Discuss the Usefulness of Pastoral Counselling as an Option for Enabling Growth and Development Within the Caribbean/Jamaican Context.

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Pastoral counselors are clergy who have received graduate training in both religion and behavioral science for a clinical practice that integrates psychological and theological disciplines. Pastoral counselors believe that there is a God in whose image and likeness we are created. They believe that we yearn for a transforming connection with the divine, and that psychotherapy can mediate the loving and healing nature of being itself. Pastoral counselors also make therapeutic use of traditional religious resources such as prayer, Scripture reading, and participation in the worship and community life of a congregation. They pay special attention to the religious history of the client and his or her family, noting how it may contribute to the suffering or resources needed for coping. One psychiatrist has called pastoral counseling "clinical theology" - the search for a revelation of love, forgiveness, and good news to people who have been in bondage to their feelings and the past. Pastoral Counseling is a unique form of counseling which uses spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing and growth. It is provided by Pastoral Counselors who are not only mental health professionals but persons who have in-depth religious and theological training. Most pastoral counselors are ordained clergy or persons otherwise endorsed by a religious faith group.

Pastoral Counseling has evolved through the years from religious and spiritual counseling to pastoral psychotherapy which integrates theology and the behavioral sciences. Pastoral Counseling has now become a major provider of mental health services in this country, accounting for over 3 million hours of treatment annually in both institutional and private settings. It is offered through individual, group, marital, and family therapy. How is Pastoral Counselors Different?

We provide a full range of mental health services. These services are provided by licensed clinicians, with years of...
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