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“EVERY CHRISTIAN A SHEPHERD TO EVERYONE”. BASICS OF LAY PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING SEMINAR Rev. Joel S. Aguirre, D.Div. College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy Certified Pastoral Counselor/Clinical Chaplain.

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“EVERY CHRISTIAN A SHEPHERD TO EVERYONE”

BASICS OF LAY PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING SEMINAR

Rev. Joel S. Aguirre, D.Div.

College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy Certified Pastoral Counselor/Clinical Chaplain


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Legalities of Counseling in the Philippines

  • Republic Act 9258- all guidance counselors and those who are in the field of counseling in the hospitals, schools and churches should secure license before practicing.

  • August 21-22, 2008- first licensure examination in the Philippines


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Limitations of the Seminar

  • This counseling seminar is intended for Christian lay people who are interested in the ministry of caring and life- coaching.

  • The training learned is intended to be used in their daily living and ministry.

  • It is not intended for professional counseling. The words pastoral care-giver, life coach will be synonymously used with “counseling.”


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“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9


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Basis for the Ministry of Counseling

  • From the standpoint of faith, genuine caring is grounded in affirming others as person of sacred worth, loved by God and destined for a future of God’s making.

  • The shaped of our caring is anticipated in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.


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  • “CARING” means serving God’s desire and design for the other, helping the other to become the best that he or she is capable of becoming in God’s sight.

  • Care is something that is universally human. Care is mutual; one who gives it also receives it. Everyone, at some point in time, is both a giver and a receiver of care.


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Care is made up of attitude and action. Care is seeking the best interests of another.


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Care is pastoral when its power and focus are seen to beyond self, beyond human. Care is pastoral when one enters a helping encounter that deals with the persons’ ultimate concern.


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Care is pastoral when its function is to communicate the power of the divine, which mediates the courage to accept one’s finitude and the anxiety which is part of our creatureliness.


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Care is pastoral when it directs others to the source of life and power, to that which is infinite and eternal.


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The fundamental role of Pastoral Care is the attempt to help others, through words, acts, and relationships, to experience as fully as possible the reality of God’s presence and love in their lives (Definition of Pastoral Care, Redland Hospital Pastoral Services).


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Biblical Approaches to Counseling

Start developing a method of counseling or helping others by focusing upon the nature of God and the nature of man.

The following are important questions to ask in checking WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT GOD:

-WHO IS HE?

-WHAT ARE HIS ATTRIBUTES?

-WHAT ARE HIS DESIRES FOR MANKIND?

-the answer to these questions would certainly influence how we respond to people with whom we have contact and to whom we have been called upon to minister.


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The following questions may straighten out our views as to WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT MAN:

-WHO IS HE/SHE?

-WHAT ARE HIS POTENTIALS AND DEFECTS?

Answers to this question would certainly influence how we respond to individuals within the context of counseling.


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“A right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well.”(A.W. Tozer)


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  • *LETS TAKE A LOOK AT MAN:

  • Man was created by God and was created in His own image.

    -Because of the fall, a distortion occurred in the image of God within man.

    YET, man is very, very worthwhile and worth redeeming.


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TWO WAYS WHEREIN COUNSELORS MAY LOOK AT MAN:

a. Man is being totally good with no problems or defects.

b. Man is being totally lost, totally deficient, with no good or worth or potential within him whatsoever.


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Consider man’s basic needs.

Man is worthwhile regardless of his/her feelings.

Important question asked by each individual:

WHO AM I?

WHAT AM I?

WHY AM I?


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  • Consider the ultimate goal of counseling.

  • For Christians – CONVERSION

  • For Christians – CHRISTLIKENESS

  • Understanding of who God is would help a person affirm and build his or her SELF CONCEPT, ACCEPTANCE OF OTHERS AND OF GOD (SELF-CONCEPT, as a sense of being somebody and a sense of being worthwhile).


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Usage of “COUNSEL” in the Scripture

*THREE HEBREW WORDS TRANSLATED “COUNSEL”

1. Yaw-ats’ = to deliberate, resolve, advise (well), guide, devise, determine, purpose (Exodus 18:19)

2. Yaw-sad = to sit down together, settle, consult, found, establish, instruct

3. Ay-tsaw = advise, plan, prudence, advisement, counsel, purpose


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  • ACTIVITY: Divide the class into five groups. Each group will be assigned two passages each. Based on each passage the group will report on the following: SITUATION OF THE COUNSEL (one on one, on with a group), MEANING OF THE COUNSEL, PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF COUNSEL.


