Law and the Church, #8

This entry was posted on October 13, 2012 under Clergy Program, Law and the Church, Preliminary Courses. Written by:

What is the difference between pastoral counseling and other kinds of counseling, and does the law differentiate between these types? What sort of license do you require in your state in order to perform counseling of any type? Does divination fall into this sort of counseling?

The difference between pastoral counseling and other kinds of counseling is that pastoral counseling is mainly faith-based counseling.  We cannot legally counsel on the mental or medical state of a person (unless otherwise licensed for those types of counseling).  Those types of counseling include psychological, relationship, or medical counseling.  ADF provides the pastoral training for Clergy to perform pastoral counseling, but it does not provide psychological or medical training for the latter, nor should it.

Pennsylvania State law does not define Clergy as an occupation that requires a license to practice pastoral counseling.  According to the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, PA is not listed among the six states that require a license for the title “Pastoral Counselor” (“Pastoral Counseling Licensing.”).



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