Mental Health is an extremely important subject to discuss. But, because of the taboo surrounding Mental Health, it’s often difficult for people to seek help. This is why spreading awareness for it is vital.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hundreds of millions of people currently suffer from some sort of mental or neurological disorder. A mind boggling 20% of the world’s adolescents and children have a mental health condition. In addition, depression and anxiety disorders are one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. The most commonly recognized mental health issues are Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These are just a couple of examples of many.
What Causes Mental Illnesses?
The way we live our lives, interact with one another, and carry out daily routines has dramatically changed over the years. Because of this, a growing number of people are struggling to cope with these shifting dynamics in modern society, which has increased mental health issues.
People are struggling in the increasing competition in the professional world and other social and economic pressures, more people have become depressed and are coming under stress. The issues have only compounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Vices have also increased in the world. A few examples of vices that are very prevalent include drug use, pornography, sexual promiscuity and abuse, gambling, and alcohol consumption.
Similarly, technology is also harming our brains and general health. Studies suggest that too much screen time (and the blue light emitted from devices) can be linked to depression, weight gain, and even cancer. Some say technology is now a health hazard akin to secondhand cigarette smoke.
Mental illnesses and conditions can range from mild to severe. If left untreated, they can severely impact a person’s life. Although mental health issues aren’t always visible, the reality is that we live in a world where a lot of people will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives. Because of this, there is a need for good solutions.
What Is Pastoral Counseling?
Pastoral Counseling is a mode of therapy that uses counseling techniques to promote the spiritual and emotional growth and development of an individual. The clergy is not only considered as a counselor but also is perceived as a guide in the journey of self-discovery. In this regard, Pastoral Counseling can be defined as a type of psychotherapy in which the clergy person facilitates the healing process by helping the patient to identify and deal with their worries and difficulties. It helps people to resolve their mental issues by finding solutions to the problem and preventing it from getting worse.
Origins of the Therapy
Pastoral Counseling as a Mode of Therapy was first introduced by In the early 1900s by Reverend Anton Boisen, who founded the Pastoral Education Movement. Typically, clinical pastoral education focuses on the four therapeutic modalities of psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, and systems theory. Pastoral counselors also utilize their faith in a manner that emphasizes their relationship with God as a way of understanding a client’s inner world.
The clergy member must have training and experience in the field of mental health and counseling before he or she can practice as a pastoral counselor. The method of clergy counseling is based on the foundations of pastoral theology and is structured to use the ethics and morality of a spiritual leader to help others with personal growth, change, and development. In a pastoral counseling session, the therapist acts as a sounding board, a friend, and a counselor. Pastoral counseling is also referred to as spiritual counseling, spiritual direction, and spiritual care.
How People Become Pastoral Counselors?
To become a pastoral counselor, candidates must receive graduate-level training in both psychology and theology. The American Association of Pastoral Counselors sets a national standard for certification in this profession, and they define it in a way that helps people better understand what is expected of them.
Candidates wither have Doctoral or graduate degree in Pastoral Counseling, Theological Studies, Biblical Studies, or Spiritual Studies or a Masters in Divinity
Once a clinical pastoral education experience is completed, graduates will need to complete 375 supervised counseling hours and a self-reflective CPE experience. This is to ensure that they are ready to counsel people with serious problems. Currently, Tennessee and North Carolina have license options for people of such professions.
Counselors are often obligated to have one of the other types of licenses that permit the practice of psychotherapy. A pastoral counselor, for instance, needs to have at least one of these licenses in most states such as LCSW, MFT, LPC, or LMHC.
Can Pastoral Counselors Give a Diagnosis?
A lot of pastoral counselors have extensive training in diagnosing mental health and are often licensed, mental health practitioners. They’re also trained in identifying homicide and suicide risks. However, not all pastoral counselors can give a diagnosis.
Who Can Benefit from Pastoral Counseling?
Many people who have committed a crime or been convicted and jailed, may have to spend years in prison. When they finally get released, they are likely to be ostracized by the rest of society, meaning they have to find a job and earn their living just as any other member of society. In this scenario, there is an opportunity where these people can use pastoral counseling as a mode of therapy.
Pastoral Counseling offers help to people who are facing challenges in their lives by applying Christian values and beliefs to address someone’s problems.
Pastoral counseling can also be a valuable part of the recovery process for someone going through addiction and substance abuse issues. The care and support of a trained, professional counselor can be a huge help as you work your way through the challenges that come with overcoming an addiction.
