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Mar032011

Christian Counseling, Pastoral Counseling Resources

Christian Ministry Resources

Pastoral Counseling, Christian Counseling

 

Introduction to Pastoral Counseling & Christian Counseling

Pastoral Counseling & Christian Counseling Resources By Category

Introduction to Pastoral Counseling and Christian Counseling

The term Pastoral Counseling is used in at least two senses. One is the specialized care that ministers, usually in church settings, provide for hurting persons in a structured therapeutic relationship. By virtue of the trust and accessibility of their role, ministers are given many opportunities for these relationships. The other is the professional, licensed designation of Certified Pastoral Counselor. There is a sharp distinction between church ministers and CPCs, the latter possessing years of advanced graduate level training and supervised practice toward state licensure.

It is important to maintain the distinction between these two works, while at the same time not to limit “pastoral counseling” as the exclusive territory of either profession. Most certified therapists, whether CPCs, LMFTs, LPCs or others recognize the value working in tandem with ministers. This is often in a joint relationship where the therapist provides the specialized care while the minister mediates the spiritual resources of the faith community during the period of assistance. Most people of faith want the assistance they receive from mental health professionals to be congruent with their beliefs, and therapists often acquire the help of ministers to provide that assurance. It is not uncommon for clients to sign disclosure agreements that allow the therapist and minister to confer in the client’s best interest.

While it is possible for licensed therapists to hurt their clients by minimizing or cutting off the spiritual resources offered by ministers, it is equally damaging for ministers to presume a level of expertise they do not possess and maintain helping relationships that would best be taken over by trained professionals. Ministers should recognize when they are in over their heads, and make appropriate referrals.

The resources below are designed not for CPCs, but for ministers who provide pastoral counsel. As such, these books are not as technical and theoretically based, although they are responsibly written by respected licensed practitioners and seasoned academics in the field. They are biased toward the short-term, solution-focused therapeutic approaches that are most commonly recommended for ministers.

Note: Another important work is Spiritual Care, which although overlapping significantly with Pastoral Care and Counseling, is usually categorized in the field of spiritual direction, which will be included in a separate Ministry Resource Guide on Spiritual Formation (projected completion January 2013).

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Pastoral Counseling & Christian Counseling - RESOURCES BY CATEGORY

Theological, Philosophical, and Theoretical Foundations (See also Ministry Ethics and Pastoral Theology)

First Reads:

Other Helfpul Volumes:

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Christian Counseling - Dictionaries and Reference Manuals

First Read:

Other Helpful Volumes:

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Christian Counseling - Comprehensive Practice Manuals

First Reads:

Other Helpful Volumes:

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Christian Counseling - Manuals for Short-Term Pastoral Therapy

First Read:

Other Helpful Volumes:

Christian Counseling - Manuals for Premarital Counseling (see separate guide, Pre-Marital Counseling)

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Christian Counseling - Special Issues

  • Death and Dying

Pastoral Counseling and Christian Counseling - Organizations and Journals

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Related Ministry Resources

See Other Resources on Pastoral Care and Counseling:

See Related Ministry Resources:

See Resources on Over 100 Areas of Christian Ministry:

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