What is a Pastoral Counselor?

Pastoral Counselors (M.A., M.S., M.div, D.Min)

Pastoral counselors are certified mental health professionals who have had extensive religious/theological/psychological training and clinical training in the behavioral sciences. They may specialize in marriage and family therapy, addiction, grief, and other issues, including serious mental illnesses. They may also provide educational programs on marriage preparation, adjusting to divorce, and coping with loss and grief. They may work in health clinics, state hospitals, private and group practices, congregation-based centers, or in pastoral counseling centers. 

Education and training:

Pastoral counselors typically have a bachelor’s degree, a three-year professional degree, and a specialized master’s or doctoral degree in a mental health field.
The saying " An apple a day keeps the doctor away" applies to counseling as well. Because there are very few people who can go through life, with all of it's challenges, and not, at some time, need someone to talk to about those challenges.

Patricia Jones, M.A.
Online Counseling
If you would like advice or counseling from Patricia Jones, M.A. concerning any issues that you are dealing with, you may choose either Telephone Counseling or E-Mail Counseling via the instructions below:
Instructions for E-mail Counseling and Telephone Counseling & Services and Fees
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What is Online Pastoral Counseling?

Online Pastoral counseling is simply communicating with a qualified, professional Pastoral Counselor by e-mail or telephone counseling sessions.  The client writes the Pastoral Counselor in a journal ( blank page that is provided on the website) his or her concerns, background, issues, and any questions for the Pastoral Counselor that the client wants help with. The Pastoral Counselor responds back via e-mail with help and advice giving encouraging direction. 

Whether you choose only a few e-mail exchanges or an ongoing dialogue with the Pastoral Counselor, over time, you will have the opportunity to share your concerns, pose questions, and gain further insight into the problems you are addressing. 

I also offer  telephone counseling sessions. Please follow these instructions for obtaining telephone counseling sessions.
                                              ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE COUNSELING

There are advantages and disadvantages to online counseling as opposed to face-to-face counseling. Anonymity appeals to a lot of people because some may be more comfortable sharing very personal information about themselves such as victims of abuse and trauma or when it comes to revealing experiences that involve shame. Having all the time that is needed to write e-mails may help some people clarify the issues being addressed and help them focus toward resolution. The convenience of online counseling is a big draw for many as well. People's lives are so hectic at times that it may be impossible to schedule daytime appointments. Distance or disabilities could prevent some from being able to access the Pastoral Counselor of their choice in person.
The most significant drawback of online counseling is not being able to interpret body language, facial expression, tone of voice, and so forth - with the exception of microphone and webcam use. The client, however, may add emotions that they are experiencing in brackets as they go along (ie: smiling now, feel like I am going to start to cry now). Some problems cannot be resolved online. For example, someone who is suicidal should seek immediate in-person assistance and someone suffering from a serious mental health disorder or requiring medication would need ongoing treatment with a face-to-face therapist. 
                                            WORKING TOGETHER TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS

The first step is to make payment, and then write and submit your E-Mail question.  I make every effort to respond to you within 24 hours, and usually it will be sooner.  E-Mail Counseling Instructions.

Or if you are wanting telephone counseling, make the payment and then call the 1-800-899-7301 to have your session or to schedule an appointment at your convenience.  Telephone Counseling Instructions 

By sharing your thoughts, goals, and dreams, and any concerns that you may have about your life situation, I will help you to understand your behavior and reactions, to explore the roots of these issues, and help you find ways to overcome whatever difficulties you are facing.
Sometimes, people just need someone to care about the pain they are feeling and I can offer caring support to validate what you are experiencing. Other times, people need some assistance in understanding why they have low self-esteem or why they repeat negative patterns of behavior in relationships, or why they can't break unhealthy habits.
And many people need help in understanding the actions and words of others that they are in a relationship with, whether it is a spouse, parent, friend, or child. I can offer suggestions to help you with greater self-awareness and help you to understand the problem  correctly. Many times issues can be resolved quickly when one understands the problem correctly. And then the solution is right around the corner. 

                                                      E-MAILS  vs. INSTANT MESSAGEING

I do not offer instant messaging as I feel that e-mails give the client a better opportunity to really think out what they want to say, and take the time to study my response, plus e-mails may be written whenever it is convenient for you. E-mail can also provide a record of the discussions between you and myself, and will offer you counseling in the privacy and comfort of your own home, or office.
Couples need not be excluded from online counseling. Each person can e-mail me separately or together as a couple. Also, there is complete confidentiality for each person in a couple and no information is given to the other one unless the client gives me permission to share information with the other person.

If you would like to counsel with me please do not hesitate to contact me by following the directions below:

Patricia Jones, M.A.
Pastoral Counselor
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Telephone Counseling Instructions and Information.