Life was never designed to be streamlined. While navigating the confusing twists and sharp turns, we’re all bound to lose our way at least once.
For those of us who stumble into substance abuse and addiction, correcting course becomes substantially more difficult. As you may well know, addiction can be ridden with feelings of shame and absolute hopelessness.
Thankfully, if you’re ready to get sober, you don’t have to embark on the recovery journey alone.
If you’ve tried therapy before and it didn’t prove helpful and/or you’re looking for a different approach to therapy, there is one therapeutic route that’s more spiritually-focused than most others. And thankfully, it’s as easy as beginning to talk to a pastor.
What is Pastoral Counseling?
Pastoral counseling is a therapeutic approach that utilizes both psychological and theological practices and concepts. While its foundation is similar to other therapeutic processes, pastoral counseling differs by its inclusion of spirituality and faith.
What Can You Talk to Your Pastor About?
Pastoral counselors provide guidance based on the belief that when one learns how to explore their soul and spirit, they can truly start to heal and grow in a holistic, righteous way. Additionally, pastoral counselors usually include prayer and scripture study in counseling sessions.
For individuals living with a mental health or substance use issue, there are pastoral counselors who are specifically trained in the behavioral sciences and substance abuse fields.
3 Benefits of Pastoral Counseling
1. Begin a more holistic, self-discovery journey.
The effects of addiction are multifaceted. It can change you physically, psychologically and spiritually. But because substance use disorders are usually the result of a deeper issue, pastoral counseling helps addicts navigate to their core and truly tap into their heart and soul.This work is incredibly hard, but by peeling back the complex layers of life, an addict can address every unsettled issue that lives inside them. The process of rediscovering who they really are promotes every aspect of an individual’s being – mind, body, soul – to be recognized, explored, nurtured, healed and further developed.
2. Receive guidance from Christ-lead therapists and advisors.
You were created to be extraordinary and do beautiful, purposeful things. Addiction, however, turns us blind to who we were created to be and what we were made to do. Talking to a pastor helps individuals clear the frightening fog from their life through inspiring, life-changing support and mentorship.
Pastoral counselors have a calling to help those who are struggling with severe inner distress. With a divine mission to serve Christ by serving those in need, pastoral counselors help individuals return to the unique person they know is still inside them – the person they were made to be.
3. Reestablish a connection with a higher power.
Before pursuing pastoral counseling, one may have abandoned their connection with God, or never explored a relationship with Him yet. Both routes are welcome within pastoral counseling.
Effects & Outcomes of Pastoral Counseling
The effects and benefits of pastoral counseling are not magic, however. Individuals who pursue this route must remain open, honest, vulnerable and committed. The reward for devoting oneself to a faith-based therapeutic process can lead to complete self-transcendence, where a new or renewed connection is forged with God, and His eternal love is felt through and through.
A restored relationship with God can help those struggling with addiction:
- Understand their past
- Realize their full potential
- Design a prosperous future through God’s eyes
- Reignite a deep love for oneself
Luckily, learning to talk to a pastor about your addiction can help awaken your spirituality. Read our post on the five ways you can restore your relationship with God during addiction treatment.
Covenant Hills: A Christian-Based Treatment Center in Orange County, CA
Because your entire being is affected by addiction, your mind, body and spirit must be given the attention and nurturing they deserve to fully heal. At Covenant Hills, we take a Whole Person Approach to drug and alcohol rehab. We work with every aspect of you to ensure complete care and healing. This includes your psychological, emotional, physical, nutritional, fitness and spiritual needs. Learn about our Christian-based drug rehab programs, or contact us for a free and confidential assessment.