Spiritual Counselor Careers
What is Spiritual Counseling?
For many people, spiritual beliefs are very important - and these people may not be too far off. Some researchers, for instance, equate a person’s well being with the combined health of a person’s mind, body, and soul. Perhaps this is why a spiritual crisis in some people’s lives may result in upheaval and crises in the rest of their lives.
Spiritual counseling is a type of counseling that focuses on a person’s spiritual side. There are a couple reasons why a person may consider spiritual counseling. First of all, they may seek out a spiritual counseling in order to explore or solidify their own personal spiritual beliefs. Some people might also seek out the guidance of spiritual counselors when they need help solving other problems in their lives, based on their spiritual beliefs.
Although the term “spiritual counselor” might bring to mind images of meditating yoga masters or bible toting priests, there are actually all types of spiritual counselors. Some of these counselors are denominational, and they do follow one specific religious or spiritual path, like Christianity or Buddhism. Others, however, may be non-denominational, and may incorporate several different religions or spiritual aspects into their counseling. In general, these types of spiritual counselors usually believe that there is a higher force above us that interconnects us to each other and the rest of the world.
When it comes down to it, spirituality is becoming more and more important in many people’s lives, particularly as they grow up. As we get older, we may begin to question the spiritual beliefs that we were taught as a child, and strike out to solidify our own set of beliefs. Also as we get older, we may find that we’ve gotten lost as we tread down our spiritual path and find ourselves in need of guidance. Because of these situations, there will always be a need for spiritual counselors and leaders.
How do I Become a Spiritual Counselor?
To become a spiritual counselor you will need to go through a rather rigorous amount of schooling. This includes obtaining a Bachelor's Degree, then a Master's Degree, and finally entering into a Doctorate or PhD program. If you are serious about entering into this field of study, request information from programs available for you here.
Why Do We Need Spiritual Counselors?
Individuals who feel as though they are missing their spirituality or those who feel lost in their own spiritual beliefs will often feel lost in life in general. Some may even feel as though a part of their souls are fractured or even missing. Needless to say, these are not good feelings.
Spiritual counselors can help individuals with most matters related to spirituality and faith, unlike many other mental health counselors that are bound by the limitations of science.
What Does a Spiritual Counselor Do?
A spiritual counselor typically aims to help guide and advise individuals on all types of matters, whether they are spiritual in nature or not. Most spiritual counselors will counsel individuals regarding traditional mental disorders, for instance, such as depression and anxiety, as well as more spiritually based problems. Of course, the type of work a spiritual counselor performs will typically be determined by each individual client.
Some clients may need help exploring or even discovering their spiritual or religious beliefs. They may feel conflicted or confused and start to doubt their own beliefs that were ingrained in them for years, for example, or they may simply need guidance in order to figure out what their beliefs are.
Aspects used during spiritual counseling will also usually vary, depending on what type of counselor that a client works with. Denominational spiritual counselors may incorporate prayer and other religious aspects into counseling sessions, for example. They often believe strongly in the power of prayer, as do their clients. Prayer helps them feel stronger and gives them the feeling that a higher power is at work helping them get through tough times.
Non-denominational spiritual counselors, on the other hand, won’t usually incorporate specific aspects of one religion into their counseling sessions. They may, however, incorporate several different aspects of several different religions into counseling sessions.
In general, one of the main goals of spiritual counselors is to help people reach a state of awareness, or self-realization. They act as cheerleaders, motivators, and mirrors, which can help people finally realize that they are unique and amazing beings in and of themselves. After working with spiritual counselors, many individuals will finally realize their own strengths and abilities, and focus on becoming better people. However, spiritual counseling also helps people realize just how interconnected they are with the rest of the world.
Where Do Spiritual Counselors Work?
Denominational spiritual counselors may choose to work in houses of worship and other religious organizations. This might include churches, synagogs, mosques, and temples. Other spiritual counselors, however, might work in places like general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, hospice care centers, social and human service offices, detention centers, non-profit organizations, or anywhere else they may be needed.
Many spiritual counselors, however, choose to open their own practices, as they may find it difficult to find full time paying positions with a spiritual counseling career.
What Are the Education Requirements For a Spiritual Counseling Career?
|Education Requirements||Education Length||Available Programs|
|Undergraduate Work||Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling||4 Years||Online or Campus|
|Graduate Work||Earn a Master's Degree in Counseling||5-6 Years||Online or Campus|
|PHD or Doctoral Work||Earn a Doctorate in Counseling||7-8 Years||Online or Campus|
There are no strict education requirements for starting a spiritual counseling career, and the backgrounds of many spiritual psychologists are very diverse. However, many spiritual counselors will earn degrees in such areas as counseling, theology, religious studies, psychology, or social work.
In addition to education, spiritual counselors should also have a good idea of what their own spiritual beliefs are. Typically, they are very spiritual individuals, and they often follow a strict spiritual path. Some spiritual counselors may even study under prominent spiritual leaders in their field.
What is the Average Salary of a Spiritual Counselor?
Because not many organizations keep track of the salaries of spiritual counselors, determining your salary should you start a spiritual counseling career can be somewhat difficult. Typically, though, a spiritual counselor’s salary is usually determined by their job duties and what area they work in.
Mental health counselors in general, for example, made an average salary of $42,590 in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the salary range for professionals in specific fields varied drastically.