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The word “COUNSEL” from the Biblical Perspective (Mostly in the O.T.)

Numbers 31:16 = Counsel is a “word” (dabar) of advice.

II Chronicles 25: 16 = “To counsel” (yaats) is to give advice or direction.

Daniel 4:27 = “Counsel” (melak) is direction which opposes problems and give specific procedures for elimination.


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Psalm 55:14 = “A sitting, session, assembly (sod).” Counsel in this sense is sharing among equals which is sweet but may be betrayed.

Daniel 2:14 = “Counsel”, “advice” (eta) means discretion.

Deuteronomy 32:28 = “Counsel”, “advice” (etash) is necessary for understanding and discernment of the future.

Exodus 18:19 = “To give counsel” (yaats) is wise advice for action.


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1 Kings 12:9= “to be counseled” (yaats) implies the necessity of seeking counsel at times.

John18:14 = “to counsel together fully” (Gk. sumbou) is necessary before an action is taken.

Psalm 2:2 = “To have a foundation laid” (yasad) implies the sense of consultation (which is of course negative in application in Psalm 2:2 – counseling together against the Lord).


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Five Variations of Biblical Verbs on Counseling

  • Parakaleo = “to beseech,” “to exhort, encourage or comfort” (I Thess. 5:14)

  • Noutheteo = “to put in mind,” “to warn, and “to confront.”

    *One admonishes the unruly, undisciplined, or the impulsive (Rom. 15:14; Cor. 4:14)

  • Parmutheomai = “to cheer up,” “to encourage”

    *One encourages the fainthearted or discouraged (I Thess. 2:11)


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  • Antechomai = “to cling to,” to hold fast,” “to take an interest in,” “to hold up spiritually or emotionally”

  • Makromutheo = “to be patient,” or “to have patience” (Matt. 18:26; matt. 18:29; James 5:7)

    *All the biblical verbs above imply that a person needs integration in his/her counseling approach.


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Jesus’ Style of Helping Others

Before looking at Jesus’ techniques, it is very important, first of all to understand WHY HE CAME.

  • Luke 4:18˗ for the sake of the poor, the captives, the blind, the oppressed – who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity.


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John 10:10 – for man to enjoy abundant life

I John 3:8 – to destroy the works of evil

Luke 19:10 – to seek and to save those who are lost


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“Jesus’ ministry was that of helping people achieve fullness of life, assisting them to develop an ability to deal with the problems and conflicts of life.”

(Norman Wright)


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1. Jesus had compassion that prompted Him to alleviate the suffering of people (Mark 1:41; 8:2; 6:34).

2. Jesus accepted others without restrictions, hostility, or judgment (john 4; john 8; Luke 19).

3. Jesus gave worth to the individual by giving His personal attention (Matt. 10:29).


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4. Jesus sought to have people accept the responsibility for their own actions and for what they wanted (John 5).

5. Jesus gave hope, encouragement and inspiration (a very positive approach) [Mark 10:26-27; Matthew 11:28-30].

6. Jesus emphasized the peace of mind that people could have (John 14:27).

7. Jesus helped to reshape or refashion people’s thinking. Teaching is definite part of counseling (Luke2:22-25; Matt. 19:4-9; Luke 14:2-6; Luke 6:39; Matt. 7:29; Luke 6:42; Matt. 8:26; Matt. 18:16).


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8. Jesus saw needs of individuals and spoke directly to them regardless of what they might have brought to His attention. e.g., His conversion with Nicodemus. (Mark 3:5)

9. Jesus also emphasized right behavior in the lives of those who ministered (Luke 6:47-49).

10. Jesus dealt with people in different ways and he related to individuals at different levels of depth and closeness (Luke 10).


