Friday, September 27, 2013

Counseling in all Catholic Parishes

There is a need, says an article in the Catholic Times, to set up permanent places in parishes for counseling. Many of our Catholics are seeking psychological and spiritual help but not only are there few counseling centers but the number of those who have the training to help are few. It becomes a problem of supply and demand.

In our complicated society  our problems are not limited to the psychological realm, but include the spiritual as well, perhaps both being best addressed together. The solution suggested would designate certain parishes in a deanery, or some other area, where qualified persons, on a voluntary basis, will be available for those  seeking help. At  present, such places that offer qualified volunteers the opportunity to serve this much needed function is missing.

Where this function is available as part of parish life, not only Catholics are served, but everyone in the nearby vicinity looking for healing is also served. As of now it depends on the disposition of the parish leaders whether to allow this or not, with many believing it should be universally systematized within the Korean Church.

A priest of the  Korean Catholic Counseling Psychological Association is quoted as saying: "At present, within and outside the Church, the precise nature of the qualifications of the volunteers has to be solved to the satisfaction of the public. The continuing  education of the members and support for their activities will  not only be helpful to the individual but to parish life as a whole." Less than ten percent of those who are qualified, he said, are now working in the diocese, in parishes, and in the institutions of the Church.

Many of the dioceses have successfully incorporated these programs into the infrastructure of the diocese. One of the leaders in the Seoul diocese hopes that in each of the parishes there will be a permanent place for qualified counselors to spend some time during the week to help those that want it.  There will continue to be a need, the priest says, to gain the public's confidence and support that psychological and spiritual counseling is more necessary than ever before, as living in the modern world becomes more challenging and stressful for all of us.

1 comment:

  1. Hey,

    I am Catholic and doing my masters in clinical psychology and counselling. I also hope that more parishes employ counsellors systematically. I think it would also be great for priests to brush up on the latest counselling techniques. Funny enough, I'm trying to figure out a way to work in korea in the future. So this post was a convergence of a whole bunch of things I'm interested in. :)

    God Bless,