I received word earlier this week that I have been accepted into the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Pastoral Counseling program at Neumann University.
So what does this mean? Well, in addition to being able to provide clinical social work services (which focus on helping people utilize social resources to help themselves better themselves), I will be able to provide pastoral counseling services as I complete the program. Pastoral counseling is a field which provides traditional counseling, but also is gifted in helping those who have religious or spiritual issues.
Clinical pastoral counselors help facilitate the mental and spiritual healing of people. They provide the same services as other professional counselors and therapists, but use the patient’s religious beliefs to assist with counseling. Clinical pastoral counselors typically work with other healthcare professionals in hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other clinical institutions and clinics.
It is not necessary for aspiring clinical pastoral counselors to be ordained. However, the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) states that the typical educational track for this field includes seminary education in addition to college study in a mental health field (http://www.acpe.edu). Other options for clinical pastoral counseling education include a certification program provided by the ACPE (this is me, folks).
Working clinical pastoral counselors are mental health professionals and must therefore gain official licensure in order to practice. Educational requirements for this license vary by state and might require counselors to have a graduate degree in a mental health or counseling field.
Here is an interesting article on the history of how pastoral counseling has been developing over the years.
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR NATE’S AVAILABILITY?
First off, I don’t plan to reduce my hours. If you see me on Monday or Friday, you won’t be affected. People who see me on Wednesday will be most affected, and may be asked to be somewhat flexible, possibly seeing me on Tuesday night instead for a time, if I have a class on Wednesday. Late day Thursday people may be affected at some point in the future, but they are welcome to see me on Tuesday if needed.
However, this will not be on a regular basis. Essentially I have classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays throughout the course of the program. However, the way the program works, the classes would be two classes a semester, one class a week. At this time, I don’t project having to make any significant changes to my work schedule until the second half of the fall semester. If you have any questions, please contact me.