Pastoral counseling is used to help people with mental health disorders and other emotional issues. Pastoral counseling is similar to mental health therapy in that both focus on helping people with emotional issues and problems. A pastoral counselor will focus on the emotional problems of their clients while also taking into consideration their faith and religious beliefs.
Other People Who Can Benefit From Pastoral Counseling
There are a lot of people who want to tackle their mental health issues with faith at the core of the solution. They may be facing end-of-life questions, and they may find that secular counselors will not endorse their religious beliefs and even ridicule them. Many people who have had negative experiences with therapists find them to be not believing in God which is why they believe that religious people deserve their mental health professionals that do.
Pastoral counseling is absolutely for everyone. It can offer a safe, supportive environment to individuals who need premarital counseling, family counseling, or individual counseling. If you’re struggling with any of the following situations, pastoral counseling might be just what you need:
- People going through a tragedy
- People suffering from a terminal or debilitating sickness
- People having a crisis of faith and doubting their religious beliefs
- People with Mental health issues
- Struggling to adjust in society after incarceration
Benefits Of Pastoral Counseling
Confidentiality Is Very Important
In pastoral counseling, Confidentiality is very important. A counselor will not share confidential information with anyone. They have received extensive training and try not to let their emotions get the better of them even if someone is narrating something very horrific, the counselor strives to respect the confidentiality of what has been discussed and done in counseling.
People Feel More Comfortable
In pastoral counseling, people feel comfortable being in a house of worship. This is one main reason why many people visit churches for counseling. A pastor is a person who helps you to solve your problem. And of course, a church has greater credibility among people than any other place.
Pastors Are Friendly
Pastors are passionate people about their profession and make themselves available to the members of their congregation and just about anyone who may be experiencing grief or other crisis in their lives. Even though this leads to an increased burden on their time, but helping people and giving them the support that they need is what keeps them going.
A lot of people feel uneasy talking to =a psychologist. With a pastoral counselor, people can openly talk about whatever is going on with their life without fear of judgment or being told what to do. These connections can be particularly helpful when it comes to issues such as anxiety, depression, and marital problems. Pastoral counselors offer positive affirmations, provide spiritual insight, and simply listen more.
Pastoral Counseling Is Affordable
Visiting a psychologist is expensive. And not just a little bit: the average annual cost of having a psychologist on retainer can be in hundreds of dollars per visit. That’s a lot of money! Before you go paying out the nose to see a therapist, though, consider these alternatives first such as pastoral counselors.
Need for Specialty Church Insurance
One major hurdle for pastoral counselors is finding a way to make a living. The majority of insurance companies won’t reimburse their services, and they often have to work in other fields to be able to afford to do their jobs. Certified pastoral counselors typically pursue licensure in other areas such as social work, or marriage and family therapy This leads to pastoral counseling being undervalued and underpaid.
Lack of Awareness
It’s a common misconception that pastoral counseling is like going to a priest to confess sins. It’s not. Lack of awareness is a problem that is stopping the growth of pastoral counseling. Most people who need pastoral counseling do not know that there is help available. Most of the world’s population lives in countries where there is no or very little pastoral counseling and many pastors, church leaders and Christians are not aware of the benefits it has on their lives.
Get Comprehensive Insurance for Your Church
Mental health issues have been a point of discussion for several years and it seems that we are making headway towards addressing them as a society. Many of us experience some form of emotional distress at one point or another. Whether this is in the form of depression, anxiety, or any other mental health problem, it can be difficult to deal with and understand at times. Pastoral counseling helps people understand the root cause of their issue and then work towards resolving it.
Pastoral counselors usually use the word “shepherd” to describe what they do. This word is used in the Bible to describe people who care for flocks of sheep and people. The problem is that most people do not see a shepherd as someone who cares for people.
We at Integrity Now Insurance Brokers are proud supporters of the church and pastors who dedicate their entire lives to helping people with mental issues.
A lot of pastors and Churches who are busy helping people don’t have the time to research what they need and how they can protect their church. Companies like Integrity Now Insurance Brokers provide the church insurance they are looking for.
We at Integrity Now Insurance Brokers are at the forefront of helping churches make this critical decision. Our professional agents help churches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, and Washington get the best protection for their churches. Our comprehensive suite of services includes church property insurance, church liability insurance, house of worship insurance, commercial auto insurance, and more.