Given my careers in these two areas, a few words to expound on their intersection and distinctions.
My training as a scientist and practitioner in psychology as well as my education, ordination and prior work in parish ministry provide me a solid foundation upon which to counsel others in a competent, caring, loving, and ethical fashion. I resist using potentially unclear stereotypical labels to characterize my work, though view it as a supportive ministry helping others. I do not use therapy to proselytize (promote religion) and would consider it unethical to do so. Professional counseling and pastoral work are different roles, based upon differing assumptions and goals. I am conversant on a variety of spiritual concerns and different walks off faith, and extend grace and acceptance for those whose faith journey, lifestyle choices, and values are different from mine. While I do not “force” spirituality into counseling experiences, nor would I avoid processing spiritual questions when relevant and initiated by clients (See empowering clients HERE).
My task, within a context of grace and acceptance of each unique person, is to provide accurate, objective feedback (seeing things as they are) regarding options and choices available. I respect the right of each person to make informed choices, and to experience consequences (for good or ill) of such choices as a starting point for growth. I understand each client lives within a larger context and system, and therefore, their choices and growth will impact others as well. I view each client as culturally different, and therefore unique. I believe growth is most likely to occur within an environment of grace, acceptance, honesty, safety, and understanding.
If you have any questions about my qualifications or approach to psychotherapy, please feel free to call for a free brief consultation or referral. I hope these pages, blogs, articles, and audio commentaries will provide you with helpful information.