Barnabas Member Care
Description of Services
Pastoral counseling seeks to help you know and understand what it means to embrace your identity in Christ and to experience freedom from some of the spiritual hindrances and burdens that Christian workers encounter in ministry. Pastoral counseling is not so much focused on emotional issues and behavioral change as it is focused on offering the kind of pastoral presence and resources that help you safely explore spiritual, relational, and emotional growth. This includes providing a discerning listening ear that facilitates heart level sharing and engaging in conversation that can bring about new insights. The types of issues that might lead you to pursue pastoral counseling include life transitions, stressful team dynamics, conflict, isolation, and marital concerns. Pastoral counselors do not primarily provide answers to life’s questions, but rather encourage you to look with hope to God, who is the source of truth as we also deal with the harsh realities of life in a fallen world.
Clinical counseling is recommended when you struggle with emotional or relational difficulties that affect your ability to live well, work, or have good relationships. If you are troubled with behaviors, thoughts, or emotions that you cannot seem to overcome, a clinical counselor can often help. Issues that may lead someone to seek clinical counseling might include depression, anxiety, relational problems, addictions, or marriage/family concerns. Clinical counseling will address all aspects of your functioning, including spiritual issues. Our clinical counselors understand that spiritual and faith concerns are often present during emotional and relational struggles and will invite you to explore those, if you wish. Clinical counseling usually involves multiple meetings. The counselor will work with you to set specific counseling goals and meet with you regularly as those are accomplished. Clinical counselors can often help you to understand the causes of your significant struggles as part of working with you to find a solution. Sometimes it can be helpful to work with a clinical counselor AND a life coach, spiritual director, or pastoral care provider. Each discipline provides a different focus in helping you on your journey towards healing and growth.
Christian Life Coaching
Christian life coaching is an ongoing conversation that can empower you or your team to fully live out God’s calling – in your life and profession. The goals of life coaching are for you to identify and clarify goals and resources, discover new things about yourself, and take action to reshape your life around that learning, illuminated and guided by the Holy Spirit. Life coaching is not the same as counseling or mentoring although some of the methodology may be similar. Christian life coaching is generally recommended for a psychologically and emotionally healthy person who wants a collaborative partner to help clarify and move toward goals–whether personal, professional, or spiritual–in order to affect significant positive growth or change. You might seek a life coach if you want help to develop a path toward achieving a goal when feeling stuck, and/or address transitions in life, location, employment or ministry.
If you are planning an upcoming Sabbatical, we highly recommend working with a Sabbatical Coach. A Sabbatical Coach is simply someone who will walk alongside you as you plan and carry out your Sabbatical. They will help you develop structure and direction for your Sabbatical, and then check in with you along the way. They are trained to ask good questions to help you pay attention to how God might be speaking to you in the process. It is typical to meet with a Sabbatical Coach on a monthly basis starting in the weeks leading up to the Sabbatical launch, and then continuing through to the end. We recommend that you form a Sabbatical team that includes a Sabbatical Coach as well as others to give you input (e.g., local peers, a counselor, spiritual director, etc.)
Spiritual direction focuses on your ongoing abiding in Christ and how you are either responding to the Spirit in trust or resisting the Spirit by depending on yourself (flesh). The Holy Spirit is the “director” of our lives and time with a spiritual director directs our attention to the presence and activity of God in our lives so that we may grow in our responsiveness to him. Spiritual direction can be a normative spiritual practice for those who are seeking to grow in such awareness. Some might pursue spiritual direction during particular seasons of life such as times of transition, spiritual dryness, or feeling spiritually isolated. You can expect a slowed conversation, open ended questions to allow for reflection, and attentiveness to God and the Word for increased awareness of God's presence and activity in all of your life and vocation.
Cross-cultural living is an uneven journey with many unexpected twists and turns. Good times and hard times are woven together into a tapestry made up of great joys, gains and satisfaction alongside losses and grief, cumulative stress, and perhaps even the lingering effects of traumatic experiences. A personal debriefing gives you the opportunity to talk about many aspects of your experience of cross-cultural living and, especially, how it has impacted your thoughts and feelings. This type of debriefing allows you to process and integrate these experiences into your life story. Personal debriefings are recommended at regular intervals in a global worker’s ministry life.
A crisis debriefing gives you the opportunity to process a traumatic event with a trained debriefer. The goal is to gain perspective about what happened and to better understand the impact of the event. The crisis debriefer will help you to talk through the trauma you experienced and will give you some resources educating you about common reactions to crises. Together you will discuss plans for how to cope and what resources might be helpful for you as you recover from the traumatic event. Typically a crisis debriefing will take 2-3 hours depending on the nature of the event and the number of people involved. The crisis debriefer may recommend follow up care for you including counseling or pastoral care if needs become evident that are beyond the scope of a crisis debriefing.