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Johannesburg Tel: 011 678 5978
At any time, you can face uncertainties, crises and transitions in your life that threaten your emotional and spiritual well-being. Caught off-guard by these situations you may not know how to cope on your own. When you turn to a psychologist for help you might not have any preferences about his/her philosophy or methods in helping you.
You may, however, have a clear preference to receive support and help with these situations within a spiritual context.
In a Gallup poll, 66% of the people surveyed said they preferred a mental health counsellor who represented spiritual values and beliefs. Almost 81% said they would like their own values and beliefs to be integrated into the counselling process.
But the crucial question is: Can you find spiritual help and psychotherapy at the same time? Most religious leaders have little training to provide in-depth and extensive spiritually based therapy. And most psychotherapists have little training or desire to discuss in-depth spiritual matters during sessions with patients. According to research, the answer to the above crucial question is a resounding yes. If this is your question too, you can find this type of help in Christian or pastoral counselling. Dr. Parker is both a registered clinical psychologist as well as an ordained pastor under the IFCC churches.
Let us take a closer look at Pastoral counseling.
The central theme in pastoral counselling is an awareness of the spiritual dimension in human wholeness. Crises and transitions are addressed in terms such as faith, meaning, purpose and direction, as well as in psychotherapeutic terms.
Despite the added benefits of a spiritually-based mental health approach, many people do not take advantage of pastoral counselling. One reason is that some people fear that they would be pressed in a certain spiritual direction. However, pastoral counsellors don't give advice or force their religious views on others. Instead they help people to explore and make their own decisions – also in light of their personal faith and spirituality.
When and if you prefer the pastoral or Christian approach psychotherapy, the following guidelines for this practice might help:
But it still remains your personal choice.