Pastoral counseling is a unique form of counseling using spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing and growth. For centuries people have turned to the clergy for a spiritually based solution to the stresses of life. Still today, people who are hurting often turn to their church for help and for answers that hold true to their faith. In fact, a Gallup Poll showed that 81 percent of people who seek the help of a professional counselor want to have their values and beliefs integrated into the counseling process. This has given rise to the discipline of pastoral counseling – counselors who are not only mental health professionals but have in-depth religious and theological training.
What happens when you seek help?
The counseling process begins with an assessment interview. Your counselor will ask you to describe your problem situation or life challenge and to talk about your personal and family history. Then you will work together to develop goals for your therapy. Throughout the counseling process, your counselor will try to help you solve problems, manage stress and grow in awareness. Your counselor will assist you in taking responsibility for your own health: emotional, physical, social and spiritual. Clients often describe therapy as a process of “waking up” and seeing their situations more clearly. Some have said, “I’m amazed at how my past has affected my present,” and “Now I can see how God has been using this problem to help me grow in faith.”
How long will it take?
There is no set timeframe for this process. Some problem situations respond quickly to short-term counseling. Other difficulties, especially those that have developed over many years, may take longer. Counseling is often hard work, but it can lead to greater self-understanding, improved relationships and a new sense of enthusiasm for life.
Should Christians even need counseling?
Christians experience the same emotional pain and stress as everyone else. Jesus never promised us an easy life, but He did promise to be with us in our difficulties. Pastoral counseling is one way to help you use the resources of your faith to heal.
The Care and Counseling Center
Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church is proud to partner by referral with the Care and Counseling Center. Established in response to needs of individuals and families who struggle with personal problems, conflicted relationships, religious concerns, and adjustments to life, the services are open to all persons.
Consider seeking a pastoral counselor when you are experiencing:
- a desire for personal growth through self-understanding
- difficulty coping with life problems
- depression, fear, anger, guilt or anxiety
- major life traumas such as illness, aging, divorce, vocational changes or unemployment
- parenting challenges
- marital or relationship difficulty
- addiction or a relationship with someone who struggles with addiction
- feelings of emptiness, boredom, worthlessness or meaninglessness
- other problems that feel overwhelming
Individuals participating in the counseling service support the ministry through a reasonable fee. Some financial assistance is available for persons in need.
Sessions are scheduled by appointment. For information or to make an appointment, please call center director Kim Woodard at (404) 636-1457, ext. 577.