Pastoral Counseling





Counselingis mainly focused on the expected results as well as the individualclient’s goals. The main area of counseling is the identificationof the correct psychotherapy procedure to be adopted during theentire sessions of counseling. It is the work of the pastoral care todevelop an aspect of trust with the client seeking help. All thecounseling sessions should be based on the Biblical teachings. When amutual trust is developed, the sessions will flow easily andsmoothly. Pastoral counseling involves a number of activities for itto be termed as successful. Church ministers have been faced by thechallenges of the changing world of Christianity. Church members havedeveloped trust with those in ministerial positions and thus theyshare their personal problems. Additionally, the modern field oftheology is demystified by the incorporation of pastoral careservices. Pastoral counseling classes incorporate the presentproblems with the historical data available.

Pastoralcounseling involves a number of activities for it to be termed assuccessful. Church ministers have been faced by the challenges of thechanging world of Christianity. Church members have developed trustwith those in ministerial positions, and thus, they share theirpersonal problems (Townsend, 2009). Additionally, the modern field oftheology is demystified by the incorporation of pastoral careservices. All these problems coupled with the dynamism of the gospelmake it mandatory for church ministers to integrate knowledge ofpsychological counseling in their theological work.

Basisof counseling

Counselingis mainly focused on the expected results as well as the individualclient’s goals. The main area of counseling is the identificationof the correct psychotherapy procedure to be adopted during theentire sessions of counseling. It is the work of the pastoral care todevelop an aspect of trust with the client seeking help. All thecounseling sessions should be based on the Biblical teachings. When amutual trust is developed, the sessions will flow easily and smoothly(Holeman, 2012).

Thebasic concept of pastoral counseling is founded on the needs of aspecific clientele. For instance, the counseling to be offered toadults is different from the one offered to children. The integrationof psychology and theology has helped many care officers toincorporate the counseling basics in their work. An understanding ofthe past and present moments of a client helps in laying down thenecessary procedures while counseling sessions (McClure, 2010).Theology offers a guide on the approach to be taken in the counselingsessions. It helps the counselor to apply a caring attitude andincorporates the humanity theorem (Johnson, 2000).

Pastoralcounseling classes incorporate the present problems with thehistorical data available. This helps in identifying the necessarytherapy to be adopted. For instance, when a young pastor is facedwith the problem from a care seeker, he may refer to some materialsheld in the office. He will analyze the moment at hand and relate tothe solutions offered in the past. However, there must be a criticalanalysis of the two scenarios so as to achieve the best objectives(Carbell, 2008).

Inthe treatment of any psychological disorder, it is paramount to setthe objectives at an early stage. This will help the caregiver toanalyze the most important matters to be handled and the proceduresto be applied. Firstly, the client should be encouraged to acceptthe presence of the problem and embrace an aspect of control. It isthrough these initials sessions that the pastoral care officer isable to incorporate the care seeker into the program. The second stepis carrying out an open discussion session and taking intoconsideration the importance of seeking for a referral program(McClure, 2010).

Personalityand Approaches in counseling

Anotherarea of focus in pastoral counseling sessions is the personality ofboth the counselor and the client. This helps in identifying harmonyin all the sessions to be undertaken. Pastoral counselors normallydig into the life of the client so as to establish the correct courseof action to be used (Carbell, 2008). It is also through the study ofthe personality of the client that the counselor is able to preparethe goals and objectives of the process of the counseling session.

Thereare several approaches adopted in the pastoral counseling andpsychotherapy counseling. Each approach has its distinct values thathelp the counselor in its adoption. Also, the various needs of thevarious clients help in identifying and selecting the best approach.For instance, a client-centered approach is adopted in the case ofresults-oriented sessions. The pastoral care officer should ensure anopen communication forum with the client (McClure, 2010). This willhelp the client to express himself and, therefore, expose all thematters. When this happens, the counseling sessions will achieve theexpectations easily.

Pastoralcounseling is a demanding profession. This is because of the manychallenges one faces in the capacity of imparting knowledge as wellas in the service of counseling. It calls for an open-minded personwho is able to relate with the problems of the client. It is alsonecessary for an individual care officer to have a broad view of life(Carbell, 2008). Various clients have distinct problems which callfor a distinct way of handling them. It is, therefore, paramount forthe pastoral care officer to be equipped with all the necessaryskills.

Aninteraction with the pastoral care course in classroom set-up equipssomeone with paramount skills necessary to handle the profession ofpastoral counseling. The needs of the congregation are expounded inthe course. There has been a change in the role of the church in thesociety. Pastors are expected to share their experiences with thecongregation so as to encourage them in their life activities(McClure, 2010). The course is also packed with the different lessonsthat encompass the field of pastoral care and counseling.Christianity ministry is full of challenges both from an individual’spoint-of view to the entire group.

