Resources for Clergy

Sanctuary Counseling Group (SCG) recognizes the needs and stressors of the pastor working within the pastorate and well as the needs of the pastoral family. To this end we offer a number of resources specifically for clergy.

Clergy Educational Resources

SCG Staff can be available for clergy group retreats and workshops on a variety of topics, depending on the needs of your group.

In addition, the following groups and resources specifically designed for clergy and parish care are also offered from time to time. Check the links or contact the resource staff member for scheduling.

Counseling, Assessment, and Consultation

Who cares for the caregivers? The stressors that pastors face in the parish can at times seem overwhelming. While parishioners will often come to the pastor with problems, to whom does the pastor turn for help? As persons trained in both theology and mental health counseling—and with a high standard of confidentiality—SCG counselors are in a unique position to serve the needs of parish clergy and their families.

The most frequently cited reason for leaving the pastorate early is burnout. Burnout is the product of several different factors coming together in the life of a pastor, including the combination of individual personality traits, work environment factors, and spiritual orientation and resources. Knowing how to spot the signs of stress and potential burnout and then how to deal with them can keep you fresh in ministry. Assessment and counseling services are provided by licensed therapists with additional training in both psychological assessment and the unique needs of clergy.

In addition, SCG can provide vocational reassessment and counseling for clergy struggling with their call and their place in parish ministry.

Service Costs

Medical insurances often cover the cost of therapy, usually with a nominal co-pay. Otherwise an adjusted fee can be negotiated with the individual therapist. See our notice of fees.

Confidentiality

The pastor's relationship to the therapist and Sanctuary Counseling Group is a private matter. Even the fact that someone seeks counseling is private and will not be revealed to anyone without the client's consent. As a result, all information is kept strictly confidential (within legal limits) and will not be shared without the pastor's written permission. See our notice of confidentiality.

Reading Recommendations

THE PASTOR'S PERSONA: Self-Awareness, Self-Care, and the Psychology of the Pastor's Role

Pastoral ministry is a vocation unlike any other for a number of reasons. Seminaries do an excellent job of training pastors in the skills necessary for the ministry—preaching and proclamation, teaching and Bible study, exegesis and interpretation, and thinking theologically and ethically about life issues. Yet many new pastors are unprepared for one of the more common aspects of parish life: moving into the role of pastor and adopting the professional persona that often involves the unspoken expectations of parishioners.

The Pastor's Persona by SCG therapist Jonathan Golden, Ph.D., examines the Jungian concept of the persona and how it impacts those in ministry. Certain aspects of persona expectations, particularly those that can become problematic for clergy, are examined. In addition, self-care practices that can ameliorate some of the difficulties pastors can experience when they identify too strongly with their professional persona are also explored.

The first four chapters describe the psychological dynamics of persona and shadow as they relate to the ministry. Subsequent chapters explore the implications of these dynamics for clergy self-care and self-understanding. Chapters five through eight also end with a section on beneficial practices and a discussion of helpful self-care strategies for clergy.

The Pastor's Persona would be especially helpful for those relatively new to the ministry, those within the first five to seven years of serving in a parish, but would also be beneficial for experienced clergy as well.

The book is available for Kindle through Amazon as well as in the Apple iBook Store.


 

Mission Statement

Being dedicated to the healing of heart, mind, and soul, we provide excellent emotional, spiritual, and relational health care to all people of the Carolinas.

Sanctuary Counseling Group is an accredited service center of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the Samaritan Institute.