Pastoral care is about relationships with self, others, and that which is beyond or transcends us.
Pastoral care counselors aspire to be fellow travelers, wayfarers or spiritual companions. They seek to join with others in their life experiences. Building relationships based on trust, integrity, honesty, respect, confidentiality, and a sense of humor, they desire to be of service as an individual examines and seeks to understand what is going on within and beyond their lives.
Pastoral care counselors strive to be a resource for strength, refuge and connection by offering a quality of presence meant to encourage expression of emotions and thoughts, hopes and fears. By "keeping a silence", they offer deep listening and receptivity that is supportive without being intrusive. Conversations with pastoral care counselors may evolve into discussions of significance between two human beings.
Hearing a diagnosis, undergoing treatment, living with a disease and its possible ramifications, seeking to be an individual while striving to fulfill a life's purpose, all involve consideration of beliefs, values and meanings. Frequently this experience becomes a time of personal examination and reevaluation, where questions and concerns are voiced, and support is often desired.
A pastoral counselor can help someone seeking growth and comfort in the face of adversity. They may together come to learn about the value and integrity of life and what truly matters, resulting in an intentional, more conscious approach to living.