Pastoral counseling is a branch of counseling in which psychologically trained ministers, rabbis, priests, imams, and other religious elders 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 aim of pastoral counselling is to create connections between people and communities that offer healing, growth, and change. Students pursuing a pastoral care and counseling degree go on to serve in such roles as counselors, chaplains, and staff in social service agencies. When choosing a counselling school try to attend a school that seeks to provide the highest possible quality of preparation for its pastoral care and counseling students, and creates opportunities for outreach in practical theology to the community at large.
Pastoral counselling courses will undoubtedly be based in spiritual teachings however, should still provide a basis in the traditional field of counselling. Some of the counselling courses will include:
• Ethics and Professionalism in Clinical Practice
• Counselling Interviewing Skills
• Assessment, Referral and Community Resources
• Counselling Theories
• Counselling Methods
• Introduction to Psychology
• Psychology Introduction
• Documentation Skills for Community Services
Counselling schools and counselling degrees will often also provide specializations in counselling, a few are listed below.
Applied Mindfulness Meditation - Grounded in comparative literatures of humanities and social science, traditional and contemplative medicines, the arts and sciences, education theory and practice, business and ethics, this program is intended to teach mindfulness meditation practices with a focus on its various applications within a wide range of personal and professional domains.
Bereavement Education - This program is intended for individuals living with loss, and professionals who support people in grief, including nurses, clergy, E.A.P. personnel, hospice and hospital volunteers, physicians, mental health practitioners, alternative medical practitioners, guidance counsellors, funeral directors, and educators.
Grief and Trauma Counselling - This is an advanced-level program dealing with complex issues in bereavement, loss, and trauma.
The Practice of Cybercounselling - Designed for more experienced counselling practitioners who want to increase their accessibility for clients and refine their cybercounselling techniques.
Solution-Focused Brief Coaching - This certificate program is recommended for managers, consultants, facilitators and other HR professionals interested in learning how to improve performance and productivity in the workplace, build and sustain smart and healthy teams, and facilitate organizational pursuit of positive workplace.
Solution-Focused Counselling - Students will learn the skills to conduct interviews in which clients’ existing strengths and resources are utilized to help them find solutions to a wide range of human difficulties.
Students who complete a degree in pastoral counseling may continue work as clergy. They may also find employment as postsecondary teachers. Statistics show the median annual salary for clergy was $ 43,970 as of May 2010. A 7%-13% growth in employment opportunities for these professionals was projected between 2008 and 2018.