Oftentimes there is great confusion around terms that frequently seem to be used interchangeably, such as therapy, psychotherapy, counseling, pastoral counseling, Christian counseling, life coaching, and spiritual direction. To better understand what is meant by pastoral counseling at AQPC, consider the following definition:
Pastoral counseling is the practice of a licensed and/or ordained Christian minister called by God to partner with individuals, couples, and families with the intent of promoting spiritual growth, advancing healing, offering a vision of a hopeful future, and resolving various conflicts through biblical guidance, intentional prayer, and Spirit-led wisdom. What sets a pastoral counselor apart from a mental health counselor/psychotherapist is the way faith, spirituality, and theology are incorporated into the model. Within the context of a strictly confidential one-to-one conversation, the pastoral counselor prayerfully discerns the root problem underlying the counselee’s presenting issue. With a compassionate heart and a sincere desire to help, the pastoral counselor attentively listens, responds empathetically, makes assessments, provides resources, and often joins the counselee on his or her journey as an accountability structure. Additionally, pastoral counseling often involves deep internal work as does psychotherapy; however, it is not intended to diagnose, treat, and/or resolve mental health conditions or symptoms, but rather the focus is on nurturing one’s relationship with the Lord and offering sound guidance and wisdom in light of the Truth of God’s Word.
Our Pastoral Counselor, Daniel Thompson, would be honored to come alongside you and help.