Communication Strategy in Pastoral Counseling

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, Communication, Psychology Pages: 9 (2804 words) Published: June 7, 2010
CS in PC 1

Communication Strategy; Use in Pastoral Counseling
Rosa Menchen
COMM 200
Instructor B. Matts
May 24, 2010

CT in PC 2
I not only plan on furthering my career, but attending post graduate school, and obtain a MDiv. My ultimate goal is to become a health care chaplain, and/or an emergency chaplain. Having previous experience in the health care field, as well as a chaplaincy in the American Legion for several years, I have found that pursuit of this goal would not only be of benefit for me, and my family, but also for the people I will eventually have contact with. All too often I have found that people from all walks of life have faced tremendous trials at the least expected times. During these times of great distress, many people for some reason or another felt lost and alone; their spirits aching and their hearts in pain from fear and loneliness during their time of great need. On another side of the spectrum, we have people that for some reason or another have failed in their relationships, jobs, and other life's journeys as a result of poor interpersonal relationship skills, (Collins, 2007).

I have as a nurse, taken counseling and psychiatric courses, as well as Christian counseling courses. I have discovered for myself the inherent value of achieving satisfactory interpersonal relationships by learning effective communication strategies. I desire to examine the effectiveness of these techniques for use during pastoral counseling. I also plan on teaching these techniques as an adjunct to pastoral counseling, to help those being counseled improve their interpersonal skills, (Collins, 2007), (Hybels & Weaver, 2007), (Stewart, 2006).

Before the use of communication techniques can be effective, the barriers to effective communication must be assessed, examined and exposed. During this time a sort of care plan can be developed, designed for the individuals involved in the counseling sessions. A game plan of sorts with exercises to reinforce learning of better communication skills can be implemented along with a customized plan to aid in emotional and spiritual recovery. This type of life skill instruction is instrumental in helping people to realize that they can be in control of their emotions’, and most of all their hurtful and alienating behaviors. For emergency circumstances, the emergency, people involved and their belief systems must be assessed, and the communication skills of the pastoral counselor CT in PC 3

must be first kicked into gear as an active listener. For that plan of action, a general care plan that can be utilized in those circumstances (something that ALL pastoral and health care practitioners can use) is vital in order to provide immediate and consistent spiritual support. During the time of emergent distress, people react differently to the stressors. The pastoral counselor must be adept at active listening in order for counseling to be productive, and the needs and desires of the people involved to be known, (Hybels & Weaver, 2007), (Mottram, 2007), (Collins, 2007).

When people are in need of pastoral counseling, whether it be in a critical emergent situation, or a chronic persistent state of negativity, the purpose is the same; observe, evaluate, and create a plan that the clients can use in their lives to facilitate effective communication, and learn strategies for dealing with conflict. This conflict may be with interpersonal relationships, or with the individual’s belief systems. In the acute care cases, it very well could be with not only family members, but the hospital staff also, (Mottram, 2007), (Collins, 2007).

I plan on covering the barriers to effective interpersonal relationships, possible causes and solutions, assessing communication skills and how to improve them, managing interpersonal conflicts, and the use of active, passive, and empathetic listening on the part of the pastoral counselor, and its effect on those who learn it...

References: Collins, G. (1997). Christian Counseling; a comprehensive guide, (3rd. ed.). Nashville, Tennessee:
Thomas Nelson
DeLashmut, Glover, Patch. (2010). Introduction to Pastoral Counseling, Servanthood 2: A class for
those seeking effective servanthood, retrieved May 21, 2010 from,
Hybels &Weaver. (2007). Communicating effectively, (8th. ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill
Mottram, K. (2007). Caring for those in crisis: facing ethical dilemmas with patients and families,
Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press
Stewart, J. (2006). Bridges not walls: a book about interpersonal communication, (9th.ed.). Boston:
Mc Graw Hill
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