Narrative Counseling

While there are those who specialize in Narrative Counseling, there are some basic aspects to it that can be of value to those who seek to do Pastoral Counseling.

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Pastoral Theology at PBTS

Dr. Doug Dickens of Gardner-Webb University is spending 2 weeks at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS) to teach a module in Pastoral Theology. Dr. Dickens is a Diplomate Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education/Training with CPSP in the US. We have found his previous visits a great blessing and are thankful for spending time with us.

 

7 Rules of Pastoral Conversation

Theologian Max Warren (1904-1977) came up with 7 Rules for Interreligious Dialogue (IRD). Each of these are quite valuable. But each of them seem also to provide the basis for an equivalent rule for Pastoral Conversation. So we will list each rule both for IRD and for Pastoral Conversation (PC).

Rule #1:  Acceptance of our Common Humanity

IRD.  Dialogue is not between two ideologies or religions, but between two people… created in the image of God. 

PC.  The client is not a label or a category of person. The client is a human being created in God’s image… fearfully and wonderfully made.

Rule #2:  Divine Omnipresence

IRD.  Entering into a dialogue, one is not entering alone. God is there, and has prepared the situation long before one arrived.  

PC.  Expect that God is present in every pastoral conversation and before every conversation.

Rule #3:  Accepting the best in the other

IRD.  Don’t focus on what is bad about other religions… also freely acknowledge their good points. Be open to admit failings in one’s own faith as well.

PC.  Enter the conversation non-judgmentally. The client is not defined by his or her weaknesses and failures. Acknowledge you have weaknesses as well… as a ‘wounded healer.’

Rule #4:  Identification

IRD.  Attempt to understand them as if you were one of them. Think incarnationally.  Imaginatively “walk in their shoes” to understand what they believe, why they believe it, and why it makes sense to them.

PC.  Try to understand the client’s situation through the eyes of the client. Seek, as much as possible, to understand what he/she is going through.

Rule #5:  Courtesy

IRD.  Dialogue with identifiable respect– identifiable by the other in ones words, demeanor, and actions.

PC.  Respect your client, and demonstrate that respect in word and deed.

Rule #6:  Interpretation

IRD.  Sharing one’s faith to another is not one of proclamation or didactics. Rather it is one of interpretation… contextualization… translation. Attempting to make one’s faith understandable within the symbol structure of the other, NOT one’s own structure.

PC.  Demonstrate God’s love and message for the client in a manner that the client can identify with and respond to. This means focusing on how he/she thinks and feels rather than how you think and feel.

Rule #7.  Expectation

IRD.  God is at work in the dialogue, and one should be expectant that this work will ultimately bear fruit in one way or another… in the other AND in oneself. 

PC.  God ultimately is the great healer. As such, recognize that God is the one who is at work and will continue to work long after the conversation is over.

While it is certain that these are not all the rules associated with pastoral conversation (for example, a good 8th rule is that one should listen more and talk less), these 7 still are a good starting place —both in interreligious dialogue, and pastoral conversation.

Pastoral Care Conferences

There are a couple of major Pastoral Care Conferences in Baguio City, in the next few months.

A.  April, 2017. Information below:

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B.  January 2018. The Grimes, Relationship Trainers and Consultants will join the Lide-Walker Bible Conference, at Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, Baguio City.

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These are partnerships between Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary and Bukal Life Care

 

Training Visits

We recently enjoyed the visit of Dr. Raymond Lawrence, General Secretary of CPSP, to our headquarters in Baguio City, Philippines, as well as his work with our friends and partners at St. Andrews Theological Seminary in Manila, and Central Philippine University in Iloilo.

But we have others coming as well.

January 16-20, Dr. Ryan Clark, member of the Board of Trustees of CPSP-Philippines will be in Baguio for a short visit. He is coming at the invitation of our partner, Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary to teach a short course, “Intro to Pastoral Care and Counseling.” During his visit we will also have our Board of Trustees meeting of CPSP-Philippines.

April 10-28, Dr. Doug Dickens, Diplomate of CPSP, will be in the Philippines, Baguio and Manila to provide training. He will be teaching two modules at PBTS, tentatively “Pastoral Theology” and “Crisis Counseling.” He will also holding a seminar in pastoral care. More information to follow.

 

Pastoral Care Books Arrived

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The Pastoral Care book (titled, “The Art of Pastoral Care”) just arrived in the mail. It is written by Bob and Celia Munson, for use for CPO, Intro to Pastoral Care, and (perhaps) first unit of CPE. They are presently working on a follow up volume for advanced units of CPE.

At the present, the book is available on Amazon for about 9 dollars (US), and Kindle for $2.50. We are looking for more cost effective options for paper copies in the Philippines.