Statement of Methodology
This thesis project provides a viable solution addressing the problem of a lack of
counseling training in the area of pastoral counseling in the following manner:
This project will present “learning objectives” designed to assist the pastoral
counselor in the area of self-awareness, a critical component enabling one to
This project will establish “best practices” for developing the pastoral
counselor’s relational style with clients.
This project will deal with the “critical task” of developing a strategic
approach to couples’ counseling.
This project will recommend two “accomplished practices” for counseling
families in distress.
This project will address the problem of men and internet pornography as well
as propose a group therapy design to be implemented in developing a church
program assisting people in overcoming addictions to internet pornography.
The breakdown of the chapters is as follows:
Chapter One – Conveying the Significance of Core Counseling Competencies in the
Context of Pastoral Care
Chapter one introduces the importance of pastoral counseling and the necessity
for pastors to master five core counseling competencies that are central to this area of
pastoral ministry. Chapter one also states the problem addressed by this thesis project,
affirms the limitations of the thesis project, and delineate definitions that are relevant to
this thesis project. Additionally, chapter one presents the methodology by which the
stated problem will be solved and reviews literature pertinent to research for this thesis
Chapter Two – Knowing Yourself to Guide People
Chapter Two presents core competency number one, “Knowing Yourself to Guide
People,” and is delineated through three personal learning objectives for the pastoral
counselor. The first learning objective unfolds one’s life as it is understood in the present
and poses the reflective question, “who am I right now and how did I get here?” In
addition to personal analysis and reflection, three diagnostic tools were used to support
this portion of the thesis project, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Uniquely You
Professional/Leader Profile diagnostic tool, and the Adjective Checklist ACL diagnostic.
The second learning objective unfolds one’s life as one desires it to be. One’s preferred
life story considers areas in the life of the pastor that need improvement or change. The
third learning objective establishes a plan for change which involves creating master
goals that include the analysis of present realities, the shaping of preferences, structuring
for change, and setting up support and accountability.
Chapter Three – Developing Your Style to Connect with People
Chapter Three discusses core competency number two, “Developing Your Style
to Connect with People,” and is allocated through three “best practices” established for
pastoral counselors engaging individual clients in today’s church. These “best practices”
include learning concepts, skills, and resources necessary to effectively, ethically and
safely approach parishioners within the context of pastoral counseling. In order to master
these “best practices,” pastoral care-givers must address the following critical issues:
First, the pastoral counselor must judge the importance of integrating the Bible into the
counseling model. Second, the pastoral counselor will consider the proper relational style
for creating a context of change and relocation as well as constructing an ethical and safe
environment for counseling. Third, the pastoral therapist resolves to address the
counseling setting, bearing in mind matters of cultural diversity and how one will
influence change within that context. Finally, pastoral counselors are to be astute
strategist especially in the area of Solution-Based Brief Pastoral Counseling (SBBFC).
Chapter Four – Constructing Your Strategy to Mend Marriages
Chapter Four, addresses core competency number three, “Constructing Your
Strategy to Mend Marriages,” and is described as the critical task of developing a
strategic approach to counseling couples. Core competency number three presents many
of the prevailing psychological theories that have formed the basis for strategic therapies
used in couples’ and marriage counseling today. It is important that pastoral counselors
recognize not only the significance of providing spiritual help for their clients, but also
the ability to corroborate appropriate psychological therapies for the purpose of achieving
the holistic wellbeing of the couples being counseled. The information presented in this
chapter discusses the major tenets and techniques associated with an eclectic group of
family theories for the purpose of exposing a cross section of relevant psychological
therapies for implementation when counseling couples in distress. This chapter assumes
that pastoral counselors are already astute in the techniques of spiritual counseling,
therefore, directing most of its information toward the area of Psychology. The collected
facts will provide information to assist pastoral counselors in partnering spiritual and
psychological issues through the basic knowledge of these selected therapies.
Chapter Five – Building Your Plan to Repair Families
Chapter Five speaks to core competency number four, “Building Your Plan to
Repair Families” by recommending two accomplished practices for counseling families
in distress. Accomplished practice one is “embracing a theological foundation”
supporting the psychotherapy provided by the pastoral caretaker in times of crisis.
Accomplished practice two encompasses “mastering Christian Integrative
Psychotherapy,” a combination of relational and cognitive therapy as a primary
therapeutic tool. This integrative approach fits extremely well with the Christian
worldview of most pastoral caregivers.
Appendix B – Structuring Your Church to Restore Men
Appendix B covers “Structuring Your Church to Restore Men,” and addresses the
problem of men and internet pornography as well as a plan for developing a church
program assisting people in overcoming addictions to internet pornography. Because of
the shameful stigma attached to this condition, churches tend to shy away from
constructing a biblical healing process in this critical need area. The information
presented in this chapter unfolds a threefold reparative plan for pastoral counselors of
churches that desire to accept responsibility and exhibit compassion to men who struggle
with the issue of pornography.