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Jesus’ Example for Counselors

1. Model of OBEDIENCE = Jesus as Counselor and Helper took the whole counsel of God (John 12:49; 17:4).

2. Model of PRAYER = Jesus as Counselor and Helper took time to pray. (Luke 5:15-16).

3. Model of INVOLVEMENT with Disciples and Those Who Care = Jesus as counselor did not only relate to people but also He got involved with their personal lives (Luke 5- the calling of the first disciples). He did not confine the function to Himself, the disciples were with Him assisting in the helping ministry (Luke 5:17-19; Phil. 2:1-5)


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4. Model of AUTHORITY = He claimed authority but was not authoritative (Matt. 7:29; 28:18).

5. Model of ANOINTING = He has a special day of anointing (Luke 3:21-22).

6. Model of FAITH = He has personal faith in the One who sent Him (John 12:49) and He honored other people’s faith (Luke 5:20).


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The Necessity of Counseling in The Church

  • Degeneration of the psychological society = The situation of the fallen and broken world is not getting any better. It is a very alarming situation to think that 95% of hospital beds may be taken up by mental patients due to the breakdown of caring and meaningful relationships especially within the family.

  • Rapid increase of hurting people in the congregation = “Life is difficult . . . life is a series of problems” (Dr. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled).


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Reasons Why Christians Do Not Open Up to Share Their Problems (Tan, Lay Counseling)

  • No one seems to be able to listen and care.

  • Their Christian beliefs make them feel guilty, as if their struggles make them second-class citizen to the kingdom.

  • Many of them are afraid to be judge as poor Christians.


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The Necessity of Counseling in The Church

3. Many people are experiencing the “burn-out” syndrome =This refers to the situation in the church wherein very few people are lump with so many things to do.


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Lay Counseling as a Specific Ministry

  • The Calling of the Laity (Siang –Yang Tan, Lay counseling, 24).

  • I Pet. 2:5-9 = All Christians belong to the universal priesthood of believers.

  • Ephesians 4 = All Christians are called to minister to each other so that we can all achieve the ultimate goal of maturity in Christ.


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Lay Counseling as a Specific Ministry

2. Professional counselors cannot meet all needs. “The more people doing the job, the more work accomplished” (Cecile J. Casino).

3. Christians have the responsibility to minister to others. Point them back to the truth of their calling as ministers of God.


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Goals and Aims of Counseling

  • To understand the counselee’s current situation.

  • To understand how he or she has tried to handle the problem.

  • To understand his or her view of problem.


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Goals and Aims of Counseling

4. To understand his or her reasons and motivations for seeking counseling.

5. To understand his or her emotional reactions.

6. To estimate tentatively the counselee’s strengths.


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Goals and Aims of Counseling

7. To evaluate the total problem.

8. To help him or her to clarify the life situation and problem.

9. Others, including Christian growth and presentation of the Gospel (depending on the situation)


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Goals and Aims of Counseling

  • 10. Other goals include are;

    • To assist in reducing undue tension

    • To assist resolving conflict

    • To assist in improving insight and understanding

    • To assist a person in releasing his or her inner strength

    • To improve information


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Goals and Aims of Counseling

  • To encourage continued growth

  • To assist person in making realistic choices

  • To improve interpersonal relationships

  • To assist individuals mature in their Christian life

  • To seek for others to have a personal encounter with Christ.


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Understanding What Crisis Is

What is a CRISIS?

-It is a state of acute emotional upset that includes a temporary inability to cope by means of one’s usual problem – solving devices.


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Understanding What Crisis Is

-It is a special state during an ongoing state of disequilibrium in a person or a group which results when both usual and secondary coping mechanisms fail to resolve a problem.


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Understanding What Crisis Is

When does a crisis occur?

It occurs when our interpretation of external events, our coping ability and the limitation of our social resources leads to stress so severe that we cannot find relief.


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Understanding What Crisis Is

Note: Crisis is not necessarily inherent in external situation itself. The crisis itself is the reaction to the external event.

Addendum: “A crisis for me may not be a crisis for you”.


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Understanding What Crisis Is

What is a crisis intervention?

It is a short-term helping process which focuses on the resolution of the immediate problems through the use of personal, social and environmental resources.


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Understanding What Crisis Is

  • Duration and outcome of crisis

  • People cannot stay in crisis forever. It last for a few days or few weeks.

  • Types of Crisis 

  • Situational

  • Transitional

  • Cultural/Social-structural Origins


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Functional Steps in Counseling Illustrated in Bible

  • 1. Build a relationship between the helper and the helpee (John 6:63; 16:7-13; 1 John 4:6).

