Pastoral counseling is a type of counseling that has become increasingly popular in recent years.It comes from a Judeo-Christian faith perspective and offers spiritual advice and guidance to those who seek it.
While pastoral counseling may draw on many of the same techniques as other types of counseling, there are some notable differences between them.
Below are six key differences between pastoral counseling and other forms of therapy.
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(1) focus on spiritual matters.
First, pastoral counselors focus on faith-based solutions rather than scientific or psychological theories when providing guidance.
Pastoral counselors may spend time talking about religious beliefs, help their clients understand how spirituality impacts their lives, and provide prayer when appropriate.
This means they are likely to recommend prayer and biblical readings while discussing topics such as sin and grace.
In comparison, other types of counselors typically do not address spiritual matters, they diagnosis is based on scientific evidence and other approach.
(2) Uses the Bible as the foundation
Second, pastoral counselors often use the bible as their primary source for guidance and advice. They believe that God’s teachings provide wisdom, promises and strength to those who seek it.
While traditional therapists emphasize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), pastoral counselors may use prayer, study of scripture, or meditation as tools for healing.
(3) Focus on Long term support
Third, pastoral counseling is often focused more on long-term goals than short-term symptom relief. It takes into account the person’s spiritual life and how it affects their mental health.
The counselor will strive to understand their client’s religious practices and beliefs in order to create an effective treatment plan tailored specifically for them.
(4) trained in both theology and psychology.
Fourth, pastoral counselors are usually ordained clergy members who are trained in both theology and psychology.
They have both a theological understanding of spiritual issues combined with psychological insight into human behavior which allows them to incorporate spirituality into the healing process.
(5) Does not involve medications
Pastoral counselors aim to help individuals develop an understanding of their faith and how it can be used to improve their mental health.
Unlike other forms of counseling, pastoral counseling does not necessarily involve medications or clinical procedures.
The sixth difference is that pastoral counseling is typically provided free of charge by a pastor or church leader.
Traditional therapy on the other hand, is offered by licensed therapists who often require payment for their services. This means that individuals who cannot afford traditional therapy may be able to access pastoral counseling instead
For those seeking professional help, but having difficulty affording traditional services, pastoral counseling may be an invaluable resource.
During this type of therapy, the spiritual leader will focus on helping someone bridge the connection between their faith and their daily life experiences in order to find meaning and hope.
This kind of support often involves prayer as well as offering practical advice about how to use spirituality to cope with current struggles or emotional pain.