Short-term pastoral counseling: educational and pedagogical aspects

Olgierd Benedyktowicz



In the first part of an article author is presenting the basic idea and historical facts concerning pastoral counseling. Pastoral counseling refers to caring ministries that are more structured and focused on specifically articulated need or concern. Next, the concept of short-term pastoral counseling is introduced. The main idea of this kind of pastoral care is presented. The viewpoint in this part is, that short-term pastoral counseling methods, for most people encountered in the parish, are not only as good as longer methods, but are actually better because they take less time and are equally effective. Also, the ethics of long-term versus short-term methods are here discussed. The short-term pastoral counseling can be also discussed from the educational and pedagogical perspectives. At least there are two important aspects: at first, in the short-term pastoral counseling it is possible to distinguish methods and approaches which are present also in works of Carl Rogers on education (Rogers C. R, Freedom to Learn for the 80’s; Rogers C. R, On Becoming a Person). The idea of “facilitation” as well as concepts of “contract, mutual evaluation, helping relationship” are essential and characteristic in so called “Rogers’s pedagogy and education”. The other aspect which has been discussed concerns pedagogy of religion, specifically a hermeneutical theory of human experience. There is demand, that religious education should be related not only to the text, but rather to the significant human experience. This is realize in the process of pastoral counseling, since this kind of pastoral care is focused on person in the crucial or crisis situation.

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