  • 2. Explore the problems. Try to clarify the issues and determine what has been the problem in the past to tackle the problem (Rom. 8:26).

  • 3. Decide a course of action. Set alternatives that could be tried one at a time (John 14:26; 1Chor. 2:13).


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Functional Steps in Counseling Illustrated in Bible

4. Stimulate action. This should be evaluated by both helper end helpee. When something doesn’t work, try again (John 16:13; Acts 10:19-20; 16:6).

5. Terminate the counseling relationship and encourage the helpee to apply what he or she has learned as he or she launches out on his or her own (Rom. 8:14).


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Techniques to Use as a Lay Pastoral Care-giver/ Counselor


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Listening and communication skills make-up the major part of good pastoral care and counseling. The more you practice, the better you will get at pastoral care and counseling.


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Open-ended Questions

To keep group conversation moving and probe deeper into topics and feelings raised by care group members. A “closed” question can answered with “yes” or “no” or a simple statement of fact. An open-ended question requires other information to be answered.

Example:

Closed: “At what age did you first smoke?”

Open: “what was going on with your life when you first started smoking?”


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Benefits of open-ended questions:

  • Reveal deeper and more personal issues

  • Allow for more peer-centered support

  • Involve the person to participate in the care group

  • Drawback of open-ended questions

  • May take more time to get information

  • May open up difficult or challenging issues that are not easily addressed in the care group


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Active Listening Techniques

-includes engaging and responding to the person based on something he or she has expressed either in words or in nonverbal actions or behavior.


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Active Listening Techniques

  • Rephrasing: Saying what the person has said, using different words.

    Helpee: “I always fail exams. It really upsets me.”

    Helper: “It’s very distressing.”


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Active Listening Techniques

2. Reflecting: Expanding on the topic, adding in an acknowledgement or exploration of feelings or unstated thoughts.

Helpee: “I always fail exams. It really upsets me.”

Helper: “Yes I can see that and I wonder if you might be angry as well.”


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Active Listening Techniques

3. Interest: Expressing genuine interest in the circumstances of a person and inviting further disclosure.

Helpee: “I always fail exams. It really upset me.”

Helper: “Help me understand what it is like for you when you go through this experience. What happens once you’re aware of these thoughts or how do you feel upset?”


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Active Listening Techniques

4. Reframing: Offering an alternative way of looking at a situation, usually one that is more constructive and positive.

Helpee: “I always fail exams. It really upset me.”

Helper: “Yes, you’re miles ahead of someone who does not have those feelings and isn’t willing to be aware of them. And being upset about your failure is a good sign because it means your instinct to take care and evaluate yourself is really kicking in.”


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5. Process: This skill involves listening, reframing and expanding what the person said using a question.

Helpee: “I always fail exams. It really upset me.”

Helper: “How come this upsets you?”

Helpee: “I feel stupid?”

Helper: “How come you feel stupid?”

  Helpee: “I really don’t know where I’ve gone wrong.”

Helper: “You felt like a failure . . . .”

Helpee: “Yup, I am failure and no direction.”

Helper: “You feel?”

Helpee: “I don’t know what will happen with my life.”

Helper: “You’re planning for your future?”


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6. Attending Behavior: This skill involves eye contact, posture, verbal and non-verbal cues.

-Eye contact may vary from person to person. What posture should a lay pastoral counselor take? Whatever posture is comfortable for you. Be you.


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-Are there verbal and non-verbal cues lay pastoral counselor can use? Try “uh/huh” “hmmm.” Also non-verbal cues are smiling, looking puzzled, nodding, or leaning forward in interest. Be you.


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7. SUMMATION

Combination of one or more phrases and includes a reflection of feelings. A Lay pastoral counselor ties together content and feelings and tries to put this in perspective and identifies important trends, conflicts and possible decisions.

-Be aware of DISTORTION

-Be prepared to focus on the positive aspects of the situation and don’t feed into the negative aspects


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  • Practicum: Each participant will draw a slip of paper on which CLR (Counselor) and CLE (Counselee) are written. CLE’s will prepare crisis situations they may want to role play and counselor would prepare for the counseling session.


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