Anexposition to the course expounds on the intended theoretical andexperimental aspects of pastoral counseling and its integration withpsychology. Any form of psychological counseling is based on somedistinct variable variables actions, beliefs, and consequences(Holeman, 2012). The factorial principal is relating the behavioralchange, thoughts, and the personality of the client. It is,therefore, the work of the pastoral care officer to learn andunderstand the needs of a specific client. In the event of an earlyentry into the ministry of counseling without prior experience, it isimportant for one to seek for guidance.

Reflectionon the case analysis

Oneof the principal factors in the success of pastoral care services isa personality of active listening. This encompasses a session ofempathy and genuineness which promotes an understanding between thecaregiver and the care seeker. There is also an understanding of theclient’s control of the events taking place in his life (Holeman,2012). Pastoral care counseling lessons learnt in the classroomfocuses on recognition of the objective of any specific therapy. Forinstance, a newly married couple faced with the challenge ofincorporating their in-laws in the family may seek for guidance fromthe pastor. This will involve the analysis of the past life of bothfamilies and expounding on the current situations.

Pastoralcare officer also has the role of self-supervision in their work. Itis important to determine when and where care should be offered. Inmost cases, care seekers do not understand their other hiddenproblems. This makes it hard for the recovery process to be achieved(Townsend, 2009). The caregiver, therefore, identifies the otherrelated matters and proposes ways of handling them. There are alsothe principles of non-directive therapy and active listeningtechniques. For instance, when handling a youth who is suffering fromthe problem of being incorporated in the church programs, thecaregiver will put emphasis on the history of the client. Thetechniques of active listening explained in the pastoral counselinghelps the caregiver in imparting the necessary knowledge (Johnson,2000).

Teenagersfeel freer to share their problems with other people other than theirparents and family members. This leaves pastoral care officers withadditional work of creating time to interact with the youths andencouraging them to share what they are facing in life. Anincorporation of psychotherapy programs such as consumer behavioraltheory and holistic approach is applied by the care givers. Anothersection of application is the intrapsychic taxonomy developed byMaslow (McClure, 2010). It incorporates the theorem of motivation andreward system in the human life.

Biblicalteachings help the caregiver to have a correct basis in the work ofcounseling. According to Luke 2:52, a caregiver should have the heartsimilar to that of Christ. This will help in the process ofcounseling. It also creates openness and genuineness as the twoparties are able to apply the principles taught and displayed byChrist during His ministry on earth. Teachings of the Bible and theirapplications in counseling expose the level of integration betweentheology and psychology. Theology is full of personal healing andcomforting to an individual (McClure, 2010). It is through thehealing sessions in pastoral care that help the care seeker andcaregiver understand each other.

Anexposition of the Biblical story of Apostle Paul and the early churchgives the caregiver a basis of counseling. Paul used to comfortfellow apostles and members of the early church. Similarly, acaregiver associate himself with the lessons learnt and apply them inthe present moment (Townsend, 2009). It is, therefore, paramount toapply all the skills during the session of pastoral counseling. Forinstance, when a pastor is faced with the case of a member of thechurch fails to attend to a church service due to death of a closerelative. It is the role of the pastor to offer comforting sessionsand make the church member accept the reality of death.

PsychologicalCounseling is a holistic approach in the life of care giver and careseeker. It is paramount to have a clear line of objectives so as tohave success in the counseling sessions. There should be aconsultative forum to ensure the procedural approach is successful.The process of consultation is necessary as it exposes all mattersthat are necessary to be addressed. In the event of a referralprogram, the caregiver should ensure the care seeker is at peace allthe times. There should be consultation before deciding on theprogram to be applied on a referral basis (Carbell, 2008). For anysuccess to be achieved during the counseling sessions, it isparamount to understand the entire concept of counseling and thetheories involved. The results and objectives expected influence thedevelopment of the right therapy. Psychoanalysis in pastoralcounseling involves the integration of theology and psychology.Whenever these happen counseling sessions will be successful andoffer the necessary therapy. It is also paramount to note thatdifferent population groups require different pastoral care sessions.


Carbell,M. (2008). How to solve the people puzzle: Understanding personality.Blue Ridge, C.A.

Holeman,V. T. (2012). Theologyfor better counseling: Trinitarian reflections for healing andformation.

Johnson,W. B. &amp Johnson, W. L. (2000). The pastor’s guide topsychological disorders and treatments. New York, NY. Routledge:Taylor and Francis

McClure,B. J. (2010). Movingbeyond individualism in pastoral care and counseling: Reflections ontheory, theology, and practice.Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

Townsend,L. L. (2009). Introductionto pastoral counseling.Nashville: Abingdon Press.