SPIRITUAL CARE COUNSELING AND CONSULTATION
Transfiguration Counseling and Consulting also offers options for Christian spiritual care in the form of Spiritual Care Counseling and Consultation which integrates aspects of
- Pastoral Counseling
- Spiritual Direction
- Spiritually integrated Life Coaching
These services are separate from traditional clinical mental health counseling or psychotherapy services, and not typically covered by insurance.
Spiritual Care Counseling and Consultation may include one or more of the following:
- Spiritually integrated individual and group coaching and consultation including spiritual education and assessment
- Individual guidance and group programs in prayer and meditation
- Marital and pre-marital counseling/consulting from a sacramental perspective
- Courses, retreats and workshops that promote spiritual growth
- Spiritual Care groups
Common Issues Addressed:
- Psycho-spiritual issues
- Improvement of spiritual health
- Grief and loss (including existential crises)
- Spiritual and vocational discernment
- Faith crisis counseling/consultation
- Marriage and family challenges
- Integration of spirituality with the behavioral sciences
- Spiritual healing practices and using spiritual resources
Transfiguration Counseling and Consulting provides Spiritual Care Counseling and Consultation, that is primarily influenced by Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christian spirituality. The particular influences include Carmelite, Franciscan, Dominican, Benedictine, Salesian, Ignatian, and Palamite spirituality. Transfiguration Counseling and Consulting also appreciates and respects the spiritual traditions of Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed, Pietism, Pentecostal/Charismatic, and Evangelical Christianity.
Spiritual Care Values at Transfiguration Counseling and Consulting
- Respect for Christian religious, theological and spiritual traditions, beliefs and values
- Recognition that spirituality is an important part of the whole person
- A commitment to the ethical practice of experiential spiritual care and education
- A commitment to restoring spiritual health and combating spiritual abuse
- A commitment to meaningful prayer and meditation practice
What is Pastoral Counseling?
Pastoral Counseling is the integration of modern psychological thought and method with traditional religious training in an effort to address psycho-spiritual issues. Pastoral counselors utilize resources such as prayer, Bible study, spiritual practices, and community resources to help guide people on their journey of healing and holiness.
What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction is the practice of walking alongside people as they strive to deepen their relationship with God and grow in their own personal spirituality. A spiritual director listens and asks questions to help the client in their reflection and spiritual growth.
In Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Christian traditions, the spiritual director or spiritual father (elder) advises and teaches others with wisdom gained from the Holy Spirit and through ascetic practices.
What is Spiritually Informed Life Coaching?
Life coaches help people identify where they are now, and where they want to be, and how to bridge the gap. It is an action-oriented and solution-focused approach that helps people create practical plans to achieve their goals. Coaches help people develop effective strategies that help define purpose, overcome obstacles, improve relationships, set goals, define values, and navigate the changes and transitions in life. Spiritually informed coaches help people to live the life they were created for by unlocking one’s God-given potential.
How is Spiritual Care Counseling and Consultation Different from Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Psychotherapy?
The main focus of psychotherapy and mental health counseling is the treatment of mental illness, as well as the improvement of client wellness by addressing cognitions, emotions, beliefs, and behaviors.
The main focus of Spiritual Care Counseling and Consultation is spiritual health and growth as it integrates insights from the psychological or behavioral sciences with spirituality in order to improve overall client wellness.
Christian spirituality recognizes that each and every person, despite our fallen nature and fallen world, is created in the image of God. The goal of the Christian life is to grow in holiness and achieve glorification (sometimes called “deification” or “theosis” in Eastern Christianity) or union with God. As well as communion with God, Christian spirituality focuses on love and service of others, and building the Kingdom of God.
St. Benedict of Nursia is the founder of Western monasticism and he emphasized liturgy, silence, order and detachment. The tradition of Lectio Divina (the reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation of the Scriptures) is included in the Benedictine, Carthusian, and Cistercian traditions. Benedictine spirituality emphasizes manual labor, piety, asceticism, silence, community, prayer, and spiritual reading.
Carmelite spirituality emphasizes a deep experience of union and friendship with God through “contemplation” and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Important Carmelite spiritual influences come from St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, and St. Edith Stein. In St. Teresa’s Interior Castle (and other places) there is an emphasis on the divine indwelling. There is an emphasis on Scripture, liturgy, silence, and ascetism.
Spirituality of St. Francis de Sales
The spirituality of St. Francis de Sales (author of Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise of Divine Love) emphasizes everyday holiness and that everyone is capable of becoming a saint. There is an emphasis on devotion to Christ in the Eucharist, devotion to Mary, joyful learning, and commitment to the Church. There is a focus in finding God in the moment and in loving one’s neighbor.
The spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola emphasizes finding God’s will and making decisions free from unhealthy attachments, and finding God in all things. St. Ignatius highlighted prayer, self-awareness and union with Jesus Christ. Both St Francis de Sales and St. Ignatius of Loyola’s concept of “holy indifference” teaches us to detach with love.
Eastern Christian and Palamite Spirituality
The spirituality of St. Gregory of Palamas emphasizes an experiential vision of God which is achieved through the practice of hesychasm (stillness). Palamite spirituality is concerned with “theosis” or “deification” which occurs in contemplative prayer as man is transformed by God’s divine energies. Palamite spirituality finds its origins in the Desert Fathers (Philokalia) and early Church saints. The Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner” is a hallmark of Eastern Christian contemplative prayer.
Spiritual Care Groups
Spiritual care groups are formed when a group of Christians meet together to work on personal life challenges and spiritual growth. They are typically led by a therapist, life coach, or spiritual director.
Shining Like the Sun Program
Shining Like the Sun is a series of meditations developed by Dr. Crete that integrate Eastern Christian mystic traditions with Western Catholic meditation practices in order to overcome depression, anxiety, and trauma symptoms and develop a deeper connection with God.