I’ll be accepting my first spiritual counseling clients sometime in September, a step I’ve been working towards for a long time now. I’m very excited to be moving in this direction. Spiritual counseling has been something I've felt called to do for many years now. I graduated in 2004 with my masters in social work, so I have a background in counseling. I spent the majority of the years since then as a stay at home mom, and over the past couple of years, studying for priestess work, community ministry and spiritual direction. But, you might be wondering, what exactly is spiritual counseling?
Spiritual counseling (also called pastoral counseling- I’ve opted to use spiritual counseling to help drop some of the religious connotations that come from the word pastoral) is a form of counseling from a spiritual perspective. Through spiritual counseling, one faces and addresses life issues with spiritual guidance and understanding in mind. The spiritual aspect is forefront- what are the gods, the ancestors, the spirits of a place or land telling us? What and where is the Universe guiding us? How can we overcome our problems by listening to the Divine? Where in our lives does the Divine need to be accepted?
It is also about spiritual well-being. Spiritual counseling doesn’t necessarily have to be about life problems- it can be used to help explore your own spirituality, and nurture your spirit. Spiritual wellbeing is an important part of self care that is often ignored. Remember, spirituality has little to do with religion. Spirituality is defined as “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” An even simpler definition is a sense of connection to something greater than the self.
I’m here to listen, and help you work to overcome whatever problems you have a need to talk about. We are under no obligation to focus on spiritual problems- we can discuss and work on work problems, life issues, relationships, depression, grief, abuse, anger management, and substance abuse to name a few. But unlike psychotherapy and other forms of therapy, we’ll be approaching the resolutions and goals of these problems from a spiritual perspective.
Spiritual counseling can involve different types of approaches to addressing issues: prayer, myth and lore study, ritual, journaling, shadow work, guided meditation and journey work. First and foremost, however, is communication. Most sessions will be you talking, and me listening to both you, and to the Divine, and hopefully, aiding you into hearing those messages as well. Is there a pattern the Universe is presenting that is being overlooked? Together, we can examine the things going on in your life and find out.
What sort of work can be done in sessions? What sort of problems can we address? I would love to say all problems, but of course, that isn’t possible. I will repeat it often: I am not a psychotherapist, and I cannot (and do not wish to) diagnose you. There are some problems I will tell you if I think you should seek a trained psychotherapist, although I’m still willing to work with you at the same time. In fact, I still recommend seeing a professional therapist for mental and psychological help , mainly because I think it’s important for there to be a balanced approach to our self care. I will focus on your spiritual care, and a psychotherapist is going to focus on other aspects of your life.
While attending a retreat, a fellow priestess used the term torch bearer in her workshop to refer to this type of spiritual work. It resonated deeply for me because that's how I see the role of a spiritual counselor. To hold the torch for those who don't want to face the dark alone, to shine light within the underground of your soul. I cannot heal you, however. I can help, but the bulk of the work is for you to do in order to find the right way to heal yourself. I can guide you, but only you can take the steps necessary to face your shadows and find your way through the labyrinth.
You might wonder if you have to be a certain religion, or spiritual path. The answer is no- I aim to serve those that wish to seek my services. This isn’t about my practice- I’m not here to tell anyone what gods or goddesses to find and work with, or what path and tradition to tread- I’m here to help you find the voice of the sacred and divine that is a part of your life. Together, we can examine what’s going on spiritually and within your life, and work to overcome them using spiritually based tools.
And while I am a pagan priestess, I am not limited to serving only the pagan community. I am open to working with anyone who is open and willing. There is a lack of pagan support within our society, however, which is one of the many reasons I felt compelled to walk the path I am on now.
If you are interested in receiving spiritual counseling, I invite you to reach out. You can make an appointment for a 15 minute meet and greet here for more information email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.