The truth about life is that it happens. No matter how “in control” you normally are, sometimes situations may come where outside help with your marriage, relationships, children, in-laws, work environment, decision making or just looking at ourselves in the mirror seems hard to do alone. Change when it comes can be difficult to do or accept. Counselling could be a great way in which perspective, change or motivation can be considered.
“People make a change when the pain of staying the same becomes WORSE than the pain of changing.”
What are the benefits of seeing a Christian Pastoral Counsellor? For the Christian counselling can be especially helpful. It helps us to grow into a spiritual maturity without forgetting emotional, psychological or physical growth. When the whole person is maturing at a similar pace it produces a “peacefulness” that goes beyond understanding.
Christian Pastoral Counsellors are trained, registered and accredited in both the psychological behavioural sciences and Christian theological disciplines. In most cases they are well educated graduates having attended both seminary and secular colleges or universities.
A Christian Pastoral Counsellor can see clients as a Christian who counsels or as a secular counsellor. The choice is the clients. Should a client want counsel that respects the Christian faith and traditions, it would be difficult to find seeing a secular counsellor.
A further benefit is that an accredited professional counsellor in most instances has more training and experience that most pastors do. Most ministers within a church DO NOT have any training in counselling or psychology. Some may have had a couple of courses on marriage or coaching, but not nearly enough to equip them to properly help their people. For this reason many loving pastors are willing to refer parishioners in need to a Christian Pastoral Counsellor with a good reputation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if I am not Christian?
The quality of our services is the same for Christians and non-Christians alike. Our aim is to respect all faiths and offer the same assistance to all. FACT ~ we are Christian, that obviously will influence some of our worldview and perspective on life. However, as professionals that should not cause any client any discomfort. At the start of a counselling relationship you will be given the option to receive counselling with or without a Christian approach. Should you wish we can answer your questions about God or His existence. If you choose not to believe in God or have a Christian viewpoint, it should not minimize our efforts to help you in any way.
What is insanity?
It is said: The definition of “insanity” is “doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results.” Without a clear choice, motivated by a need for change, life will keep repeating itself over and over again. This creates feelings that say: You have lost control of the situation and yourself! New insight can help you discover what the cycle is and how it can be broken.
Why does it seem like I am always getting hurt in relationships?
It is true that some people may find themselves in multiple relationships where they are mistreated and their feelings hurt. Counselling is able to reveal that we do have power in relationships. We cannot control other people or make them do anything they don’t want to do, but we certainly have the ability to “train” them as to how we want to be treated. This is done by carefully expressing what we will allow and what we won’t in our life. Much of this is done by how we react to the problems life presents. REMEMBER, others cannot hurt you, unless you give them the power to do so. Eleanor Roosevelt said: Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission
Can I change the way I feel about myself?
This is really a question about self-acceptance and self-worth. It would be helpful to start looking at what you say to yourself and what you consider the things (approvals) are that shape they way you see yourself. What we allow into our hearts, whether positive or negative, will become what we believe about ourselves. It is possible to BE yourself without always having to try and PROVE yourself. People can say whatever they want… you don’t have to believe them! Ultimately you are the one that establishes your own worth.
What denomination are you?
When it comes to Christian counselling we don’t like making denominational divisions. The word PASTORAL has always referred to counselling that integrates therapy with a client’s own faith and/or value system. Pastoral Counsellors can come from many Christian faith backgrounds and we should be sensitive and respectful to each client’s own belief system. Counselling is not evangelism nor is it preaching! Any good counsellor knows they are not there to judge, criticize or condemn. We understand that each individual comes to a relationship with God in their own way. We can explore that.
How do we decide the focus of treatment?
Many counsellors subscribe to only one or two treatment theories. We at RiverCity would like to think we use more of an Integrative Psychotherapy approach. Integrative counselling has no difficulty with borrowing useful concepts, skills or techniques, provided the application of these benefits the client. This does not mean our approach is random or unorganised. Each client’s presenting issue is tackled systemically. Done correctly calls for a counsellor who is flexible while remaining disciplined and thorough. Most therapeutic approaches and theories want to remain true to what the theory (or the counsellor) prescribes as normal and healthy. We believe that the therapy must fit the client not the counsellor. When our client says they want to work on a specific issue, we work on that. If upon observation we have an idea that another issue may be a contributing factor, we may offer that to a client as a possibility. We view ourselves as taxi drivers. We have a vast knowledge of the city, traffic patterns and various routes to reach any given destination, but the client provides us with the destination and we negotiate the route.
Will our counselling be confidential?
All personal information is kept private and not shared with anybody other than your counsellor. All counselling is completely confidential subject to some exceptions required by law. Any comment or information given that is of such a nature that it endangers the life of the client or the welfare of others must be reported immediately as required by law. We subscribe to the code of ethics by the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia and the Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia.