida. I have an office location in Cape Coral Florida. Please see my "About Me" page for more information.
“A theology of weakness challenges us to look at weakness not as a worldly weakness that allows us to be manipulated by the powerful in society and church, but as a total and unconditional dependence on God that opens us to be true channels of the divine power that heals the wounds of humanity and renews the face of the earth.” -Henri Nouwen