PASTORAL COUNSELING REFLECTION PAPER
A Paper Submitted to Dr. Marcus Tanner
In partial Fulfillment of the requirements for
The Course PACO 500 – “Introduction to Pastoral Counseling”
May 18, 2014
Abstract This paper is a reflection of student’s-author pastoral counseling experience. This pastoral experience has been developed within the church denominated “Agape Para el Mundo” of Miami, FL. Discussion is centered on current experiences, expectations, needs and aspirations. Main focus will be the counseling of marriages, interacting with the readings assigned for week 1 of the Pastoral Counseling’s Module 1.
Table of Contents
Student’s Present in Counseling…………………………………………….. 4
New Tasks to Accomplish…………………………………………………... 6
This student is a junior pastor at Agape Para El Mundo, a non-denominated Christian church in Miami, FL, and director, together with his wife, of the marriage ministry since 2012. He completed a Master in Christian Leadership at Liberty University in May of 2013 and presently he is enrolled in obtaining a Christian Counseling Certificate. He serves under the fellowship’s lead pastor with little experience or training in pastoral counseling. He would like to acquire more knowledge in counseling to be able to apply skills acquired in counseling marriages in a more effective manner.
Student’s Present In Counseling As a junior counselor, the goal of this student is to string together several biblical concepts and words, to promote Christian maturity and to guide people to be like Jesus. He should be the ultimate end of any counseling process. This process includes a focus on the relationship of the counselor (me) and counselee with self, with others, and most important with God (Crabb, 1977). Paul wrote, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 - NVI). Paul is saying that the Holy Spirit is transforming our lives to be like Christ.
Upon appointed as director of the marriage ministry at the local church, a sense of happiness, excitement and anxiety was experienced due to the enormous responsibility and little to none experience in counseling. The first advice received from senior Pastor was: “God does not choose the most knowledgeable people but prepare the chosen ones”. This gave me a sense of peace and security in the work to do. One of the first things to do is to understand where this student is within the four temperament model for human behavior as described by M. Carbonell in its book, “How to Solve the People Puzzle” (M. Carbonell, P. 14). It was found that student’s best description is that he is in the Active/Task oriented temperament. As a “D”, student tends to be driven, determined, demanding, decisive and direct. However, student gives equal importance to the results than to the details.
Student current needs include the ability to participate more in counseling sessions with senior counselors to acquire more experience in the area; also, to be able to understand how to apply all material learned in this class in a proper and practical way, understanding that “the primary counselor is always the Holy Spirit” (C.A. Kollar, Preface P. 7). Student’s big advantage in that managing the marriage ministry provides the opportunity to counsel people more frequently and these counseling sessions are presently guided by senior counselors. One of the biggest and most important resources encountered is the book “Biblical Counseling” by Dr. T. Clinton and Dr. R. Hawkins. This book as expressed by the authors, “ will help student in delivering effective counseling and short-term help to those in need, and will provide essential