Faith-Based Experts: Who We Are & What We Do

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Faith-Based Experts: Who We Are & What We Do
Is working with an Expert who integrates spiritual and religious teachings important to you?

What does a Pastoral Counselor/Rabbi/Clergy do?
This category of Experts is made up of men and women who offer relationship counseling from the perspective of their religious affiliation. Frequently they are ordained clergy (ministers, priests and rabbis) and promote emotional, mental and spiritual well-being through a combination of traditional religion training and modern psychology. Pastoral counselors often specialize in areas such as couples’ counseling, marital advice and divorce prevention; they also offer excellent support for people dealing with crisis in these areas.

When you seek out the help of a faith-based Expert, regardless of their religious affiliations, you can expect that the advice, direction and feedback will include conversations about spirituality and the impact your decisions have on your spiritual self. 

What sets them apart from other counselors is that they incorporate religious ideology into sessions. For example, it is common to have discussions that include references to specific Bible or Torah scripture, to use figures like Jesus or Moses as references for how to lead one’s life, and to use parables from religious text as examples for how to shape one’s reality.

What can a Pastoral Counselor/Rabbi/Clergy help me with?
Pastoral Counselors help a wide variety of clients using their extensive training and knowledge in the combined fields of theology, psychology and spirituality. They conduct both short and long-term counseling, as well as teach educational programs on marriage preparation, enrichment and divorce prevention.

What Is A Faith-Based Counselor?
Faith-based counselors, also called pastoral counselors, are men and women who offer relationship counseling from the perspective of their religious affiliation. Frequently they are ordained clergy (ministers, priests and rabbis) and promote emotional, mental and spiritual well-being through a combination of traditional religion training and modern psychology.

Why Do People Work Faith-Based Counselors?
Faith-based counselors help a wide variety of clients using their extensive training and knowledge in the combined fields of theology, psychology and spirituality. They conduct both short and long-term counseling, as well as teach educational programs on marriage preparation, enrichment and divorce prevention. Because many people instinctively reach out to their religious/spiritual leaders in times of stress, pastoral counselors are particularly helpful when a marriage is in crisis or if two people are considering divorce.

What Issues Can A Faith-Based Counselor Help Me With?
Faith-based counselors often specialize in areas such as couples' counseling, marital advice and divorce prevention; they also offer excellent support for people dealing with crisis in these areas. Many faith-based counselors also help clients with issues like infidelity, communication problems, financial difficulties, depression and addiction.

What Can I Expect When I Work With A Faith-Based Counselor?
When you seek out the help of pastoral counselor, regardless of their religious affiliation, you can expect that the advice, direction and feedback will include conversations about spirituality and the impact your decisions have on your spiritual self. What sets them apart from other counselors is that they incorporate religious ideology into sessions. For example, it is common to have discussions that include prayer, references to specific scripture readings or the use of parables from religious text as examples for how to live one's life.

Training & Credentials
Only six states in the U.S. license the title "Pastoral Counselor:" Arkansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Tennessee. In other states pastoral counselors may qualify for licensure as marriage and family therapists or as professional counselors. In the U.S., due to the principle of separation of church and state, religious activities are not subject to regulation by the government. Therefore, pastoral counseling is essentially a non-licensure track, but nevertheless a worthwhile path to pursue for help, especially if you are a strongly spiritual individual or pair.

Nuts & Bolts
Like other professionals, sessions with a pastoral counselor are 50 minutes and payment is due at the time of the session. Generally, pastoral counseling costs less than traditional therapy due to the not-for-profit nature of the field. Pastoral counselors frequently provide low-cost help for people who are uninsured and cannot afford to pay for therapy. Most pastoral counselors do not accept assignment of their fees to insurance companies and instead encourage their clients submit requests for reimbursement. Insurance companies often will not pay for pastoral counseling by counselors without state licensing.

To begin searching for a Pastoral Counselor, Rabbi or Clergy to help you, please click here.

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