Pastoral counseling is not the same as psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy works from a medical model of care, in which the therapist attempts to diagnose an “illness”, and work with the patient towards “mental health”. This model has proven to have a great deal of value in helping people move out of broken methods of managing life, and into healthier ways of being.
Pastoral counseling affirms that God (however you understand and label the Source and Sustainer of the Universe) is the third person in our work together. Pastoral counseling includes the person’s body, heart/mind, soul and spirit holistically. In pastoral counseling, we take as a given that we are alienated from our deepest self, from each other, and from God. To use the traditional language: we start from the oppressive condition of our sin or lostness, and seek ways to move towards redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation.
We humans bear the very Image of God within us – we are permanently marked with the imprint of God from the moment of our creation. We do indeed each fall into sin and alienation from God, finding our own ways to obscure that imprint of God within us, to forget our origins and worth. As a pastoral counselor I look and listen for this imprint, and for the ways to begin to rediscover God’s grace and journey towards wholeness.
I am clinically trained in pastoral counseling, and have 30 years of experience in providing care and discernment, including resolution of personal ethical issues. Individual and couples sessions may be scheduled, for one-time, short-term or longer-term care.
I charge a modest fee, on a sliding scale. Nobody is turned away for lack of funds.