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 are Pastoral Counselors Different?
Most Pastoral Counselors are ordained ministers, priests, or rabbis who are certified by one or more of the following clinical organizations:
The American Association of Pastoral Counselors
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists
The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education
The National Board for Certified Counselors and Affiliates
Some Pastoral Counselors are licensed as Professional Counselors, some as Marital and Family Therapists, and some are licensed as Clinical Pastoral Therapists by the State of Tennessee. Dr. Lovett is licensed as both Professional Counselor and as Clinical Pastoral Therapist.