Our private practice pastoral care ministry offers online pastoral counseling and spiritual direction.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds.”
Ps. 147:3 NASB
Although we offer pastoral counseling to adults with a variety of presenting problems, our “specialty” is working with survivors of extreme childhood trauma. Our therapeutic approach incorporates two primary counseling models: Temperament Therapy, and Christ Centered Therapy. We also apply compatible principles from Trauma Therapy, Client Centered Therapy, Attachment Theory, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Art Therapy, and Psychodynamic therapies. Although we draw from many disciplines, the Bible and the Holy Spirit are our greatest sources of wisdom for counseling.
“Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purposes and plans are bursting forth…. Arise, my love, my beautiful companion, and run with me to the higher place. For now is the time to arise and come away with me.”
SS. 2:13 TPT
God has a deep longing and passion to be in a dynamic, intimate relationship with us. As spiritual directors, we provide a “sacred space” for that relationship to become deeper and more vibrant. In a typical session, we are “present” with our directees as they share their spiritual journeys. We may answer questions, and/or discuss spiritual experiences, or uncover internal resistances to knowing God. We provide opportunities to explore their image of God and their beliefs about themselves in relationship to God. Often we will find ourselves engaging in a particular form of prayer, or simply sitting together silently in God’s presence. Each session is unique, as guided by the Holy Spirit.
Differences and Similarities
A common question we are asked is regarding the differences and similarities between pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. The ultimate purpose for both is to help an individual realize the Great Commandment as fulfilled in their lives. In both there is usually a movement towards greater intimacy with God, greater revelation of one’s true identity, and an increased expression of God’s love to others as a result. Although the main purpose is the same, the focus is different. In pastoral counseling, the individual has a particular psychological problem to address. Usually that problem is rooted in some form of broken relationship with God, within themselves, or others. The counselor’s main job is to facilitate healing, transformation and empowerment in the counselee. In spiritual direction, the focus is on developing and strengthening the relationship with God. The director’s job is to encourage awareness of God’s presence and assist directees on their spiritual journey. In both cases, the Holy Spirit sets the agenda and the counselor, or director, listens intently to the Sprit throughout the session.
There is some overlap in the two ministries. Directees may have some kind of emotional/psychological wounds that hinder or preclude an intimate relationship with God and the process of growing into the image of Christ. In that case, they may need pastoral counseling to help identify and eliminate the block. It is essential that those in counseling to “engage with God,” in order to know their true identity in Christ and receive the healing that God so freely offers.
The pastoral counseling relationship ends when the presenting problem is resolved. The relationship in spiritual direction may continue on for a lifetime. We have found that many times people will transition from pastoral counseling to spiritual direction once the presenting problem is healed.
If you desire to experience a deeper richness of life in the Spirit, and/or are in need of biblically-based Christian counseling, please contact us. We will be happy to answer questions and set up a free initial consultation. We’d love to share your journey with you.
P.O. Box 603
Banks, OR 97106