Assessment of Possible Issues that Can Impact a Case
Various issues may impact an interaction between a person who seeks help and a pastoral counselor. As shown in the case study, there are several issues which impact the dilemma in which Jane Doe finds herself in. First, she is a married woman with a family yet she seems to have fallen in love with another man. Secondly, it is quite hard to pinpoint her problem since it seems that almost every facet of her life is not working well. From the case study, it can also be shown that the issues that Jane Doe is going through might have affected her way of thinking. Some additional issues include ascertaining the primary cause of the problem, seeking of information that may divert the counselor from pressing issues (such as in the case study, John Doe’s brother is the senior pastor hence is the counsellor’s boss).
Areas of Concern that Fall under the Pastoral Counselor’s Care
Pastoral counseling entails a clinical approach which integrates both theological and psychological concepts into its framework, hence differentiating it from other modes of therapy. It is especially so when it comes to its approach to the therapeutic process. The main aspects which set it apart are its spirituality and theology and how faith is incorporated into the model (Sigmund, 2002). As such, the areas of concern that fall under the pastoral counselor’s care with respect to the case study encompass the following:
- The history of the person who is seeking help concerning his or her need such as any history of extra-marital affairs in Jane Doe’s marriage.
- The type of issue being faced by the person who seeks help.
- Handling crises of faith such as the one that Jane Doe is struggling with.
- Being able to guide Jane on her journey toward transformation, transcendence, and increased connection to her husband by utilizing resources such as scripture study, prayer, and participation in community affairs.
- Training the counselee on some aspects of marriage and issues of extra-marital affairs that the counselor knows.
- Managing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that are shown by the person who seeks help from the pastoral counselor.
Recommendations for Issues That Fall Outside the Scope of the Pastoral Counselor
In as much as pastoral counseling is a viable and a well-established mode of therapy, some issues might fall outside the scope of the pastoral counselor. Additionally, in some instances, the extent to which the pastoral counselor can help to solve a problem is limited (Townsend, 2009). Indeed, for issues that fall outside the scope of the pastoral counselor, various actions can be undertaken. Foremost, there is a need to be ethical when dealing with clients. In this case, the counselor faces ethical issues since he is not supposed to share about Jane Doe’s issues yet the boss, who is John Doe’s might wish to know about it. It is thus a prudent move for the pastor to ascertain the whole course of action to be taken before handling the issue (Walker, Scheidegger & Amundsen, 2012). They also ought to understand the problem well before coming up with its solution. With respect to the case study, it is prudent for the counselor to first ascertain what is being dealt with since counselors have been known to address the wrong issue and hence failed to help the person seeking their help. Such cases lead to the counselor losing credibility. Lastly, the counselor can refer the client to a more qualified counselor than them such as referring her to another senior pastor except John Doe’s brother.
Loren L. Townsend (2009). Introduction to Pastoral Counseling. Abingdon Press.
Sigmund, J. A. (2002). Pastoral counseling: What is it and when can it help? Current Psychiatry, 1(11), 49-57. Retrieved from http://www.mdedge.com/currentpsychiatry/article/66147/pastoral-counseling-what-it-and-when-can-it-help
Walker, K. R., Scheidegger, T. H., End, L., & Amundsen, M. (2012). The misunderstood pastoral counselor: knowledge and religiosity as factors affecting a client’s choice. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/docs/vistas/vistas_2012_article_62.pdf?sfvrsn=4